Cascade to Columbia Veterinary Services

2090 Vantage Hwy
Ellensburg, WA 98926





Vaccines are preparations of killed microorganisms, living weakened microorganisms, etc. introduced into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease by causing the formation of antibodies.

Vaccines are very delicate compounds, which if handled or administered incorrectly will be ineffective or neutralized.


The vaccines listed below are tailored to our practice and geographic location and follow the guidelines of the AAEP:

Eastern & Western Encephalomyelitis: Encephalomyelitis is caused by a virus, which is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.  The vaccine is very effective against the disease.

Tetanus Toxoid: Tetanus is a disease  caused by a specific toxin of a bacillus (Clostridium tetani)which usually enters the body through wounds. It is characterized by spasmodic contractions and rigidity of some or all of the voluntary muscles (especially of the jaw, face and neck). The bacteria is found in horse manure. The vaccine is very effective and administered once yearly. The vaccine is boostered in case of  laceration, surgery, or pentrating wounds.

Rabies: Rabies is a viral disease that infects the nervous system of  mammals. It is transmitted through contact with the saliva of infected animals. It is 100% fatal.

West Nile Virus: West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

Rhinopneumonitis: Rhinopneumonitis is a herpes virus which causes respiratory infections, abortions, and inflammation of the spinal cord.

Influenza: Influenza is a virus that causes high fever and respiratory infection.

Strangles: Strangles is a bacterial disease caused by Streptococcus equi. It is highly contagious and causes the following signs: high fever, abscessed lymph nodes,and respiratory infection. Horses may develop guttural pouch infections, sinus infections, purpura hemorrhagica, laryngeal paralysis, and bastard strangles.


The following is based on the experience of our veterinarians and the guidelines published by the AAEP (AmericanAssociation of Equine Practitioners).  The current practice of equine vaccination continues to change as research brings us new knowledge every year.  The following is intended to be a framework of guidelines; specific recommendations for each horse or farm should be discussed with the veterinarian.   


Key points to keep in mind:

Vaccinations should be administered at least 2-4 weeks before travel, shows, & exposure to new horses to provide maximum protective effect. Newly arriving horses should be quarantined from the rest of your herd for at least 14 days.Each horse's immune system is different; each horse is not protected to an equal degree or for an equal duration following vaccination.

Core vaccinations (recommended for all horses) are Tetanus, and sleeping sickness or Encephalomyelitis (East/West + West Nile). All of the above are available at our hospital in one combination injection.   

 The American Association of Equine Practitioners now recommends Rabies as a core vaccine. Because of the low incidence of Rabies in our area, our doctors still consider this vaccination as optional for horses staying in the Northwest, but we recommend Rabies protection for horses traveling outside the Northwest.  We carry the vaccination if you choose to include it, but it must be administered by a veterinarian.  Please consult with the doctor regarding the vaccine schedule. Vaccination is a medical procedure; any medical procedure carries risk.  If an adverse reaction does occur, our vaccine manufacturers strongly support our doctors in helping to resolve the matter;  this support may not occur if the vaccine is administed by someone other than the veterinarian.     

LOW RISK PREVIOUSLY VACCINATED ADULT HORSES (isolated with no exposure to new or travelling horses):

Tetanus Toxoid:  Vaccinate every 12 months.  Revaccinate if a wound or surgery occurs more than 6 months after the last Tetanus vaccination.

Sleeping Sickness/Encephalomyelitis (East/West and West Nile):  Vaccinate every 12 months, preferably in the spring.

* West Nile virus is spread through mosquito bites and has been identified as a cause of death in horses in Yakima and Kittitas counties. The vaccine is strongly recommended for all horses. If your horse has notpreviously received the vaccine or it has been longer than 1 year since receiving the last dose, it will need to start the two dose series, 3-6 weeks apart.

MEDIUM RISK PREVIOUSLY VACCINATED ADULT HORSES (isolated, except one exposure event per year; i.e. annual poker ride):

Tetanus Toxoid: as outlined above.

Sleeping Sickness (East/West and West Nile): as outlined above.

Rhinopneumonitis (Eq Herpes virus) + influenza[Rhino/flu *]:  Vaccinate 2-4 weeks before exposure event.  Duration of protection up to 6 months.    

YOUNG ADULT AND HIGH RISK PREVIOUSLY VACCINATED ADULT HORSES (horses less than 5 years of age, performance and competition horses, horses in boarding, or exposure to large number of horses or to travelling horses):

Tetanus Toxoid: as outlined above.

Sleeping Sickness (East/West and West Nile):  as outlined above.

Rhinopneumonitis (Eq Herpesvirus) and Influenza [Rhino/flu *]: Vaccinate every 6 months.

Strangles-intranasal:  Vaccinate every 12 months.        


Tetanus Toxoid:  Give 2 doses, 3 weeks apart.

Sleeping Sickness (East/West and West Nile):  Give 2 doses, 3 weeks apart.  (If determined that the horse will be at risk for the following):

Rhino/flu:* Give 3 doses, 3 weeks apart.

Strangles: + Give 2 doses, 3 weeks apart.


Rhinovirus (Equine Herpesvirus 1) [Pneumabort]:  Vaccinate at 5, 7, and 9 months of gestation.

The following, given 4-6 weeks before foaling (prepartum), are vital to protect the newborn:

Tetanus Toxoid

Sleeping Sickness (East/West and West Nile)

Note:  While there is currently no West Nile vaccination specifically labeled for use in pregnant mares. Most veterinarians recommend vaccinating, as the risk of West Nile infection outweighs  the limited adverse effects of using the vaccine.

Rhino/flu *


Equine Viral Arteritis:  Please consult with the veterinarian.


Newborns: Tetanus Antitoxin (please consult with the veterinarian first)

At 3-4 months of Age: Tetanus Toxoid:  Give 3 doses, 4-6 weeks apart.

Sleeping Sickness (East/West and West Nile):  Give 3 doses, 4-6 weeks apart.

 At 6 months of Age:

Rhino/flu:  * Give 3 doses, 3-4 weeks apart.

Strangles:  + If determined that the foal will be at risk give 2 doses, 3 weeks apart.


  At 6 months of Age:

Tetanus Toxoid:  Give 3 doses, 4-6 weeks apart.

Sleeping Sickness (East/West and West Nile):  Give 3 doses 4-6 weeks apart.

**Note:  initial vaccination of foal born later in the season (May or later) may be delayed until the following spring.

Rhino/flu:* Give 3 doses, 3-4 weeks apart.

Strangles:  + If determined that the foal will be at risk give 2 doses, 3 weeks apart.


This vaccine should be considered for any horse kept at premises where Strangles has previously occurred. 

 It is recommended that this vaccine be administered only by a veterinarian.                                                                                          

Horses previously infected with Strangles and recovered have a good immunity that persists in over 75% of horses 5 years or longer.  A diagnostic test is available and may be used to assess the level of a horse's  immunity, to provide a guideline in determining the need for future vaccination.   


We have switched our Rhino/flu vaccine to Calvenza ®, because this product protects against the most current influenza strains available, and because the vaccine is backed by a 12 month influenza challenge study.  This killed vaccine can be given intranasally, but gives no additional protection with this route over the intramuscular route.  The intranasal route is available for those horses where injection site reactions are a concern.

This information is available to print from the forms page.