What should I vaccinate my horse for

You can vaccinate for several things but something like the strangles vaccination isn't guaranteed. Here is a list of all the vaccines I know of:

Tetanus: Protects the horse against the bacteria Clostridium tetani, which invades open wounds and can cause life threatening paralysis. I'd say every horse should be vaccinated for this.

Eastern and Western encephalomyelitis: (Eastern is called EEE) (Western is called WEE) (Venezuelan is called VEE). This virus is transmitted by bloodsucking insects and can cause neurological disease. All horses should be vaccinated for this. EEE if you are on the East coast. WEE if you are on the West coast and VEE if you live near the Mexican border.

Flu: Since you said your horse is exposed to many show horses then I'd say to get this vaccination too. Influenza is rarely fatal but can take a horse out of work for several weeks. Young horses(under 3) should especially be vaccinated since they are most susceptible.

Equine viral rhinopneumonitis(also called equine herpes virus or EHV):

This one to me is iffy. It has a limited effectiveness and does not protect carrier horses. It is passed through the air and can cause neurological disease and respiratory disease and abortion in pregnant mares. Most vets opt to just vaccinate pregnant or pre-foaling mares. Talk to your vet about this one.

West Nile Virus: This is carried by birds and transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no evidance that suggests a horse with WNV can transmit it to another healthy horse. But if your horse gets WNV there is a 70% fatality rate. It is reccomended and has good effectiveness and few side-effects.

Rabies: Rabies is 100% fatal and is transmitted by a wild animal bite. The vaccine is safe and effective. But location determines whether he will need it. If he is in a big pasture where he could come in contact with with wild animals then it should be part of your plan.

Strangles: Caused be the bacterial organism streptococcus equi. The vaccination has serious side-effects and can be fatal so most vets don't reccomend it.

EPM: A lot of controversy surrounds this vaccine. Effectiveness has not been well established. If your horse should ever contract EPM it can complicate diagnosis. I personally don't think this one is needed.

Botulism: Contracted by a soil dwelling organism called Clostridium botulinum. Causes eventual paralysis. Prevalent along the East Coast. It is reccomended if you live in an effected area.

All in all make a list of the ones your intrested in and then show it to your vet and they can make the final decision of which ones are necessary.

Good Luck!

Source(s): My Vet Book. SAMD