PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota horse owners are reminded to consider routine vaccinations in preparation for spring and summer equine activities. State Veterinarian Dr. Dustin Oedekoven notes that the risk of horses contracting disease can be minimized with a good preventative health plan including vaccinations and practicing sound biosecurity.

Many South Dakotans enjoy traveling with their horses to rodeos, trail riding, and other events. Commingling of horses from many different counties or states at these types of events can lead to disease transmission. Mosquitoes and other biting insects may also contribute to disease spread among horses.

Local veterinarians often serve as reliable sources for information regarding specific vaccination selection, disease control, and biosecurity protocols.

Veterinarians can also assist horse owners in meeting the health requirements for events or interstate travel. A Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, also known as a health certificate or CVI, is required for all horses and other livestock traveling interstate and to public exhibitions within the state. Laboratory testing for specific diseases such as equine infectious anemia (Coggins test) may also be required.

Event managers and organizers are encouraged to promote biosecurity and provide sanitary conditions for animals at events.

Horse owners can help in keeping their animals healthy by avoiding shared use of feed and water buckets with other horse owners. Plan now to ensure your horse remains healthy.

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