Southern Kern Veterinary Clinic, Inc

4455 W Rosamond Blvd
Rosamond, CA 93560


Equine Screening and Wellness Guidelines

Parasite Control – As some parasites have become resistant to certain common deworming medications, it’s important to move away from routine deworming of every horse to a more targeted approach. Our veterinarians will work with you to make sure your horse is screened for intestinal parasites and dewormed appropriately. This approach will prevent unnecessarily treating horses who don’t need it and will keep the horses that are more prone to parasitism healthier.

  • Foals 3 months to 1 year -- First deworming at about 2-3 months of age, targeting against roundworms. Second deworming just before weaning (approximately 4-6 months of age). Fecal Egg Count should be performed at weaning. Third and fourth treatments at about 9 and 12 months, and treatment should primarily be targeting strongyles.
  • 1-2 years – Still considered “high shedders”. Deworm 2 times per year.
  • Adults – Deworming should be strategic based on results of Fecal Egg Count Reduction Tests (FECRT)

Vaccination: Core Vaccines are recommended for every horse. These vaccines protect against diseases to which any horse may be exposed. Risk-based vaccines protect against diseases where exposure depends on your horse’s housing, location, and lifestyle.


Core Vaccines

  • EEE/WEE/WNV/Tetanus: two-dose primary series (4-6 weeks apart) at 4-6 months of age; booster before next mosquito season at 10-12 months of age
  • Rabies: 2-dose series, with 1st-dose at 4-6 months of age and 2nd-dose at 4-6 weeks after the 1st-dose.  Annual revaccination is recommended.


Core Vaccines

    • Previously vaccinated: Booster 4-6 weeks before foaling due date.
    • Previously unvaccinated/unknown history:
  • WNV
    • Previously vaccinated: Booster 4-6 weeks before foaling due date.
    • Previously unvaccinated/unknown history: Start a 2-dose series immediately; if time allows booster 4-6 weeks before foaling
  • Rabies
    • Previously vaccinated: before breeding or booster 4-6 weeks before foaling
    • Previously unvaccinated/unknown history: before breeding or booster 4-6 weeks before foaling
  • Tetanus
    • Previously vaccinated: booster 4-6 weeks before foaling
    • Previously unvaccinated/unknown history: 2 dose initial series 4-6 weeks apart then booster 4-6 weeks before foaling


Core Vaccines

    • Previously vaccinated: Booster annually in spring (before mosquito season)
  • WNV
    • Previously vaccinated: Booster annually in the spring, before mosquito season.
    • Previously unvaccinated/unknown history: Initial vaccine series of two doses one month apart. Booster annually after.
  • Rabies
    • Previously vaccinated: Booster annually
  • Tetanus
    • Previously vaccinated: Booster annually; if injured or undergoes surgery more than six months after vaccination, administer booster dose
    • Previously unvaccinated/unknown history: two dose primary series administered 4-6 weeks apart; if injured and vaccination status is unknown, veterinarian may choose to administer a tetanus antitoxin dose.

Risk-based – We will work with you to make recommendations for risk-based vaccination depending on your horse’s individual housing, travel, and other risks. Risk based vaccines include:

  • Strangles
  • Equine Influenza
  • Equine Herpes Virus (rhinopneumonitis)
  • Potomac Horse Fever
  • Equine Viral Arteritis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Botulism
  • Anthrax
  • Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE)
  • Rotovirus
  • Snake bite



Foal -- Should be examined by a veterinarian shortly after birth, every few months during the first year to make sure teeth are erupting properly.

Young adult (1-5 years) – Should be checked for sharp points and molar “caps” before entering training and checked every 6 months to prevent alignment problems from developing. May need frequent floating during this stage as permanent teeth erupt and foal teeth are lost.

Adult – Should be examined at least yearly under sedation by a veterinarian and floated as needed.

Older adult (age 17-20) – These horses are most at risk for developing problems leading to periodontal disease. Should be examined yearly with correction as needed.
Senior – Should be examined yearly to check for diseased and/or loose teeth and dental wear that may inhibit proper chewing of feed.

Bloodwork and Screening tests

  • Equine Infectious Anemia “Coggins” test:
    • Change of stable or housing
    • Transfer between states or countries
    • Event entry – races, shows, fairs, etc.
    • Change of ownership including auctions or sales
  • CBC/Chem panel – A CBC (complete blood count) checks for red blood cell health and quantity (anemia) and immune system function. A chemistry panel looks at electrolyte balance and checks the health of various organs such as muscles, liver, and kidneys. We may recommend a CBC/Chem if your horse is ill or has history of illness that needs to be monitored. Sometimes, we will recommend testing apparently healthy horses if they are elderly and we want a baseline to monitor them as they age or if they have come from an unusual environment, such as horses that have been neglected or malnourished.
  • ACTH -- Many senior horses develop PPID (also known as Cushings disease). Your veterinarian may recommend an ACTH test if they suspect your horse could have Cushings disease.