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This is a discussion on Strangles within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horses and chicken pox
  • Chicken pox for horses

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    07-30-2010, 02:10 PM

Sorry if this has been posted before, I searched it but didn't really find anything.
Can a horse get strangles again if it already had it?
I was always told that its like the chicken pox, you get it, grow immunity and only a small few ever become susceptible to it again, but lately I've heard several people say a horse can get strangles even if it's already had it.
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    07-30-2010, 02:14 PM
The reason you do not get Chicken Pox again is because your body carries the virus which can lead to a case of Shingles. (Though there are some cases of people getting very mild cases of actual chicken pox again.)

A horse can get strangles more than once. From what I understand the immunity to it only lasts so long after they have had it.
    07-30-2010, 02:23 PM
Thats interesting, I thought shingles had to do with certain people's reaction to stress levels, not the chicken pox virus.

And darn, I was hoping I'd never have to worry about it again.
The barn I board at is under new ownership and I've been told they aren't the most horse experienced and they are getting a lot of new boarders in so I've been concerned about what they are letting in since one of the boarders moved in with ringworm and was put in a conjoining pen with two other horses' pens. I know nothing about ringworm, but I was always told that it was extremely contagious.

My horse has been in a total of 5 new places in her whole 5 years of life so she hasn't been exposed to much. When I first moved her to a boarding facility she got a real lovely cold for the first month.
    07-30-2010, 02:27 PM
Shingles does have something to do with the body being stressed. But it is from the virus. If you have never had the chicken pox you can not get shingles. If you have never had chicken pox you can get them from someone with an out break of shingles.
    07-30-2010, 05:36 PM
Yes, a horse can get strangles again after having it. However, it's not highly likely. About 75% of horses who recover from Strangles develop an immunity that lasts for 5 years or more.
    07-30-2010, 05:41 PM
For what its worth, I caught chicken pox twice. I caught it bad the first time and not so bad the next time. Delightful!

As far as strangles goes, it scares the crap out of me. We had a friend almost lose her horse to it. Under your same circumstances, she kept boarding at a place where they let people come in as they please and never seperated anyone. Hell, they even had shows at their barn. Her horse got '******* strangles' and barely made it back. He has made a full recovery but boy was it tough and expensive.

Strangles is HUGE in my area. We have several barns that no one will even go look at another horse at because they are *known* for being a 'strangles' barn. Its some scary, hiiiiiighly contagious stuff.

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