Strangles...3 week old colt...?????? What to do
Apple Jack (AJ) had an abcess open under his jaw. I had not noticed any swelling, depression, snotty nose at all. I had been gone for the past four days and had someone keeping an eye on the mare and colt while I was gone. The only care they needed was the water tank kept full and a pasture full of grass (which is great).
I had been catching the colt about 4 - 5 times a week and putting a halter on him. He is semi broke to lead, but is still shy about people being around him. During the times that I have had hands on him I did not notice any symtpoms at all.
Last night was the first time I was able to get ahold of the colt and work him in 4 days. I noticed that when I got ahold of him that under his jaw was wet and had an open sore that takes up the full width of the jaw and almost the full length. Then I smelled a fowl smell. He also has a little swelling in the cheeks. I gave him some pen (after calling a vet for advice) and cleaned up the area with water and sprayed some anaseptic spray on it.
I have never come across this problem, but am aware of what Strangles is and can do. What may be the best approach to caring for the colt? How long will it take to heal? The colt is still nursing and appears to be bright eyed and healthy.
How long it takes to heal with depend solely on the colt's own immune system. The best you can do is to keep the area clean and open to drain and ensure that he is still alert, active and eating. Call your vet if you see any changes that worry you.
Also be aware that he can be contageous for 3 weeks or longer after all signs of infection are gone so keep up quaratine procedures for at least that long.
Also, the bacteria can survive in water, so I highly, highly suggest emptying the water source and thoroughly disinfecting it. Remember that after you handle the colt to wash your hands and use disinfectant because if you're not careful you could transmit it to any other horses you handle.
As long as he's eating well and breathing well just make sure that abcess can drain daily. If he starts going off his food and becomes listless or disinterested call the vet right away.
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