Is this strangles?
   

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Is this strangles?

This is a discussion on Is this strangles? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Other medical issues that appear to be Strangles
  • Streptococcus zoo horses

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    09-28-2011, 09:23 PM
  #1
Foal
Is this strangles?

About ten days ago the horse I'm leasing had a runny nose (yellowish snot), and three or four days after that developed a ping pong ball-sized lump in her throatlatch. The lump has a crust at the bottom and so appears to be draining slightly. I'm afraid to work her right now because I worry this could be strangles. The owner is not concerned (the runny nose is now gone, the lump could be anything) and doesn't feel it's necessary to call the vet in. It's certainly possible that this is nothing. But I've never seen a horse with a lump like this and it just makes me nervous.

I'm not responsible for vet care and have only been leasing this horse for a month. I'm not sure what to do. Should I offer to pay for the vet to come out and take a look? I'd like to know what it is, just for peace of mind. But I don't want to second guess the owners, who obviously know this horse a lot better than I do. Advice?
     
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    09-28-2011, 09:59 PM
  #2
Foal
Has the horse been vaccinated for strangles?
Are any other horses on the farm showing similar symptoms?
Has the horse had a fever at all?
It certainly does sound alot like strangles or Strep Zoo. If the owner will not get the vet out then you should at least make sure that the drainage is able to continue by keeping the hole clean of pus (warm, wet towel works best for this).
     
    09-28-2011, 10:35 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masquerade    
Has the horse been vaccinated for strangles?
Are any other horses on the farm showing similar symptoms?
Has the horse had a fever at all?
It certainly does sound alot like strangles or Strep Zoo. If the owner will not get the vet out then you should at least make sure that the drainage is able to continue by keeping the hole clean of pus (warm, wet towel works best for this).
I haven't asked about the vaccination yet, but my understanding is that the vaccine for strangles isn't especially reliable. The owners have not taken the horse's temp. I contacted them with my concerns but they didn't think this was anything to worry about. There is currently one other horse at the barn and he is not showing symptoms that I have seen. The horse I lease is boarded at the owner's barn and I am only out there about three days a week. I can clean the drainage hole when I am out there, but I'm worried that this is something that should be attended to every day. I would make time to go out and do this every day, but before I do that I feel like I'd like to know what it is I'm dealing with, especially since medical care of this horse is not my responsibility. Not that I refuse to deal with medical issues--quite the contrary--just that I feel I would be overstepping the limits of the lease if I start administering medical care to a horse that isn't mine. I'm not the owner or a vet so I hesitate to treat something like this on my own.

I'm worried about working with this mare and then spreading the infection elsewhere. This one of my concerns if it is strangles. Apparently you can get it on your hands, boots, clothes and then spread it to other horses you come into contact with once you leave the barn. If it isn't strangles, then I don't have to worry, can ride the horse and go about my business. Right now I'm assuming you shouldn't ride a horse with strangles? I feel like I need to know before I work this mare or potentially spread the infection to other horses.
     
    09-28-2011, 10:39 PM
  #4
Yearling
If it's strangles, yes, you can spread it to other animals by carrying it on your hands,clothes, equipment, cross ties, etc. Basically anything the horse touches can be a carrier. You're right that the vaccination isn't 100% effective; but they do say that the vaccinated horses may get a less severe case of strangles.

And, I agree with you that riding/working a horse with strangles would just delay the healing or cause the horse to really get run down.

The owners seem to be in denial about this!
     
    09-28-2011, 10:42 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladytrails    

The owners seem to be in denial about this!

Or I could be totally wrong and overreacting...?
     
    09-28-2011, 11:11 PM
  #6
Banned
From the description, really sounds like Strangles. Have you taken the horse's temperature? Is he off his feed?
     
    09-29-2011, 08:05 AM
  #7
Weanling
Since you lease the horse for riding only, and he is in a barn that only has one other horse in there so chance of the infection spreading outside of the barn should be minimal, so I think if I was you I would simply take some days off riding and check back in a few days to see if the horse has recovered.
Don't risk carrying the infection to other horses by trying to treat it when the barn owner has said it is fine.

It is very likely the barn owner knows it is in fact strangles, knows it has ruptured and is draining, and for whatever reason has chosen to let it run its own course. While most of us on here will disagree with that, neither you. Or us have any pull when it comes to medical treatment of someone elses animal.

If you are leasing and not responsible for vet care, stick to that, whether good intention or bad, one should never meddle in another horses care without a sound diagnosis by a vet and permission to treat from the owner.

Whatever this horse has (I also believe strangles) his barn owner is aware of and has choosen not to share any information with you other than the horse will be fine. I think you should just leave it at that as attempting to treat something you know nothing about and have been told is fine, will only cause an irritated barn owner.
     
    09-29-2011, 08:28 AM
  #8
Showing
I've had more then my fair share of strangles at my barn over the years. It is messy and potentially dangerous but if it has already ruptured, chances are it will just drain and heal.

Two things that I would be concerned about is how the horse became exposed to it and how/if the BO is going to disinfect the barn.
     
    09-29-2011, 08:30 AM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annnie31    
Since you lease the horse for riding only, and he is in a barn that only has one other horse in there so chance of the infection spreading outside of the barn should be minimal, so I think if I was you I would simply take some days off riding and check back in a few days to see if the horse has recovered.
Don't risk carrying the infection to other horses by trying to treat it when the barn owner has said it is fine.

It is very likely the barn owner knows it is in fact strangles, knows it has ruptured and is draining, and for whatever reason has chosen to let it run its own course. While most of us on here will disagree with that, neither you. Or us have any pull when it comes to medical treatment of someone elses animal.

If you are leasing and not responsible for vet care, stick to that, whether good intention or bad, one should never meddle in another horses care without a sound diagnosis by a vet and permission to treat from the owner.

Whatever this horse has (I also believe strangles) his barn owner is aware of and has choosen not to share any information with you other than the horse will be fine. I think you should just leave it at that as attempting to treat something you know nothing about and have been told is fine, will only cause an irritated barn owner.
I agree. I would not treat the horse in any way or even take its temperature. This is not my horse. But if I am paying to lease a horse and the horse is sick and left untreated, what about my lease? I cannot use the horse, and my understanding is that strangles infection can linger for a long time. It has respiratory ramifications, so I assume riding is not a good idea until the infection has run its course.

I go to another barn one day a week, and now I have to worry about sanitizing/bleaching my boots after I visit my leased horse, even though I have no idea if that's necessary, since strangles has not been verified. It's frustrating for me because I just started leasing this horse and now she is basically off limits to me, and may or may not be shedding a highly infectious disease.

My understanding is that following a strangles infection in your barn you're supposed to sanitize (or even burn/trash) everything the horse came into contact with (brushes, halters, lead ropes, stall, tack, etc.). It sounds like a pretty huge job. But if strangles is never verified, none of this will be done. Doesn't that mean the infection could linger for some length of time and continue to be carried around on my boots and the boots of anyone else interacting with these horses?
     
    09-29-2011, 08:33 AM
  #10
Green Broke
No matter what it is I would stop paying the lease until the horse was recovered from whatever it is. I wouldn't ride a sick horse.
Annnie31 likes this.
     

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