Early winter is the time to think about a vaccination program for your pregnant brood mares.
All mares should be vaccinated against tetanus. This not only protects them from the devastating disease during the high risk foaling period, but also gives protection to the foal via colostrum. Your mare should be given this tetanus booster vaccination at least one month prior to foaling.
Salmonella, which causes severe and often life-threatening diarrhea in foals, can also be vaccinated against at this time. This is especially important if your mare is to foal on a stud or in an area with a history of salmonella.
You should also consider vaccinating your mare against Equine Herpes Virus. EHV-1 is a common virus in New Zealand, with many horses picking up the infection as foals. The virus can remain dormant for a long period of time (similar to the Herpes virus in humans that causes cold sores). Reactivation of the virus can be triggered later in life, stress is a common cause of reactivation. Clinical signs of EHV-1 vary from respiratory disease of varying severity, abortion, neonatal death and the very rare neurological form. The abortion form of EHV-1 was diagnosed in North Canterbury in 2011. A three shot vaccination course is advised during pregnancy to prevent the heart-breaking effects of this virus.
Please feel free to contact Andrew, Sam or Sophie at RVC Equine to discuss your mares vaccination requirements.