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Routine Health Care


Why should I vaccinate?

Vaccination is the best possible protection from diseases and prevention is always better than a cure.

What should I vaccinate for?

  • Tetanus
  • Strangles
  • Equine Herpes Virus



Tetanus is a bacterial infection of Clostridium tetani to which horses are the most susceptable animal along with goats and sheep. Puncture wounds are the most common route of infection and because clinical signs are not seen for 10 to 60 days the small wound may be healed which makes it difficult for owner to assess if a tetanus antitoxin was required. Most cases of tetans are fatal.


Tetanus Antitoxin (TAT)

Tetanus antitoxin is used in emergencies for un-vaccinated or unknown vaccination history. An un-vaccinated horse would require a TAT at time of castration, in the event of an injury or a foot abscess.

This is not a vaccination but will provided immediate protection for up to 3 weeks. We can vaccinate at the same time as using a TAT to provided protection for the next 3-5 years.



Strangles is a highly contagious bacterial diseas caused by Streptococcus equi sub. equi. It spreads rapidly via aerosol ( nose to nose contact) and fomites ( brushes, feed bins and tack). It is an important disease to vaccinate against for horses out and about with others as carriers can infect other horses for up to one month after clinical signs have disappeared. If you are out Hunting, Trekking or Competing you should be vaccinating for strangles.


Equine Herpes Virus (EHV)

This vaccination aids in the prevention of respiratory disease in young horses and prevention of abortion in pregnant mares.

The pregnant mare requires vaccination during the 5th, 7th and 9th month of pregnancy. For more information about this vaccination please contact the clinic.


Vaccination for Tetanus and Strangles

The initial vaccination program consits of three doses of strangles 2 weeks apart  and two doses of tetanus 4 weeks apart. This should begin at 12 weeks of age. Once the initial program is complete the horse will require an annual booster.



Faecal Egg Counts (FEC)

A Faecal egg conut is an estimation of the worm burden that the horse is carrying. It involves counting the number of worm eggs per gram of faeces.

Why should we do a FEC?

The ultimate aim for drenching/worming is to use as little drench as possible but obtain maximum worm control. With a FEC we aim to monitor the worm burden and only drench when required. This decreases the chances of ‘resistant’ worms, decreases the amount of drugs your horse ingests when not required and also saves you money.

How do I order a Faecal Egg Count?

All you need to do is drop us a sample.It is important to get a fresh sample so the eggs are still viable. A sample from the same day is ideal. We need at least 2 large tablespoons of faeces in a non leak container. Keep the sample cool by placing it in the fridge until you get it to the vets. If you have multiple horses please collect the samples separatley and name the individual samples. Containers are available at the counter.

A FEC should be repeated every 3 to 6 months depending on your results.



Blood Testing

Some of the soils in the Western Bay of Plenty area can be poor in their ability to hold essential nutrients and minerals. As a result, many of our grazing animals can be deficient in Trace elements such as Copper, Magnesium, Selenium, Calcium and Cobalt (B12). Many horse clients supply these trace elements through supplements such as hard feeds, licks, and feed additives, however it is difficult to know if the correct amounts are being adequately absorbed by your horse. The easiest way to tell for sure is through blood testing.


The veterinarian draws a small amount from blood from the neck vein, using a small sterile needle and sterile tube. The blood is sent to the veterinary laboratory and results are usually returned to the veterinarian with 2 working days. From their we can discuss the best approach to increase or reduce the level of trace element supplementing. Remember too much of something can be just as harmful and too little. It’s best to check.




Whether you prefer your horse to be sedated or not, clipped or not, we can implant the NZTR approved microchip with minimal fuss. The site is sterilised, and a small amount of local anaesthetic applied before placing the device (smaller than  a grain of rice) into the neck. Lifetime identification.



Freeze Branding

Te Puke Veterinary Centre have the equipment, experience and even their own brand cypher to brand your Thoroughbred horses. Following a injection of mild sedation and powerful pain relief, we shave the shoulders, sterilise the site and apply the freeze branding directly to the shoulder. No pain, no drama.

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About Us

Local farmers, associated rural communities and Te Puke town people have supported Te Puke Vet Centre for over 50 years. During those years scores of receptionists, nurses and vets have lived and enjoyed the benefits of this great town and area. It is very important for Te Puke Vets that we are strongly integrated with the local community and as part of that we are proud to support many local schools, sports clubs, service organisations and community events.

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