Tetanus is contracted when a wound is infected with tetanus spores from the soil or the environment. It affects the neurological system causing stimulation and muscle spasms. Tetanus is very difficult and expensive to treat and has a high mortality rate. Prevention is by vaccination. Two initial vaccinations are given 2 to 4 weeks apart, followed by a 12 month booster and then every 1 to 3 years for the rest of their life.
Unvaccinated horses that have a wound should be given a dose of the Tetanus Anti-toxin as well as the vaccine to prevent the disease developing.
Strangles is a highly contagious respiratory tract disease. It is contracted via direct contact with infected horses, or contact with contaminated objects. It is often seen in younger horses that have not previously been exposed or vaccinated. Vaccinations can begin from 3 months of age and an initial course of 3 vaccinations 2 weeks apart is recommended followed by annual boosters.
For information on Hendra vaccination, see our specific Hendra page