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Vitality Vetcare

Phone: 02 6687 0675
4a Ballina Rd Bangalow
NSW 2479 Australia

Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine

There is no separation between conventional and natural therapies.

Our priority is what is going to be of the most benefit to your animal.

Voluntary Wildlife Care

Voluntary Wildlife Care

Pro-bono treatment of Australian wildlife

We collaborate with local wildlife groups to provide excellent care of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife

Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine

We use Western and Chinese herbal medicines for a wide range of acute and chronic problems including skin, digestive, nervous and painful conditions.

Vitality Vetcare Homeopathy

Vitality Vetcare Homeopathy

Homeopathy can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of acute and long-term problems for a particular animal or group of animals.


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Time to vaccinate your horse against Hendra virus

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in Vitality Vetcare Latest News and Events

Keep your horses and family safe

Time to vaccinate your horse against Hendra virus

Horses can become infected with Hendra virus at any time of year but there can be a peak in cases in late winter and spring. Now is a good time to have your horses vaccinated to ensure you and your horses are protected against Hendra virus.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries states:

"Vaccination is the single most effective way of reducing the risk of Hendra virus infection in horses. Human infection and death have occurred following high-level exposure to body fluids from an infected horse. Vaccinating horses is an important measure to prevent this occurring and provides a public health and workplace health and safety benefit.

The vaccine has been released under special conditions and only veterinarians who have completed an online training module managed by the manufacturer will be accredited to order and administer the vaccine."

Vaccination is the most effective way to reduce the risk of Hendra virus infection in horses and people in contact with horses.

Hendra virus causes a potentially fatal disease that can be spread from horses to humans. There are no known treatments for Hendra virus. Flying foxes are the natural host for Hendra virus. Horses may become infected with Hendra virus if they are in contact with flying fox urine, faeces or body fluids. Humans can become infected with Hendra virus from close contact with the body fluids, especially nasal secretions and saliva, of an infected horse. Horses can shed Hendra virus from their nose and mouth days before showing signs of illness. This is why we have a policy that horses must be vaccinated before we will perform dental procedures.

Any healthy horse can be vaccinated against Hendra virus from 4 months of age. The initial course is 2 vaccines 3-6 weeks apart then a 3rd vaccine 6 months later. Booster vaccinations every 6 months are required to keep your horse certified as having up to date vaccination against Hendra virus. The manufacturers of the Hendra virus vaccine have applied to the Australian Pesticides and  Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) for the interval between booster vaccinations to be increased from 6 to 12 months. The Hendra vaccine is now approved for use in pregnant mares. Please read the Australian Veterinary Association's article in the Hendra vaccine for more information.

The Hendra vaccine regarded by veterinarians as safe and highly effective. If you are concerned about potential adverse vaccine reactions please speak with Dr Megan Kearney about this. She can give you advice on the use of herbal and homeopathic medicines in horses that are being vaccinated for Hendra virus.

Vitality Vetcare's policy on Hendra virus is that we recommend vaccination for horses against Hendra virus in order to protect horses and humans from this potentially fatal disease. Vitality Vetcare veterinarians will make a risk assessment on all horse consultations and may be forced to provide a limited service to unvaccinated horses if there is a risk of Hendra virus infection. Vitality Vetcare is legally required to assess risk and ensure the health and safety of all team members, people handling the horse and members of the public. Three vets in Queensland face prosecution by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland over their management of Hendra cases.

Any case of a sick horse that is unvaccinated will be presumed to be potentially infected with Hendra virus unless it can be excluded as a differential diagnosis.

The consequences of this are that all people in close contact with that horse, any of it's body fluids and equipment used with that horse will be required to wear full personal protective equipment and the NSW Department of Primary Industries will be notified. Veterinary care of a horse in which Hendra virus cannot be excluded may be limited on the basis of human health and safety until laboratory tests confirm or exclude Hendra virus infection.

Opening Hours

10am - 6pm Tue - Thur

Consultations by appointment only. A late appointment may be available on Thursday evenings

Late cancellation fees may apply


Emergencies: please call your referring general practice vet or

North Coast Emergency Vets, Ballina 0424 054 056 weekends & PH

Animal Emergency Service, Carrara, Gold Coast 07 5559 1599


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