Hendra Vaccination for Horses

Hendra Virus – Why Vaccinate Your Horse

What all Horse Owners ought to Know about Hendra Virus and Vaccination

What is Hendra?

Hendra Virus is a zoonotic disease which means it can be transmitted from horses to humans during close contact with an infected horse.

Although it is a rare disease, the death rate related to infection is very high – about 50% in humans and more than 70% in horses.

The natural host for the Hendra Virus is the flying fox (Fruit Bat) and bats carrying Hendra Virus have been identified in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory and most recently – South Australia.

Hendra virus is transmitted from bats to horses and there is also a risk of horse to horse transmission and of course from horse to human.

As vets this gives cause for concern here in Victoria because we know that many horses travel extensively to compete in interstate events, thereby potentially increasing the risk of contracting the disease. Horses are also bought and sold across borders so we’re not as protected from the disease as we’d like to think.

Until recently, no vaccine against Hendra was available so we were all left with no options to safeguard ourselves and our horses against this deadly disease.Hendra Vaccination for Horses

Thankfully however, a vaccine for the Hendra Virus was released in November 2012.

This has come as a great relief to all us veterinarians who are regularly called out to treat sick horses with symptoms not unlike what you’d expect from a Hendra infection.

As such, we’d prefer the peace of mind and we’re sure you would also, that we are able to treat your horse without concern about the risk to our own health or yours.Hendra

Vaccine For Horses

We do not want to be in a position where we would refuse a visit to your sick horse that is showing Hendra like symptoms so please take up this opportunity to vaccinate your horse now. In addition the advice from the Australian Veterinary Association lawyers is that because a vaccine is now available, if a person catches Hendra from your horse, insurance policies will not protect you from a lawsuit.

Apart from treating sick animals, our responsibility as veterinarians is to keep you informed about diseases and help prevent against them wherever and however possible. We are particularly responsible for informing you of diseases that can risk human life so please take this issue seriously.

With this in mind, advising all our equine clients about the availability of the Hendra Vaccine will become a standard part of every equine consultation.

Naturally not all horses will be at equal risk and we are particularly concentrating on competition horses and others which have travel or will be traveling interstate on an occasional or regular basis.

Vaccination Protocol Summary

Unlike other equine vaccinations the Hendra Vaccine is available only via special permit to vets who have undergone the necessary accreditation.

This means:

  • You cannot buy the vaccine and vaccinate your horse yourself.
  • To receive the vaccine, your horse must also be Microchipped so proof of vaccination can be entered into a central database

Vaccination Schedule

Initial vaccination plus a booster vaccination in exactly 3 weeks time
Vaccination at 6 monthly intervals according to current research data. In the future this may become 12 months.

For the latest updates on Horse Health issues including Hendra visit Health for Horses


Vaccines supporting worthy cause

It’s always a good feeling when something we do at one end of the world makes a small difference to people and animal’s lives at another.

By choosing our range of Dog Vaccines you’re helping save the lives of companion dogs and children in the Serengeti region of Africa.

For more information on how this happens click here.

Are yearly Vaccinations for dogs necessary?

As most of our clients would know, we’ve been offering the new 3 Year C3 Vaccine for dogs for almost a year now.

We offered this vaccine as a choice to our clients as it has been used in the U.S for some time now and became available in Australia last year. Many of you have opted for this new vaccine in response to increasing concerns about side effects of annual vaccinations.

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association endorsed the use of the triennial vaccine way back in 2007 but it seems that we in Australia have been slow to adopt this new vaccine protocol.

From our perspective, it’s all about allowing you (the pet owner) to make an infomed decision. If these vaccines are available and endorsed then of course we will offer you this choice.

This very issue has featured in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald this month.

Check out the article here.

What Vaccines do Cats need?

Much of the attention lately has been focused on vaccinations for dogs, especially with the introduction of the new 3 Year C3 Vaccine.

Let’s not forget about the cat. Cats need to be protected from Feline infectious diseases too – espcially the core diseases: Feline Rhinotracheitis, Feline Calicivirus (these make up what is commonly called “Cat Flu”) and Feline Enteritis.

These illnesses can be contracted without the need for contact with infected cats so are particularly important. The vaccine effective against these 3 diseases is called a F3 Vaccination which is given yearly.

If your cat is an indoor and outdoor cat – we also recommend vaccination against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus – commonly called “Feline Aids” or FIV.

This disease is most commonly contracted through fighting with an infected cat.

The initial course of three FIV Vaccines are given 2 – 4 weeks apart, then updated with a single FIV Vaccine each year.

Feline aids is dangerous to cats only. It cannot be transmitted to humans.

So while cats demands on your time and pocket are oftem much less than dogs, please don’t forget the important preventative care.

New Vaccine Protocol for Puppies

2 Vaccine Protocol is now available for puppies?

Up until a short while ago all puppies needed a course of 3 Vaccinations at the following ages:

  • 1st Vaccination – 6 – 8 weeks of age (DHP)
  • 2nd Vaccination – 10 – 12 weeks of age (DHP and Canine Cough)
  • 3rd Vaccination – 16 – 18 weeks of age (DHP and Canine Cough)

Then yearly after that.

(DHP) – stands for Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus

NOW AVAILABLE:- The 2 Vaccine Protocol – using the NEW DOI Vaccines

  • 1st Vaccination – 6 – 8 weeks (DHP)
  • 2nd Vaccination – 12 weeks (DHP and Canine Cough – intranasal)

Then Yearly after that

This means not only less trips to the vet (you save money) plus your pup can get out and about sooner with full protection.

Ask us today about the new DOI (Delay of immunity) Vaccines available.