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Strangles?

This is a discussion on Strangles? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How is strangles caught
  • Strangles how its caught

 
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    09-21-2010, 07:03 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tealamutt    
How is your horse housed? Is she boarded? If so, it is probably too late to avoid spreading it to other horses but extreme care must be taken now that the abscess has opened. She should be fed last and if possible only handled by one person who uses a foot bath and does not handle any other horses after her.

Strangles is extremely contagious, especially once the abscesses open up. As far as how she got it, if there is a history of it on the farm any of the horses could be asymptomatic carriers.

For prevention, there is a vaccine but it isn't extremely effective. It does reduce the risk and vaccinated horses who come down with Strangles often have only a mild case of the disease. There are a lot of risks associated with the vaccine and so it should be a case by case decision whether or not to give it. I would DEFINITELY call your vet back and ask how he/she thinks you should manage your mare to avoid infecting any other horses (since your vet will be familiar with the layout of the barn, etc. they will be able to come up with a good quarantine plan).

Antibiotics are generally not given to treat Strangles unless the horse is extremely ill. Once the abscess closes over she should start feeling better but will be contagious for up to a month and will always have the possibility of becoming a carrier horse.
She's boarded but I'm still not sure how she would have caught it. There hasn't been any horses that have strangles in the past few months.


Quote:
Originally Posted by corinowalk    
If the vet seriously considers it to be strangles, I am a bit puzzled as to why he hasn't come to take a look and to quarantine! Strangles can run a muck through a stable. It is generally just a nasty infection that spreads like wildfire...usually leaving your horse off work for quite some time. It rarely kills but if left unchecked, it can become dangerous. Do you board? If so you better tell your BO that your horse may have strangles. They need to be seperated!
He hasn't come out yet(coming tomorrow)because I called him yesterday just before he closed up for the night and he was out of the office today.

My BO doesn't think its strangles. She doesn't have any other symptoms besides the lumps.
     
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    09-21-2010, 11:00 PM
  #12
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRoughrider21    
She's boarded but I'm still not sure how she would have caught it. There hasn't been any horses that have strangles in the past few months.





My BO doesn't think its strangles. She doesn't have any other symptoms besides the lumps.

There are what are called "inapparent carriers" meaning that they don't have symptoms and can carry the bacteria for YEARS, spreading it to other horses without being sick themselves. The only way to diagnose these animals is to do scoping and/or swabs on their guttural pouches. Often you will find chondroids or pus rocks within the pouches.

If your BO doesn't think it is strangles, perhaps she needs to be educated. Big abscessed retropharyngeal lymph nodes (the ones right behind/under the jaw) that split open and ooze pus are pretty much always strangles. I suppose a cat could have jumped up and bitten her there, causing an abscess but other than that it is strangles with about 95% certainty.

Even if she doesn't want to admit that it is Strangles, this is a very classic presentation of the disease so there is no reason to not take every precaution and treat it as if it is. Although it has been several days now so if precautions weren't taken it will be possible that it has already been spread about. The most critical horses at the boarding barn to worry about would be foals, young horses, and mares in foal. Like someone else mentioned, there is some immunity built up to Streptococcus Equi (the causative bacterium) so hopefully you have a bunch of horses out there that have been previously exposed and have some degree of immunity built up.

I strongly suggest you speak with your veterinarian so that they can give you the facts on Strangles- how it presents, how it spreads, and how horses can become inapparent carriers.
     

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