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Horse Health Information

Normal Vital Signs:

Temperature: 99.0-100.5 F

Pulse: 32-40 beats per minute

Respiration: 12-16 breaths per minute

Mucous Membranes: Pale pink

Capillary Refill Time: Less than 2 seconds

It is recommended that horse owners become familiar with the normal parameters of their horses’ vital signs. Have your veterinarian show you how to take them properly and practice taking vital signs on a regular basis to accustom yourself to the procedures so you will be prepared when faced with taking them in a possible emergency situation.

Vaccination Schedules:

Vaccines are a safe and effective means of protecting your horse from serious, life threatening illnesses. Vaccination schedules should be developed with your veterinarian and can vary due to exposure risk, health of animal, and geographical location. Florida is considered an endemic area for EEE/WEE and WNV, due to the presence of mosquitoes year round.

The following schedule is a guideline for vaccination of adult horses, and is based off recommendations by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and by our practice in the Tampa Bay area.

Vaccination Unvaccinated or Questionable Vaccine History Previously Vaccinated
Tetanus* 2 dose series, 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after first dose. Annually, plus booster at time of penetrating injury or surgery if last dose was >6 months ago.
Eastern/Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE/WEE)* 2 dose series, 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after first dose. Booster every 6 months
Rabies* Single dose Annual booster
West Nile Virus (WNV)* 2 dose series, 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after first dose. Booster every 6 months
Influenza 2 doses 4-6 weeks apart, 3rd dose 3-6months after 2nd dose Booster every 6 months
Equine Herpes Virus (Rhino) 3 dose series, each dose 4-6 weeks apart Booster every 6 months
Strangles (Streptococcus equi) (risk based) 2 doses, 3 weeks apart, intranasal Annual booster
Potomac Horse Fever (PHF)

(for horses traveling throughout the state and the Northeast US.)

2 dose series 3-4 weeks apart Annual booster

*Indicates those vaccines designated as core vaccines by the AAEP. Core vaccines protect against diseases that are endemic to a region, are highly contagious, pose a risk of severe disease, those having potential public health risk, and/or are required by law. Core vaccines have clearly demonstrable efficacy and safety, with a high enough level of patient benefit and low enough level of risk to justify their use in all equids.

Vaccination of foals should begin at 3 months of age. Consult with your veterinarian about specific vaccine schedules for foals and about special vaccine recommendations for pregnant broodmares.


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