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Horse Vaccinations 101


Photo by Clix/Shawn Hamilton

Horse owners often find it challenging to keep up with the latest vaccination recommendations, and some may not grasp their importance in keeping horses healthy and strong. Your horse needs certain “core” vaccines, and may also need non-core vaccines based on his usual activities, geographic location, and other considerations.

Although you might be hesitant to get your horse poked, it’s for his protection, and vaccines are generally safe. They have been well-tested, and many have been used for decades. Vaccination should be routine, so read on for current recommendations, potential side effects, and the overall importance of having your horse vaccinated.

Core Vaccines

One of the best measures to protect your horse’s health is a vaccination program. Core vaccines are often administered in an initial series of two to three shots, and then once or twice a year after that. Skipping core vaccinations could mean sickness or even death among your equine family.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has established vaccination guidelines for horses. Core vaccinations are those recommended for all horses, regardless of age, sex or region where they live. These include any…

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