EQUUS - - The Core -

• Limit mos­quito pop­u­la­tions. Mos­qui­toes lay their eggs in calm, stag­nant wa­ter, so take steps to close the breed­ing grounds. That means pick­ing up old tires and other de­bris that can catch rain­wa­ter, over­turn­ing un­used wheel­bar­rows, and keep­ing drainage ditches and rain gut­ters flow­ing freely. Also re­pair drip­ping faucets, and clean wa­ter troughs and buck­ets reg­u­larly.

• Main­tain healthy ponds and streams. Fish and other preda­tors will feed on mos­qui­toes and their lar­vae and help to keep their num­bers down. Your lo­cal ex­ten­sion agent can ad­vise you on how to prop­erly man­age nat­u­ral wa­ter sources on your prop­erty.

• Use fly sprays. Check that your fly sprays are also ef­fec­tive against mos­qui­toes, and ap­ply them to your horses prior to turnout and be­fore rid­ing on trails that go near wet­lands.

• Bring horses inside at dawn and dusk, the hours when mos­qui­toes are most ac­tive. Mos­qui­toes are weak fliers and avoid breezes, so a few well-placed fans will also de­ter them from ap­proach­ing your horses.

� The vac­cine: A sin­gle bi­va­lent vac­cine pro­tects against both EEE and WEE (and pro­vides some im­mu­nity against VEE as well). The vac­cine is an in­ac­ti­vated ad­ju­vanted whole virus prod­uct--that is, it con­tains both whole viruses, which have been ren­dered in­ac­tive by mix­ing them with a formalde­hyde so­lu­tion called for­ma­lin, com­bined with an ad­ju­vant---a sub­stance that stim­u­lates a greater im­mune re­sponse to en­cour­age the pro­duc­tion of more an­ti­bod­ies against the viruses.

The first time a ma­ture horse is vac­ci­nated, or for a horse whose his­tory is un­known, the rec­om­mended sched­ule is two doses of vac­cine spaced four to six weeks apart. There­after, ma­ture horses can be vac­ci­nated once per year, prior to the start of mos­quito sea­son. In ar­eas where the mos­qui­toes re­main ac­tive year­round, your vet­eri­nar­ian may rec­om­mend booster vac­cines ev­ery six months, es­pe­cially for horses with com­pro­mised im­mu­nity.

The AAEP also sug­gests that preg­nant mares re­ceive a booster four to six weeks be­fore they are sched­uled to de­liver, and that foals of vac­ci­nated mares re­ceive a three-dose se­ries at four- to sixweek in­ter­vals, be­gin­ning at 4 to 6 months of age. Your vet­eri­nar­ian will be able to make more spe­cific rec­om­men­da­tions based on your lo­cal cli­mate and con­di­tions and your horse’s own health needs and risks.


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