Protection & Prevention
At Badger Veterinary Hospital & Equine Services, we believe that prevention is the best medicine! We provide routine health care for horses including annual wellness exams, vaccinations, parasite control, and Coggins testing.
Vaccinations help prevent or lessen the severity of life-threatening or infectious diseases. Vaccination recommendations are based on the age of the animal, the animal’s exposure to potential infections, and the geographic location where the animal lives.
Preventive care gives your horse the best chance at a long, healthy life. Our team will work with you to create a custom preventive care plan that is tailored to their unique needs, lifestyle, and potential risk.
Types of Vaccinations For Southern Wisconsin Horses
Badger Equine Veterinary Services has put together annual vaccination recommendations for your horse, in accordance with AAEP guidelines, and our doctors can customize a vaccination protocol that works for your particular horse, stable, and situation.
The following are the two different categories of equine vaccinations that we provide.
The five core diseases that all have significant fatality rates in horses are:
- Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis
- West Nile Virus
All horses can be exposed to these potentially fatal diseases and should be vaccinated annually according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
The following vaccinations are given if your horse's lifestyle may put them at risk:
- Equine influenza virus
- Potomac horse fever
Vaccination will vary depending on your horse’s unique lifestyle and environment.
Parasites are organisms that will live on the skin of your horse or infect the intestinal tract to gain nutrients in order to survive. Internal parasites can easily infect your horse and can cause serious illness such as inflammation, colic, anemia, ill-thrift, diarrhea and other uncomfortable conditions.
The following are both internal and external parasites that our Southern Wisconsin vets recommend deworming against:
Most common in horses less than one-year-old and very old animals due to decreased immunity. They migrate through the trachea and live in the small intestine.
In younger horses, roundworms may cause poor growth and development as well as respiratory issues. Young animals that have bad cases of roundworms can have intestinal obstructions leading to colic or even death.
Older affected horses may have a poor hair coat, weight loss, or decreased performance.
These worms can migrate through the arteries around the large intestines and cause colic. Bloodworms used to be a major problem in horses, but their occurrence and significance has decreased with appropriate deworming.
- Cyathostomins & Strongyles
This type of parasite lives in the large intestine and migrates into the wall of the intestine. Cyathostomins cause severe gastrointestinal signs such as decreased appetite and diarrhea.
Resistance to dewormers is increasing in these worms, so targeted deworming is especially important.
Pinworms are most common in horses younger than two years old or horses with poor management. These worms live in their large intestine and deposit their eggs around the horse's anus, causing them to have an itchy hind.
It’s difficult to treat and control pinworms so good horse and pasture management is important.
Horses become infected with tapeworms by eating small pasture mites during grazing. These worms attach to areas of the bowel lining causing thickening, inflammation, and ulceration of the intestinal wall. Since these worms spend part of their life living on mites, they are difficult to control.
- Bot Flies
Bot flies lay their eggs on the horse’s coat in late summer and early fall. The eggs show up as small yellow specks, mainly on the horses’ legs. Horses ingest bot eggs while licking or scratching their legs, then the eggs develop into larvae in the equine stomach and small intestine.
Bot fly larvae are passed out through feces and will hatch in the spring. Bot flies will rarely cause clinical signs in horses, but they may cause gastric ulcers.
The Importance of Dewormers for Herd Health
Internal parasites are silent killers, causing extensive internal damage without you realizing your horses are infected. They lower horses’ resistance to infection, rob horses of valuable nutrients, and can cause damage to internal organs.
The most useful tool in our deworming programs is the fecal egg count, an exam of feces for parasite eggs. This allows us to determine which parasites are present and how high of a parasitic burden your horse has. We use this information to develop a deworming program specifically for your horse and to monitor its effectiveness.