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Vaccination in Breeding Horses

By

Patricia L. Sertich

, MS, VMD, DACT, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Last full review/revision Feb 2021 | Content last modified Feb 2021
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Example of Vaccination Schedule for Broodmares

Vaccine

Schedule

Equine rhinopneumonitis (inactivated)

EHV-1 at 5, 7, and 9 months of gestation; EHV-1/EHV-4 4–6 weeks before due date

Tetanus (toxoid)

4–6 weeks before due date

4–6 weeks before due date; if unvaccinated, initially administer two doses at 4–6 week intervals and then a third dose 4–6 weeks before due date

Usually administered to mares in late spring or early summer before onset of insect season; initially administer two doses at a 4–6 week interval; 4–6 weeks before due date

4–6 weeks before due date

Initially three doses at 4–6 week intervals, then annual booster 4–6 weeks before due date

Initially two doses at a 4–6 week interval; 4–6 weeks before due date

8, 9, and 10 months of gestation

A negative titer should be documented by a USDA-approved laboratory before vaccination; pregnant mares should not be vaccinated; open mares should be vaccinated before breeding to a positive stallion that is shedding the virus; vaccinated horses must be isolated for 3 weeks after vaccination; annual boosters recommended; positive titers may cause problems if mare is to be exported or bred on certain farms. (Stallions should also be vaccinated 3 months before breeding.)

Initially administer two doses at a 3–4 month interval; 4–6 weeks before due date

Vaccination programs should follow a continuous, year-round schedule and consider local health problems. Vaccination against rhinopneumonitis should be performed at 5, 7, and 9 months of gestation. Vaccines that require annual boosters should be administered 4–6 weeks before the mare’s due date to stimulate the dam to produce antibodies that will be transferred to the foal via the colostrum (see Table: Example of Vaccination Schedule for Broodmares). Detailed information regarding current vaccination recommendations is available from the AAEP. Colostrum should be ingested in the first 24 hours of life to effectively provide passive transfer of immunoglobulins.

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