Don’t let Stressful Situations Compromise Horse Health

An immune booster can help decrease upper respiratory disease in horses.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

The combination of travel, unfamiliar environments, exposure to other horses, breeding and competing can stress your horses. And often, a stressed horse can become a sick horse - particularly from upper respiratory disease, caused by equine herpesvirus Types 1 (EHV-1) and 4 (EHV-4) - and add stress for you.

Whether you’re planning your trip to the AQHA World Championship Show in November or training sessions and weekend trail rides with friends this fall, your horse’s health could be at risk. These equine activities can involve mingling among many horses with unknown health status, which can cause the spread of equine respiratory disease. That could cost you time and money.

Using an immune booster can help mitigate the effects of equine upper respiratory disease, particularly in these high-risk settings.

Horses traveling to the 2014 AQHA World Championship Show need to be in top condition so they can perform at their best. Make sure you subscribe to The American Quarter Horse Journal to see what those healthy horses accomplish during the World Show. You'll find official results, stories about the competitors and much more.

In cases where exposure to equine respiratory pathogens is possible, using an immunomodulator can help boost your horse’s innate immune system. Typically, an adaptive immune system response takes seven to 14 days to produce antibodies against the infectious agent.1-3 But since an immunomodulator activates an innate immune system response - a response that is rapid, short-lived and non-specific - it helps limit the severity of disease until the adaptive immune system has time to target infectious agents.1-3

ZYLEXIS®, an inactivated (killed) Parapox ovis virus, can help stimulate your horse’s immune response prior to stressful events, aiding in the reduction of equine upper respiratory disease associated with EHV-1 and/or EHV-4 infections. Stressful events for your horse can include shipping, showing, weaning or subsequent respiratory disease episodes. .ZYLEXIS is recommended as a course of three single-dose intramuscular injections on days 0, 2 and 9. The dosing protocol is simple: the first dose should be administered three days prior to shipping, the second dose two days later and the third dose a week later.

Additionally, for the health of your horses, be sure they are current on their vaccinations, whether you are traveling or at home. Vaccines, including WEST-NILE INNOVATOR®, FLUVAC INNOVATOR® and PINNACLE® I.N., are available to help protect your horses against disease. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before starting any vaccination or immunomodulator program.

Have you subscribed to The American Quarter Horse Journal yet? Make sure you do so you don't miss out on any of the official coverage and results from the upcoming AQHA World Show. The Journal is where you'll find stories about the horses, their exhibitors and much, much more.

You can’t always prevent upper respiratory disease from affecting your horses, but you can help support their immune system by administering an immunomodulator before stressful situations that often cause disease. After investing all that time and money preparing for that big event, don’t let your stressed horse become a sick horse.

For more information on ZYLEXIS, contact your veterinarian or visit Learn more about other Zoetis equine products at

1 Mayr A. Development of a non-immunising, paraspecific vaccine from attenuated pox viruses: a new type of vaccine. New Microbiol 2003;26(1);7-12.
2 Weber O, Siegling A, Friebe A, et al. Inactivated parapoxvirus ovis (Orf virus) has antiviral activity against hepatitis B virus and herpes simplex virus. J Gen Virol 2003;84(Pt 7):1843–1852.
3 Friebe A, Siegling A, Friederichs S, et al. Immunomodulatory effects of inactivated parapoxvirus ovis (Orf virus) on human peripheral immune cells: induction of cytokine secretion in monocytes and Th1-like cells. J Virol 2004;78(17):9400–9411.

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