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Discussion Starter #1
Unfortunately the barn my horses are at got strangles. No idea where from, spread like crazy. Of my three one showed no signs, one typical abscesses and one is scaring me. Continuous vet care from day one.

Previously always healthy 3 year old. Presented first as nasal discharge. Gave a herbal immune booster in feed for the first two weeks with no effect. Progressed over three weeks to a cough and lack of appetite

Developed a very minor under chin abscess. Drained and healed. Lost of appetite, sluggish, massive weight loss. Vet hesitant to use antibiotics due to ******* strangles risk. Supplementing extra iron and B vitamins and probiotics at vets request. Top quality hay free choice in a smallish pen with beet pulp, grain, oil twice a day

Still very thin, not eating properly, discharge and cough. Week 6 finally put him on a strong course of antibiotics(excenel), the potential benefits outweighed the risks

No significant change. Tried bute to see if it would encourage eating(sore throat) to no avail. Weight hovering at very thin. Still discharge and cough. Tried various different foods, but he's not that interested in any. Started blanketing because he can't properly maintain body temp at this weight. Vet suggested intramuscular b and iron injection to help with anemia from prolonged upper respiratory infection.

We're at 8 weeks. Vet doesn't know what to suggest. Still coughing, nasal discharge and sore throat. He's blanketed, with 24/7 hay, water, shelter. On a vitamin supplement and probiotics daily, grain and beet pulp 2x a day.

Any suggestions? I've basically been told to just wait and see if anything changes. At this point I'm very worried about losing him.
 

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When indicated, such as in severe weight loss and sometimes difficulty in breathing, antibiotics are indicated to be used with strangles. If you do, the course has to be for several weeks, or there is the risk of ******* strangles. Use of antibiotics does not cause it, but in some cases, of b'''d strangles,where antibiotics were used, the antibiotics were not used long enough
Did he just have a short course of excenel ?


From the horsecom

'If you’re treating with antibiotics, you probably want to continue at least until the fibrinogen is down into the normal range,” and any evidence of infection in the guttural pouches is gone, she says.

Buchanan agrees, saying the concern with discontinuing antibiotics too soon is not having killed all the bacteria


http://www.thehorse.com/articles/34919/strangles-dispelling-the-myths
 

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Has your vet scoped and flushed your horses? We hand a round with strangles a couple of years ago, every horse on the place had to be flushed & cultured until clear to be sure there were no carriers. One horse ended up in ICU for close to a month, had a tracheotomy and IV antibiotics and DMSO. He had ended up with abscesses in his throat and couldn't breathe or swallow. Vet school told me the standard of care was to culture until they cultured clean. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My vet referred me to a major vet clinic where he was scoped, ultrasound, blood tests and examined. No abscesses or guttural pouch infection. Turns out he has a badly inflamed larynx. Vet has no idea why. Have him on a new antibiotic for at least two weeks, an anti inflammatory spray, and banamine 2x a day.
 

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I have a friend who's horse ended up w/ Bstrd strangles. The barn manager tried to treat the horse w/out involving a vet because her show barn would have been shut down. The horse ended up w/ a hole in his esophagus. I had never seen anything like it food would actually come out of the hole when he ate. He was a young one too. Maybe three at the time. He ended up being fine but there is still a healed hole there and he roars really loud when he's exercising but he is healthy and happy... I know it has to be a pretty scary situation but I think your vet was being very careful. Sounds like you are in good hands especially now that you've seen a specialist.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the replies. It's more than 2 weeks after the last appointment. He's eating much better and has gained some weight. His attitude is good.

However the horrible cough is still there and he has nasal discharge on and off. We decided to keep going with the antibiotics, once a week hemostam(iron + B) injection, probiotics, and an involved 3 x day feeding schedule. At the end of next week we need to reevaluate.

This is 3 months in. I'm worried he will backside when he comes off the antibiotics. I bought a bottle of omega alpha immune plus, because why not? Worth a try. If anyone else has experienced something similar, or has anymore ideas, please let me know.
 

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Has he had his lungs scoped? Could be fungal/bacterial infection or a foreign body there. That would be where I'd look with continued nasal discharge and cough.
 

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If the vet is sure there's no infection, maybe he'd feel good about giving daily dexamthasone injections to cut the inflammation? Probably would want to keep him on antibiotics to cover while his immuse system is suppressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
"Has he had his lungs scoped? Could be fungal/bacterial infection "

He was scoped once. The two courses of antibiotics should have tackled a bacterial infection I would think.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As an update, he comes off antibiotics tomorrow. He's eating lots still and has continued gaining weight. He started coughing a bit more last week. Tried 4 days of bute(recommended by the vet to reduce inflammation. Still coughing. Vet assures me that a cough will likely hang on for a while yet. I can't help but feel that it might be a bigger issue.

Trying a herbal route too. Just finished a bottle of omega alpha immune plus(double dose) trying omega alpha respi-free now just in case the issue is lung related as well. Applying anti inflammatory salve and dmso to his throat externally.

Still on probiotics and as much food as he will eat..

I'm just so frustrated. The vet doesn't even know what to tell me. She's never seen this. My regular vet is at a loss too. Where do I go now?
 

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What labwork has been done? Has your vet swabbed and tested the nasal discharge to see if it is a strep infection? Have tests been run for the common upper respiratory viruses? (Could be a combination of infectious issues.) Has a full oral exam and head x-rays been performed? Has your horse had his guttural pouches scoped?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
He has been fully examined and scoped. Guttural pouches are clean. Blood work and swabs done. Just strep. Neither vet felt a head xray was necessary.

On the plus side I've seen a bit of an improvement the last few days. Virtually no nasal discharge, and less coughing. His appetite is huge right now and he has continued to gain weight, and we are now 5 days off antibiotics. So here's hoping he's on the upswing.
 

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Sometimes the irritation in the respiratory tract takes some time, and may need extra help, to subside. How does your dr feel about some dexamethasone injections to calm down the inflammation? It took my stallion quite a while before he was himself again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
About 2 weeks after I took him off antibiotics with vet approval(last wednessday) he started coughing and stopped eating very suddenly. My one vet is on holiday. At my local vets recommendation we put him on a course of naquasone. It's done tomorrow. Hes able to eat some now, but coughing like crazy. I have a specialist appointment Monday to rescope.

I strongly suspect an abscess.
 

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Glad he is picking up.

We had a Strangles outbreak at the riding school many moons ago. Most were fine but several contracted it including a Welsh pony that had been used as a stud. The owner of this pony was insistent that he was stabled and boy, was he sick. He stopped eating and drinking and we could see he didn't want to live.
One of the owners, a very wise woman, told me to take him out to the Downs and turn him out with the other infected animals, she would deal with the owner.
I led him out, a 15 minute walk took me over an hour with him coughing and staggering. I turned him out with the others and thought I would find him dead in the morning.

Not at all, although gelded he was still a bit 'studish' and had cut out the mares and was busy keeping them for himself.

Some take sickness harder than others.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I put him down today. Turned out to be a case of throat cancer, in my 3 year old baby. Very expensive to operate on and a super poor prognosis.
 

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Oh no @BlueSpark, I'm so sorry to hear that. Did they say if that was extremely rare in a horse? I know we all tend to second guess ourselves in times of sadness but I think you absolutely did the right thing. I think it would very hard for a horse to come through throat surgery and then be able to keep them eating enough during the healing process to keep them healthy.
 
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