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What Are Horse Vaccines, and How Do They Work?

A horse vaccine contains a harmless form of a disease-causing organism.

When the vaccine is given to a horse it tricks the horse's immune system into believing its body is under attack by the real thing.

This causes the horse's immune system to work to identify what is attacking it, and to figure out what type of antibodies will kill it. The horse will produce antibodies until it successfully produces the right type of antibody that kills off the "practice" disease provided by the vaccine.

Thanks to this valuable practice, if the horse should ever be exposed to the real disease it will be able to identify it quickly and begin producing large numbers of antibodies to quickly and efficiently kill it.

Disclaimer does not warrant the accuracy or timeliness of any of the information found on the website, and does not accept liability for errors or omissions.

In addition, anything found on is not intended to replace veterinary care for your horse or other animals. Always consult a veterinarian or other trained animal health care professional regarding any matter relating to the health and/or health care of your animals.

Do Vaccines Always Work?

No vaccine is ever a 100% guarantee your horse won't get sick. Most of the time vaccines do a good job of providing immunity for our horses, but sometimes a horse can get sick anyway.

If your horse does become ill with a disease they have been vaccinated for, the chances are good that the vaccine will at least reduce the symptoms and duration of the illness.

How Long Does A Vaccination Last?

Usually, horse vaccines do not provide a lifetime of immunity. You should consult with an equine veterinarian in your area to know what vaccines to give to your horse, and when or how often to repeat them.

Common Terms Associated With Horse Vaccines and Vaccinations

When talking to your veterinarian and/or buying vaccine it can be confusing to hear the proper terms sometimes used with horse vaccines, or to read them on the package label. Below is a short list of very common terms used when talking about vaccines.

Can Vaccines Have Side Effects?

Yes. In rare cases vaccines can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is always very serious and can even lead to death.

Vaccines may also cause reactions at the site of injection ranging from mild stiffness, soreness, and swelling, to abscesses.


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