How to Vaccinate Newborn Foals

vaccinating foals

Vaccinate your newborn foal from day one! There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to vaccinations for your horse.

You may wonder what kinds of vaccines your foal will need and how old they need to be before they can be wormed.

In this article, you’ll discover the answers to all these questions. Follow along for a step-by-step guide to vaccination for newborn foals.

How to vaccinate newborn foals

how to vaccinate foals

You should vaccinate your newborn foal soon after birth, and there are several different reasons to do so. In addition to preventing common diseases, vaccinations can also prevent illnesses such as West Nile Virus, tetanus, and sleeping sickness.

Learn how to vaccinate newborn foals and follow these guidelines to prevent a variety of diseases. Listed below are the steps for administering vaccinations to your foal.

First, you need to clean the injection area. Afterward, use a new needle to inject the vaccine. Do not reuse needles as this can cause abscesses or large infections in muscle tissue.

Secondly, you need to obtain the vaccine, needle, and cleaning supplies from the veterinarian.

The veterinarian will supply the needles and cleaning supplies and discuss the size of the needle with you. In addition, you will need to wash your hands before administering vaccinations to your foal.

Vaccination is best done 4 to 6 months after birth. If the dam has been vaccinated, it is best for the foal to receive the same vaccinations. Generally, the vaccine is given in the first year of life to prime the foal’s immune system.

However, there are exceptions to this policy and you should consult the manufacturer’s label for specific recommendations. In addition to these recommendations, you should always consult the veterinarian for your horse’s vaccination schedule.

What vaccines do foals need?

Vaccinations are required for foals, but not all of them are fun for them. Foals receive intramuscular injections, which are administered by a needle into the large mass of muscle at the base of the neck.

Because foals usually do not enjoy these injections, the veterinarian may rub some sort of spot on the spot to relieve the discomfort.

Some vaccinations are series, such as Tetanus, Rhino, EEE/WEE, and WNV, which are given only once. Geographical vaccinations may require annual or biannual injections.

If the foal is born before vaccinations are available, veterinarians will be able to design a customized vaccination schedule for your horse.

In particular, the veterinarian will take into consideration the foal’s exposure to certain diseases, such as the presence of other mares, and whether it will be travelling in the future.

First vaccinations need to be administered early to avoid the maternally derived antibodies from the mother, which provide only temporary protection.

While the colostrum of the dam offers immunity to the foal for the first 90 days, the antibodies begin to wane after this time. Therefore, vaccinations are required for the foal, and veterinarians recommend a core group of four vaccines for the foal.

This includes vaccines for West Nile virus, botulism, and equine encephalitis. In addition to the rabies vaccine, mares can also be vaccinated for rotavirus, which can cause diarrhea in foals.

How old does a foal have to be to be wormed?

Deworming a foal is not an issue if it has reached its first two months of life. However, if the foal is older, a full dose of the wormicide Ivermectin should be given to reduce the risk of colic and bowel damage. Foals can also be wormed as part of a young stock worming program.

The first worming treatment should be given to a mare at least two weeks before foaling, as a foal’s immature immune system is not developed enough to fight worms. Foals should be wormed when they start to graze pasture and pick up mare’s droppings.

The treatment intervals are based on the product used, but the manufacture’s recommendation is a good guide. If a foal is more than six months old, the worms are too large for the animal to be visible.

Large roundworms may migrate to the lungs and cause dehydration and respiratory symptoms in humans. Large redworms can be fatal, so it is essential to worm young horses regularly. If you suspect your foal is infected, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.


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