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Pfizer Animal Health Introduces New Potomac Horse Fever Vaccine

Horse Health Press Release

New York, NY — A new Potomac Horse Fever vaccine is now available from Pfizer Animal Health. PHF-Gard™ is derived from the first Potomac Fever vaccine approved by the USDA and has been proven safe and effective in multiple laboratory and field tests.

“This new vaccine provides a real alternative for horse owners who are concerned about the potentially devastating effects of Potomac Horse Fever,” said Dr. Jay Donecker, VMD, MS, DABVP (equine), Equine Technical Services veterinarian at Pfizer Animal Health. “With the introduction of PHF-Gard, veterinarians are armed with an extremely safe tool, which has been proven in blinded control challenge studies to prevent this disease.”

Potomac Horse Fever is an acute disease caused by bacteria called Ehrlichia risticii. Fresh water snails and biting insects, as well as small animals, are all suspects in the spread of the disease, which often requires nine to twelve days of incubation before symptoms appear. Depression and a transient high fever are among the first signs of infection. After seven to ten days, owners may notice a loss of appetite, colic, toxemia, diarrhea and even laminitis.

In many cases, the animal’s stool is loose and profuse and dehydration may result. Edema of the legs, abdomen and head indicate poor circulation caused by the disease, as well as a protein imbalance. Mares infected with Potomac Horse Fever may abort pregnancies late in gestation.

“The significant damage caused by this disease makes it a real threat to the health of horses,” notes Dr. Donecker. “PHF-Gard, as part of a complete, veterinarian-designed immunization and preventive health care program, can help ensure continued wellness for all horses, whether used for trail riding or in the highest levels of competition.”

PHF-Gard is supplied to veterinarians in convenient ten-dose vials. Each dose is in a small, one milliliter amount and is administered via an intramuscular injection to healthy horses one year of age and older. The vaccine uses an established antigen purification system to produce an immunogenic response. Annual revaccination is recommended.

For more information on Pfizer Animal Health’s complete line of equine health care products, visit Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines, for humans and animals, and many of the world’s best known consumer products.