Parker County Today January 2018 - Page 55

prevent epidemics. If the vaccinated animal does become infected while its immunity is waning, the partial protection may not prevent infection but will lessen the severity of the clinical signs. On the other hand, some studies indicate that vaccination does not decrease the intensity or duration of the disease or enhance subsequent immune responses to future infections. The vaccines that are currently available in the United States contain bivalent or trivalent chemically inactivated influenza viruses. Manufacturers recommend an initial vaccination followed by a booster in 3 to 4 weeks. The animal is then revaccinated annually. Unfortunately, the young horse needs more frequent bolstering to maintain adequate protection so it becomes beneficial to revaccinate every 4 to 6 months depending on the potential for reinfection. Antibodies against equine influenza can be found in the colostrum of foaling mares. The half-life of these maternally derived antibodies in the newborn foal is approximately 35 to 40 days. Vaccination trials have been conducted on foals that were born to mares vaccinated approximately 30 days prior to foaling. The conclusion was that maternal antibodies to equine influenza interfered with the foal’s response to the vaccine up to 8 months of age. Foals from mares that had not been vaccinated against equine influenza were able to mount an immune response as young as 2 to 3 months of age. This proved that young foals can respond to inactivated vaccines and that maternal antibodies do interfere with the foal’s response to influenza vaccine. This is not to say that vaccination of the pre-partum mare isn’t recommended but consideration of each situation should be considered. It should be taken into consideration the appropriate time to vaccinate the foal with an influenza vaccine based on pre-partum preventative vaccines given to the mare. It is always recommended that owners consult with their local veterinarian for recommendations and guidance on vaccination protocols. New Year’s Resolution Canine/Feline Weight Loss Program Dr. Craig Sweatt • Dr. Tom Hutchins • Dr. Stacy McLeod 8283 FM 920 • Weatherford, Texas • 817-458-3355 Small Animal •Equine •Livestock •Ambulatory Services Save up to $50.00 Call For Details 53