strangles - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-18-2008, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2008
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so two of the horses at our barn came down with strangles and it's been major quarantining, disinfecting, daily visits from the vet, etc.

Just curious, has anyone else had to deal with this? how quickly were your horses ridable and not contagious again? All i hear is "when the drainage site closes". Ryle? :) any info would be fantastic!
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-18-2008, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: United States
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we had a case of strangles break out at our barn and it took a bout 1 month to get our 4 horses non contagois. You do want to watch for bastered strangles with means it has reaced theirlungs
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-18-2008, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Northern Illinois
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My barn came down with strangles earlier this year, but there was no quarantining or disinfecting or vet visits, unfortunately (not to worry, I'm leaving). Very unprepared and poor management of the bacteria. This, in itself, caused the infectious period to last for a very long time, because once one horse got it, the entire barn had to get it, plus more horses were brought in, which kept it alive and well on the property. Anywho, with our poorly managed bought of strangles in our 20 horse barn, it lasted about 3 months, until new horses didn't come down with it once they entered the property.

Also, horse_r_life, ******* strangles is not the infection of the lungs. My horse was the only horse in the barn to get ******* strangles , and almost died from it :(, and it took an extra two months of penicillin injections everyday and broad spectrum antibiotic powder to save her. ******* strangles is actually the spread of the bacteria to lymph nodes that are in the rest of the body, and not only in the throatlatch/chin/face area. My horse had a lymph node that abcessed in her gut, that the vet estimated was larger than a soccer ball, when it was normally quarter-sized.

It was a terrible experience, and I hope you're barn does a better job at keeping the horses well. You'll probably be out of it within a month, without complications.

ETA - What you heard is partially correct. If the wounds under the chin have healed and are no longer dripping pus, AND the nose is dry and no longer runny, then the horse is for the most part! no longer contagious. Unfortunately, they will continue to shed bacteria for a time after the obvious fluid has dried up. In most cases, they'll shed the bacteria for about 4-6 weeks after the wounds have healed and the nose stops dripping, but it's been known in some herds for the bacteria to shed for up to a year. It really is a toss up. Also, the horses will probably be fine to ride once the wounds are healed and the nose stops dripping and they've begun to eat normally again. HOWEVER, if they start acting unusual again, i.e. going off their feed, not drinking water, fatigued, then CALL YOUR VET. The sooner you discover ******* strangles or any other complications, the better the chances are that your horse will survive them.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-18-2008, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: East Texas
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Strangles can take days to weeks to clear up symptoms depending on how severe, however even after all symptoms disappear horses should be kept quarantined for a minimum of 3 weeks more. This is because bacteria shedding can continue for 3 -6 weeks commonly after recovery from Strangles. Strict quarantine should be maintained for all of this period and the biggest factor in preventing further spread of the disease.

Horses who have been exposed to strangles should not be vaccinated during an outbreak or even for months afterwards due to the increased risk of severe adverse reaction to the vaccine. Horses who have recovered from Strangles should not be vaccinated for at least a year after recovery due to the increased risk of severe adverse reaction to the vaccine.

Here are links to some really good articles for you:

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-18-2008, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Thanks for the info! One of the horses that I ride is one of the 'sick' horses in quarantine. Last Wednesday he came out of the paddock with a giant lump by his jaw. No temperature, lots of energy, interested in food, no snotty nose, etc. He shows literally no sign of being sick other then this huge lump which is still rock hard 6 days later! The vet said he can't lance it until it softens. Did you guys get your horses lump lanced? How long did it take for it to be soft enough?
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