In 2004, your veterinarian's truck might be stocked with a new combination vaccine--protection against West Nile virus (WNV) has been folded into routinely used three-way and four-way vaccines. The new combinations, manufactured by Fort Dodge Animal Health (FDAH) in Overland Park, Kan., will be available for shipment to veterinarians the week of Jan. 12, 2004.

The vaccines will combine their WNV killed virus vaccine, West Nile Innovator, with protection against Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan encephalitis (EEE, WEE, and VEE), and tetanus, and the following combinations will be available:

  • West Nile Innovator + EWT (EEE, WEE, and Tetanus)
  • West Nile Innovator + EW
  • West Nile Innovator + VEWT (VEE added)
  • West Nile Innovator + VEW

According to Rocky Bigbie, DVM, MS, director of Field Veterinary Services at FDAH, the company has been taking pre-orders from veterinarians.

The United States is free of VEE, but occasionally there are flare-ups in Mexico. So, while veterinarians and horse owners in many areas do not vaccinate against VEE, a combination is being offered for veterinarians in the Southwest that wish to offer VEE protection if they perceive their clients’ horses are at a higher risk.

The vaccines are made with the same MetaStim adjuvant (which boosts the horse's immune response) used in the West Nile Innovator vaccine, and do not require reconstitution. They will be sold exclusively to veterinarians in packages of five 10-dose containers.

If the horse will be vaccinated against the encephalitides twice a year, one prominent recommendation is to use the WNV + EWT combination, and then a WNV + EW booster for the second vaccine, since horses only need to receive tetanus protection once a year.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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