Questions about strangles
   

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Questions about strangles

This is a discussion on Questions about strangles within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How much does it cost to test for strangles
  • How much does it cost for stangles swab

 
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    03-08-2008, 01:54 AM
  #1
Foal
Questions about strangles

There was an outbreak of strangles in the barn where we keep our horse. Although our horse seems immune to the disease, I'm concerned he's a carrier for the disease.

Half the year we live in one state, and half the year we live in another. Soon we will be taking the horse with us to another barn, and are concerned that if he's a carrier, he could infect the other barn as well, even though he did not get any of the symptoms.

The outbreak happened, in mid-January 2008. Can he still be a carrier for it in mid-April? Is there any way to test if he's a carrier? About how much does this cost?

Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
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    03-08-2008, 11:00 AM
  #2
Showing
I don't know much about strangles but a girl I knew had a huge outbreak of strangles years ago in her barn. It was kind of junky place anyways so I'm honestly not surprised that a barn like that one is question had an outbreak. I really don't know if anyone there had a immunization program set up.

Anyways, what I do remember is that they bought goats in the hopes the goats would get the strangles as opposed to the horses?! Not sure how it worked but they had goats go thru the barn and they ended up being the carriers. Sadly those poor goats ended up getting sick (as planned) but it cleaned the property of strangles.A few horses were quaranteened for a few more weeks but it resolved the problem.
     
    03-09-2008, 11:02 AM
  #3
Trained
Your horse can't be a carrier. Strangles(Distemper) is passed from mucas coming from either the nose or the breakout. If you horse is not leaking, or has not stepped in muscas from another horses recently then he can not spread it. If you haven't owned your horse for a long time maybe the old owners have vaccinated him againts it and had given him boosters every year and he has built up so sort of immunity.
     
    03-09-2008, 12:07 PM
  #4
Showing
That is really interesting. Only seen it once at the barn in question. Four horses lost their lives, one of them being a couple months old foal.
     
    03-09-2008, 01:07 PM
  #5
Foal
Strangles isnt a genetic disorder. Its a disease passed through mucus contact. It is also known as an upper respiratory infection. The horse can become a carrier if he's had it before, howver.
     
    03-09-2008, 07:30 PM
  #6
Yearling
Oh my gosh at the mis-information out there on Strangles.

1. Yes, your horse can be a silent carrier of the bacteria which causes Strangles. Horses can carry the bacteria for years and shed it intermittently without showing any symptoms. This is the reason that it was long thought that the bacteria lived for years in the environment---not true, it actually doesn't survive well in the environment. At the most 2 months and that is under optimum conditions in a lab. Survival in the environment under normal conditions is only a matter of a a few weeks at best.

The way to tell if your horse is contageous is to have swabs taken from up in the nose and tested to see if the bacteria is present. That's not a 100% guarantee that your horse isn't a carrier, but it will show if your horse is shedding the bacteria currently. To determine if your horse is a silent carrier you need to have samples taken from the guttural pouch to culture to see if the bacteria is there.

2. Goats can't clear an environment of the bacteria. Sorry, it's not like the go through like little magnets or vaccuums and suck up the bacteria.

3. Vaccination does not produce long-term immunity. Vaccination generally provides limited immunity for 6-12 months. And it generally only causes less severe symptoms of the disease rather than stopping it. Long-term strong immunity occurs in 75% of horses who have recovered from Strangles.

If your horse hasn't shown any symptoms of Strangles and it's been a couple of months then it's highly unlikely that your horse is shedding the bacteria. It is still possible that your horse could be a carrier, but it's also possible that your horse has been exposed previously and has developed a good immunity to the bacteria and thus didn't show any symptoms when exposed this time because his body could handle the bacteria.
     
    03-09-2008, 07:37 PM
  #7
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryle
Oh my gosh at the mis-information out there on Strangles.

1. Yes, your horse can be a silent carrier of the bacteria which causes Strangles. Horses can carry the bacteria for years and shed it intermittently without showing any symptoms. This is the reason that it was long thought that the bacteria lived for years in the environment---not true, it actually doesn't survive well in the environment. At the most 2 months and that is under optimum conditions in a lab. Survival in the environment under normal conditions is only a matter of a a few weeks at best.

The way to tell if your horse is contageous is to have swabs taken from up in the nose and tested to see if the bacteria is present. That's not a 100% guarantee that your horse isn't a carrier, but it will show if your horse is shedding the bacteria currently. To determine if your horse is a silent carrier you need to have samples taken from the guttural pouch to culture to see if the bacteria is there.

2. Goats can't clear an environment of the bacteria. Sorry, it's not like the go through like little magnets or vaccuums and suck up the bacteria.

3. Vaccination does not produce long-term immunity. Vaccination generally provides limited immunity for 6-12 months. And it generally only causes less severe symptoms of the disease rather than stopping it. Long-term strong immunity occurs in 75% of horses who have recovered from Strangles.

If your horse hasn't shown any symptoms of Strangles and it's been a couple of months then it's highly unlikely that your horse is shedding the bacteria. It is still possible that your horse could be a carrier, but it's also possible that your horse has been exposed previously and has developed a good immunity to the bacteria and thus didn't show any symptoms when exposed this time because his body could handle the bacteria.
:roll:
     
    03-09-2008, 07:41 PM
  #8
Yearling
Oh, forgot one other thing. Your horse doesn't have to be showing symptoms to be shedding the bacteria---subclinical (meaning that it's so mild that outward symptoms aren't seen) infections can occur and lead to shedding of the bacteria. And horses that have recovered from Strangles can still shed the bacteria for 3-6 weeks after they stop showing ANY symptoms.
     
    03-09-2008, 08:08 PM
  #9
Showing
My goodness, I didn't realize that there was so much misinformation out there about Strangles... or that could just be because I read up on it a ton when it went through my barn - one horse died unforunately. You have to be VERY careful when it comes to strangles - after it had passed through the barn, I burned all the halters and ropes I had used, and bought new ones - you could also soak in bleach, I just didn't want to risk it. I had to dis-infect just about everything....
     
    03-10-2008, 05:12 PM
  #10
Foal
A horse can be a carrier (S. Equi carrier). We had one at the barn where I have my horses. A new horse was brought in with the virus and 5 more caught it, one of which was a yearling. She ended up getting a bad case and was down for months. We finally got it under control. About 6 months after al symptoms were gone; she was reintroduced into the heard. All the weanlings ended up with strangles within 2 weeks.
Ask your vet, they can do a nasal swab and blood test to confirm if your horse is a carrier. The cost will depend on your vet charges.
Additional Information: http://www.equinescienceupdate.co.uk/strangl2.htm
http://www.horsevet.co.uk/strangles.php - look under complications
     

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