Risk of equine disease can sneak up on even those horses that stick close to home
Editor’s note: The following article is provided by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica
Education is key to ensuring owners vaccinate their horses
Nobody wants to stick it to the horse – especially when it comes to needles and vaccines. So, equine veterinarians, such as Kevin Hankins, DVM, MBA, a senior veterinarian in veterinary technical services with Zoetis, appreciate why some horse owners prefer vaccinating their horses with combination vaccines designed to immunize against West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE), herpes, influenza, tetanus and more – all in one injection. The downside of using combination West Nile vaccines, however, is that they stimulate a lower immune response then monovalent West Nile vaccines.
Vaccination is the only means of prevention
With 12 cases of equine rabies confirmed in 2013 as of early August, horse owners should be vigilant about vaccinating their horses against this fatal disease. Those equine cases are among the hundreds of cases discovered this year in other species, including bats, cats, dogs, cows, foxes, raccoons and skunks.
Chalk it up to human nature. Once a threat has subsided, we tend to forget it or minimize its danger. That may or may not be happening with equine West Nile Virus.