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This is a discussion on Strangles? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • If one horse develops strangles will all horses that were transported get it
  • Does the disease strangles lie dormant in the pastures

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    04-13-2013, 12:47 PM

A new horse at our barn has been recently diagnosed with Strangles. She is in quarantine and all other horses are checked twice daily for temp and so far all seem ok. I don't know much about this disease and was just wondering how serious it is? Can it be cured? How communicable? How it is spread? How it is initially contracted? What are the symptoms?
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    04-13-2013, 12:56 PM
Strangles (Streptococcus equi) - AAEP

It will run its course, there really isn't a 'cure'. If a horse has only outward strangles, then generally nothing except supportive care is needed. If the horse develops internal abscesses, ******* strangles, then the vets will generally prescribe antibiotics. Most vets feel that prescribing antibiotics for the external abscesses type of strangles is counter productive and might actually cause the case to become ******* strangles.

Practicing strict quarantine and scrupulous cleansing is an absolute MUST on a farm with strangles.
    04-13-2013, 01:06 PM
Thank you Dreamcatcher, that was very informative, however, very technical. You must have some sort of veterinary degree to understand it all. From what I gather; vaccination can be more dangerous than the disease itself?? As long as the infected horse is quarantined and all preventative measures of contamination are taken by the barn staff(which they seem to be). I feel confident that the other horses in the barn are not at any high risk. Thank you!!!!
    04-13-2013, 01:20 PM
I know there are pros and cons regarding vaccination but our vet recommends it for the two horses we take trail riding and horse camping. We go to camps with individual corrals so there is a greater risk of disease. We have not had any ill effects with the vaccine.
    04-13-2013, 01:35 PM
I've had some site problems when I used the injectable vaccine, had HUGE blow ups and stiff necks. I switched to the intranasal vaccine and, while it's trickier to administer, I haven't had any problems with site reactions or any other ill effects.

As for strangles in a barn, I'd pretty much count on it running through the entire barn, that's pretty much how every barn I've ever found it in has gone.
    04-13-2013, 01:38 PM
The University of Maine - Cooperative Extension Publications - Bulletin #1009, Facts on Strangles (Streptococcus equi) Infections in Horses

Here's an article that seems to be written in a more "lay friendly" manner.
    04-13-2013, 02:33 PM
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Strangles is spread by 'contact' with the infected horse or something or someone that has been in contact with the mucus or puss drainage or by nose to nose or nose to water tank or feed pen, etc.

If a horse is quarantined away from the other horses, is fed and/or doctored last before the handler is through handling horses, there are still ways it is spread. When the abscesses break, the puss hits the ground and dogs or birds are bad to carry it to another pasture or pen where other horses can contact it. Handlers should step in a pan with Clorox in it when they leave a pasture or pen where horses have strangles. People's feet. Just like dogs feet, can sure carry it around.

It can persist in (and be spread by) some horses long after they are symptom free, but it does not persist in the environment for very long without a live host. We have moved healthy horses into a pasture or pen where we doctored horses with Strangles about a month after sick horses were in it and never had one of them get it.

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