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Equine Vaccinations & Prevention

Our veterinarians at Sturgis Veterinary Hospital & Equine Center can help design a preventive vaccination schedule to fit your horse’s lifestyle.

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Preventive Care for Horses

At Sturgis Veterinary Hospital & Equine Center, we focus on preventive care to keep common diseases and disorders from developing in your horse and spreading to your entire herd.

Combined with regular wellness exams, equine vaccinations and parasite prevention form the foundation of your horse's routine healthcare. Our vets provide a number of quality preventive services, including quantitative fecal flotations with individualized parasite control for your horse. 

Our team will work with you to create a custom preventive care plan that is tailored your horse's needs and lifestyle.

Equine Vaccination & Parasite Prevention, Sturgis Vets

Types of Vaccinations For Sturgis Horses

Our veterinarians regularly review the available vaccines and dewormers and consult with leading experts to select those products that are the safest and most effective.

The following are the two different categories of equine vaccinations that we provide.

Equine Core Vaccinations

Equine core vaccinations refer to the vaccines used to prevent the following five core diseases that have significant fatality rates in horses. All horses can be exposed to these potentially fatal diseases and should be vaccinated annually. 

  • Rabies
  • West Nile virus
  • Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis
  • Tetanus

Risk-Based Vaccinations

The following vaccinations for horses are administered if your horse's lifestyle may put them at risk. The horse shots that they receive may vary depending on their unique lifestyle and risk factors.

  • Equine influenza virus
  • Herpesvirus
  • Strangles
  • Equine viral arteritis
  • Rotaviral diarrhea
  • Leptospirosis
  • Potomac horse fever
  • Botulism
  • Anthrax
  • Snake bites

The Importance of Dewormers for Herd Health

Most horses only need to be dewormed once or twice a year. Before deworming in the spring, we recommend having a fecal test done. This procedure allows us to measure the number of worm eggs a horse is shedding in its feces.

Some horses will shed high numbers of eggs and are more likely to infect the rest of the herd. Internal parasites can cause many problems in horses, such as colic, anemia, ill-thrift, and diarrhea.

Types of Dewormers

Based on the results attained in your horse's fecal exam, we will recommend whether you need to deworm your horse.

The different types of dewormers include:

  • Fenbendazole

    Targets roundworms, bloodworms, and pinworms.

  • Ivermectin

    Targets all parasites except tapeworms. However, resistance to ivermectin is high in roundworms.

  • Ivermectin and Praziquantel

    Targets all parasites. However, resistance to ivermectin is high in roundworms.

  • Moxidectin

    Targets all parasites except tapeworms. However, resistance to moxidectin is high in roundworms.

  • Moxidectin and Praziquantel

    Targets all parasites. However, resistance to moxidectin is high in roundworms.

  • Pyrantel

    Targets bloodworms, pinworms, and roundworms.

Common Parasites

There are several common parasites in horses.

The following are both internal and external parasites that our Sturgis vets recommend deworming against.

  • Roundworms

    Most common in horses less than one-year-old and senior animals. Roundworms migrate through the trachea and live in the small intestine.

    In young horses, roundworms cause poor growth and development as well as respiratory issues. Severe cases can lead to colic and possibly death. Older horses may have a poor hair coat, weight loss, or decreased performance.

  • Bloodworms

    Bloodworms can migrate through the arteries around the large intestines and cause colic. Their frequency and impact have decreased with deworming prevention.

  • Cyathostomins

    Lives in the large intestine and migrates into the wall of the intestine. Cyathostomins cause severe gastrointestinal issues (decreased appetite, diarrhea). Resistance to dewormers is increasing in these worms. Targeted deworming is important.

  • Pinworms

    Common in horses under two years old. Pinworms live in the large intestine and deposit their eggs in the horse's anus. Good horse and pasture management is key to prevent these hard-to-treat parasites.

  • Tapeworms

    Usually manifest in horses when grazing horses ingest mites. These worms attach to the bowel lining, causing thickening, inflammation, and ulceration of the intestinal wall. Difficult to control.

  • Bots Flies

    Bots flies lay their eggs (small yellow specks) on the horse’s coat in late summer and early fall. Horses ingest bot eggs while licking or scratching their legs, then the eggs develop into larvae in the stomach and intestine.

    The larvae are passed out through feces and hatch in the spring. Botflies rarely cause clinical signs in horses, but they can cause gastric ulcers.

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New Patients Welcome

Sturgis Veterinary Hospital & Equine Center is accepting new patients. Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Sturgis animals. Get in touch today to book an appointment.

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