Preventive Health Care is the best way to help maintain your horse in peak condition and minimize the chance of illnesses. Our Equine Wellness Program includes a physical examination, and AAEP recommended vaccinations. Consulting with your veterinarian is vital. Many of the fatal diseases are preventable. While most horse owners have experienced a medical emergency, many of these "crises" can be prevented with a twice-a-year wellness program. This bi- annual check-up provides your veterinarian an opportunity to bring your horses up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite control treatments at the time of year when they are most beneficial. It also provides a time for you to consult with your veterinarian about nutrition, behavior problems, emerging disease threats and other equine horse health issues. While there's no way to completely eliminate emergency situations, a preventive health care program will minimize the chance of life- threatening, costly illness.
The Westview Veterinary Hospital Equine Wellness program is following the recommended guideline of the American Association of Equine Practitioners for all horses living in the United States. We wish to offer you and your companions the highest standard of veterinary care available. These guidelines allow us to keep your horses as healthy as possible. The program is designed to fit your horse's life style. The following information contains detailed explanations of each vaccine and services provided by Westview Veterinary Hospital.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the following, please do not hesitate to contact our office and speak to our Veterinarians and Staff.
General Health Care Considerations
Wellness Exams are the corner stone of any health care program. Over vaccinating and de-worming your horse is not a substitute for proper veterinary care. Even if the horse has no visible problems, baseline information is very important when determining if subtle changes are present in the health of your animal. Wellness Exams are critical in diagnosing diseases that are just beginning or are of an intermittent nature and thus difficult to notice by people who see their horses every day. The AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) recommends twice yearly exams for all healthy horses. These exams include: examination of the eyes, mouth, teeth, lymph nodes, skin, heart, lungs, and abdomen. A brief exam of the limbs, for joint effusion or bony or soft abnormalities is also included. Any problems will be noted and treatment options will be discussed with you, the owner. At this time, we will also discuss your horse’s body condition and nutritional needs and give recommendations for a feeding plan for your horse’s optimal health and performance.
Every horse needs to be evaluated individually when deciding on a vaccine program that meets its individual needs. Geographic location, incidence of disease, environment, age and previous medical history are all factors that need to be taken into consideration. The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has developed new guidelines on vaccinations based on research and past history and is always re-evaluating these guidelines to ensure that horses are protected but not over vaccinated. For more information on specific diseases, visit our website (www.westviewvethospital.com and use the link to AAEP). The following vaccines are recommended as basic or CORE vaccines that every horse must have for protection from disease in our area. The “Additional Vaccines” are options that are may be utilized in higher risk horses that have a constant risk of exposure. Again, vaccine protocol will be decided for each horse individually, based on its specific needs.
The Equine Immunization Support Guarantee
Equine Immunization Support Guarantee (ISG). In essence, this means that if a horse which has been properly vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian with one of our qualified vaccines and contracts the disease for which it was vaccinated against, the manufacturer of the vaccinations will reimburse you up to $5,000 in diagnostic and treatment costs.
Eastern/Western/Tetanus/West Nile: This vaccine protects against Eastern and Western encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the nervous system), tetanus and West Nile virus. West Nile is now a yearly vaccine in our area, as long as the horse correctly received its initial series.
Influenza and Rhinopheumonitis: Influenza is a harmful disease that affects the respiratory system but rhinopneumonitis has become more of a problem of late with potentially devastating side effects. There is no such thing as a yearly rhino vaccine. Although it is an effective vaccine in the prevention of non-neurologic strains of rhino, the effects of the vaccine are short lived. Depending on the vaccine, it is generally effective for only 4-6 months. Therefore, high risk horses require boosters throughout the year.
Potomac Horse Fever: This disease has gained in importance because of the high mortality of disease. This is seasonal based on the mayfly emergence late in the spring and summer. We generally see this late August through October. New research has demonstrated this vaccine has a short duration of efficacy. Therefore, we are recommending this vaccine be given mid June through the end of August to ensure optimal protection during peak season.
Rabies: There are states that will only recognize this vaccine if it has been administered by a licensed veterinarian. Due to the constant risk of exposure, this vaccine is extremely important.
Leptospirosis: This vaccine helps to prevent leptospiremia caused by L. pomona, which could, help reduce the potential risk of equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) infections, abortions or acute renal failure caused by L. pomona.
Additional (Optional) Vaccines/Testing
Intranasal Influenza: Works in conjunction with intramuscular influenza in the prevention of influenza for high risk horses by setting up a barrier at the point of infection, the nasal passage.
Intranasal Strangles: This vaccine works similarly to the Intranasal Influenza Vaccine, but it is a modified live bacterium that has the potential to cause problems if not administered properly.
Coggins: Coggins is the name of the test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). Coggins is a non-curable disease thought to be transmitted by deer and horse flies. Any equid (horse, donkey, and zebra) that has the disease must reside no closer than ¼ mile from any other equids. This test is not required by the state of Ohio to transport horses to shows within the state, but individual shows and events may require it. It is mandatory to have a negative Coggins test when selling a horse at a public sale or when transporting your horse across state lines.
Blood Screening: A great amount of information can be evaluated from blood screenings, including but not limited to: organ function, blood cell counts and electrolytes - which are vital for those horses which are athletic. Every horse should have a baseline blood screening done when they are healthy so that when blood values are evaluated during an illness, individual variations can be compared, and actual diseases can be determined. These tests may include a Complete Blood Count, and Serum Chemistry.
Equine Targeted De-Worming Protocol
High levels of parasites lead to gastrointestinal problems which can include colic, weight loss and general un-thriftiness. In our area, we have the luxury of having a winter that can greatly reduce parasitic egg counts in our pastures. However, there has been an increased incidence of Ivermectin resistant roundworms. Our practice has recognized this increase, with 82% of our regularly wormed horses having worms. Double dosing of fenbendazole can eliminate this problem. Our part of the United States has the third highest prevalence of tapeworms in the nation. Tapeworms are rarely seen on fecal exams. We like to believe we can keep our horses and pastures free of parasites by worming regularly. But the fact is, without regular fecal exams and rotational worming we can never be truly sure. At Westview Veterinary Hospital, we have taken the thought process out of your worming protocol and developed pre-packaged wormers with an included schedule. If any worms are noticed on our scheduled fecal exams, different wormers can be prescribed to eliminate those parasites before they can cause damage. These scheduled worming guidelines are as follows.
- Fecal Egg Count on ALL HORSES. Identify low, moderate, and high shedders.
- De-worm ALL horses with moxidectin/praziquantel (Quest Plus) or fenbendazole (Panacur Power Pack)
- This is based solely on environment and risk. It will be customized based on these factors.
- These are horses with greater than 250 eggs/gram and horses under the age of 3 years. The types of wormers and interval is based on FECR (Fecal Egg Count Resistance) from further fecal testing.
For a more in-depth understanding of Deworming, look up Deworming Protocols on the American of Assoc. of Equine Practitioners website AAEP.org
Teeth are a unique concern for horses and their owners. The teeth of horses continue to grow unless they get worn down by opposing teeth. If there is any sort of misalignment of the jaw, missing teeth, abnormal tooth growth or gaps between teeth, these conditions can cause extreme pain and lead to difficulty eating which, in turn, results weight loss. The horse’s top row of teeth naturally sits wider than the bottom row, so floating needs to be done to eliminate the points that develop. If floating is not done, and done correctly, the points can make setting the bit difficult and the horse resent being ridden or driven. Misalignments can also cause difficultly or discomfort during chewing, and even ulcerations within the mouth if ignored long enough. The frequency that a horse’s teeth need to be floated is determined by the horse’s sensitivity to bits, difficult chewing or any misalignments that may be present. Many different types of floating can be done and the need is evaluated on an individual basis. Dental problems may present in many different ways and can be corrected using special equipment such as power floats, dental mirrors, probes and speculums. At Westview Veterinary Hospital, we have made a commitment to this area of preventative health through purchasing this special equipment and attending advanced dental training courses.
Westview Wellness Plan: $303
- Visit #1 March/May– Full Physical Exam, Flu/Rhino, EWT/WN, Rabies/Potomac Horse Fever, Dental Exam, Fecal Egg Count
- Visit #2 September/November- Full Physical Exam, Dental Exam, Flu/Rhino Booster, Potomac Horse Fever Booster
For clients enrolled in the Wellness Plan, farm call fees are included in the fee, provided that we can schedule the appointments at our convenience. In order to maximize our efficiency, we will be scheduling farms in the same area on the same day. If this is not possible, a full farm call fee will be charged.
Additional services are offered for the variety of equine life styles we assist and manage. Please let us know if you are interested in additional services offered
Other Services and Vaccines Available: These other services are offered to clients enrolled Wellness Plan at discounted prices and include:
- Strangles Vaccines
- Rhino Vaccines
- Intranasal Influenza Vaccines
- Sheath Cleanings
- Dental Floats
- Health Certificates
- Coggins Testing
- Additional Fecal Egg Counts