Originally Posted by phantomhorse13 View Post
Holy [email protected]
I am so glad to hear that Skippy should recover, but what an ordeal.
Thank you for sharing your experiences. I think so many people wrongly assume strangles only happens in "bad" places or when dealing with low-end sales. Most people would keep quiet about it for fear of gossip versus wanting to educate fellow horse people. If only everyone would have your attitude!
I also think it speaks volumes that you are not blaming your help, but instead educating her.
I had heard all those tales when I was growing up too but I've seen really HIGH END barns get shut down for long periods of time by this disease, so learned that the "bad" places tales were wrong. The last thing one of those barns wants to tell a client that's paying $2 or $3K or more a month is that their horse can't go to anymore shows for ????? who knows how long because they have Strangles. Their bill certainly isn't going to go down, in fact it will probably go up because of all of the extra care the horse will need. I know if I had boarder's horses here, and I was doing all the extra care and cleaning for those horses that I am for mine, the bill would have to reflect the cost of the extra help needed due to Biosecurity demands, extra time, extra bedding, extra supplies, disinfection, back and forth to the vet and having to clean and disinfect my trailer each time, plus all of the vet bills.
There is no need to keep quiet about this, especially when there's something to learn. Like I mentioned earlier, I have never seen a horse as sick as Skippy with Strangles, so I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. As far as gossip, I live in a small town with a large college and everyone pretty much knows everyone else in the horse community. They all know I've locked us down for Strangles and nobody that isn't absolutely necessary is coming on or off the place, people or horses. I have Nolvasan foot baths just at all the exits and entrances to the place, hand disinfectant placed next to the foot baths and anyone who goes in and out of the 'dirty' barn is required to go in the house and shower and change clothes when they're done. That's just not something you keep quiet about, unless you want to infect everyone else's horses and I sure don't want that. The gossips will find something to gossip about anyhow, if they want to try to make something of this trying to keep it quiet only adds fuel to the flames. Too much energy involved for me to bother with all that, you know?
No, I'm not blaming the kid, how could i? There's a lot that I had never seen or heard about with this and she's only 18 and not been responsible for managing large groups of horses. She'd never even heard of Strangles other than as something you vaccinate for. So as I am getting educated by the vets at OSU, I'm bringing her along or I'm repeating the lessons I'm getting when I get home so she can learn too. She's studying to be an Ag Ed teacher, this will give her some good lessons to teach kids when she's got her degree & certificates.
It's unfortunate that the timing had my horses getting sick when I was having to prep for foals to arrive and having to be SO hands on with the mares and their stalls. I'd have loved to have made the 2 pregos the barn help's responsibility and handled the other 8 horses myself, but I couldn't do that and know that I'd be clean if something happened during foaling or right after. So she got the poopy end of the stick on that deal, she's got a serious Thank You present coming at the end of all this, for being such a good sport about all the extra days & hours she's had to work right at the end of the year and during finals week to boot.