All horse vaccines in Australia are non-living vaccines – they contain bacteria or viruses that have been killed or significantly weakened, rather than live organisms. Hendra virus, tetanus and strangles can all kill, while equine herpes virus can cause several serious diseases. Should not house equids near endangered species as this virus can cross to many other species and cause fatal disease. Shedding corresponds with fever, high viral shedding, for 14 days for naive horses, less clinical signs and shorter shedding period for previously exposed horses. Tetanus is a bacterial disease that can prove fatal. Active immunity is more specific. Vaccination not very effective – horse has already been exposed, and trials poorly designed.
Infection is accompanied by?viremia?that develops three to seven days following infection and typically lasts for four to five days, with disappearance of virus from blood coinciding with onset of antibody production3. Your veterinarian should be consulted as a matter of urgency if you suspect EHV1 infection on your property so a management plan can be initiated as soon as possible to limit losses. These diseases have specific laws regarding reporting obligations and quarantining measures: List A’s (eg. No vaccine carries label claim. EHV came into Australia well over a decade ago, perhaps two or more decades ago when quarantine regulations were relaxed. Prevention – biosecurity, house pregnant mares in small groups, away from riding arenas, no contact with show horses returing home, minimize stress, isolate sick horses.