EQUUS - - Eq Perspectiv­e -

The first vac­cine against lep­tospiro­sis ap­proved for use in horses is now avail­able.

Lep­tospiro­sis is caused by sev­eral types of Lep­tospira bac­te­ria. In North Amer­ica, the or­gan­ism Lep­tospira in­ter­ro­gans serovar Pomona, (L. Pomona) is most of­ten as­so­ci­ated with dis­ease in horses, caus­ing sep­ticemia0, uveitis0, kid­ney dis­ease and abor­tion. The in­fec­tion is ac­quired by ex­po­sure to wa­ter or soil con­tam­i­nated with the bac­te­ria via the urine of in­fected horses, cat­tle or wildlife.

Un­til now, lep­tospiro­sis vac­cines were avail­able for dogs and cat­tle but none were li­censed for horses. The new vac­cine, called LEPTO EQ IN­NO­VA­TOR and man­u­fac­tured by Zoetis, is ap­proved for use in horses 6 months and older. The com­pany’s ef­fi­cacy stud­ies showed that vac­ci­nated horses ex­posed to L. Pomona showed no signs of in­fec­tion.

Vac­ci­na­tion en­tails an ini­tial shot, fol­lowed by a booster three to four weeks later, and an­nual re­vac­ci­na­tion there­after. Safety stud­ies showed no ad­verse re­ac­tions in 99.8 per­cent of nearly 2,000 vac­ci­nated horses.

You can as­sess your horse’s risk of con­tract­ing lep­tospiro­sis with a free, on­line risk as­sess­ment tool at www. lep­toe­qin­no­va­tor.com. For ev­ery com­pleted as­sess­ment, Zoetis will do­nate $1, up to $1,000, to A Home for Ev­ery Horse, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that works to place res­cue horses.

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