It’s easy to get confused over when and how often to vaccinate your purebred Spanish horse (PRE), Andalusian horse (or any horse for that matter), particularly when you’re starting their flu (equine influenza) and tetanus vaccinations for the first time, or are worried about Equine Herpes Virus (EHV).
Flu and Tetanus
Most equine vets in the UK will use Proteq Flu and Proteq Flu & Tet, and the following table reflects the guidelines and schedule for fully vaccinating your horse using Proteq.
In principle, when the primary course of the vaccines are complete, the tetanus vaccine lasts for two years, whilst the flu vaccine lasts one year. So many vets will alternate the vaccines, giving the combined flu and tetanus the first year, followed by just the flu vaccine the second year.
Equine Herpes Virus (EHV)
There are many types of herpes virus in horses with EHV-1 and EHV-4 causing the most serious problems. EHV is widespread in the horse population with most horses carrying the virus but not showing signs of the disease. This is because the virus remains latent (hidden) within the horse, a similar phenomenon in humans where the virus periodically re- emerges to cause ‘cold sores’. The reactivation of the virus comes without warning but is often associated with stress such as transportation or weaning. Once reactivated the virus causes disease in the horse and rapidly spreads from one horse to another.
Both EHV-1 and EHV-4 are spread directly from infected coughing horses and also via people, tack, feed and equipment. In the case of EHV-1, contact with aborted foetuses and placentae associated with abortions can spread the disease.
Equine Herpes Virus is regarded as one of the most common reasons for aborted pregnancies, so if you’re breeding Pure Bred Spanish Horses or have a PRE stud, you will be well advised to vaccinate against EHV.
Whether you’ve just had a Pure Bred Spanish horse or Andalusian horse arrive from Spain, bred your own PRE foal or have a mare in foal, this guide will hopefully give you a quick and easy reference point. Feel free to print it or download using the links below.