West Bar Veterinary Hospital
19 West Bar, Banbury, Oxon OX16 9SA
Telephone us (24 hours) on: 01295 262 332

Equine Vaccinations

We recommend that all horses are vaccinated against tetanus and equine influenza, and vaccination against equine herpes is based on risk assessment in conjunction with one of our vets. 

Vaccinations all include a thorough health check, so they are a valuable opportunity for the vet to pick up on the early signs of any problems. The vets are also very happy to discuss management, worming, any other questions you may have, and to check your horses teeth at the time of the vaccination.

Vaccinations can be done at a home or yard visit, where you can share the visit fee between different horses. Alternatively why not bring the horse to the clinic and save the visit fee? Please give us a call on 01295 759191 to book in your horses vaccinations.

Standard equine vaccination protocol:

  • First vaccination (over the age of 6 months) – Equine influenza and tetanus combined vaccine
  • Second vaccination (4 weeks after first) – Equine influenza and tetanus combined vaccine
  • Third vaccination (5 months after second) – Equine influenza only
  • Annual booster (every 12 months) – alternating equine influenza and tetanus combined vaccine and equine influenza only

For competition entries a horse is considered fully vaccinated 7 days after the second vaccination.

Herpes vaccination protocol:

  • General protection – first vaccination over the age of 5 months followed by second vaccination 4-6 weeks after first, boosters every 6 months
  • Pregnant mares – vaccinate a 5, 7 and 9 months of pregnancy

For more detail about the diseases that we vaccinate horses against please see below.



Tetanus (colloquially known as ‘lock-jaw’) is a life threatening disease caused by a bacterial toxin which affects the nervous system leading to progressive paralysis which is often fatal. The bacteria that produce the toxin are very common and found in soil everywhere so horses can easily pick them up through minor cuts, grazes, or damaged feet. Treatment requires intensive care and a lot of horses do not survive. A simple, inexpensive and effective vaccination programme offers excellent protection from this disease.



Equine Influenza

Equine influenza (flu) is a respiratory virus that spreads very easily from horse to horse. Similar to flu in humans, it causes the horse to be lethargic for several weeks, and signs often include a nasal discharge, fever and coughing. Equine influenza outbreaks are still regular occurrences in the UK, and the only reason that they remain confined to a small area is because so many horses and ponies are now vaccinated. We particularly recommend ‘flu vaccinations in all youngstock and older horses, all horses that mix with horses from other yards eg competing or hacking out, and all horses kept on yards with different horses arriving and leaving. Influenza vaccination is required for horses competing or going to training events under most governing bodies, e.g. riding and pony clubs, BSJA, BE, BD and under Jockey Club rules.




The herpes virus is responsible for three syndromes in the horse:

  • Abortion in pregnant mares
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Neurological disease

The virus is spread via aerosol inhalation i.e. in the air. The schedule of vaccination is determined by the syndrome being guarded against.