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Discussion Starter #1
Just found out 2 horses at the barn where I keep willow have been diagnosed with strangles. I had heard of it, but never knew much about it. I was just reading through an article on it and it said it can be FATAL? I'm kinda freaking out now, as it's very contagious and if my horse gets it and gets sick, I am 2 hours away, and plus I couldn't live without her! Has anyone delt with this before? What do I do? I can't see her til Sunday.. :cry::cry::cry::-x:-x:-x:evil::evil::evil:
 

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I have had several horses get strangles and yes, it is possible for it to be fatal. However, with the level of medical care that our horses have available to them now, it is not a common thing. Most horses that contract strangles are able to fight off the infection themselves. If your horse doesn't get vaccinated for distemper (strangles) or has never had it before, it is likely that they will either get it or become a carrier. This is something that is fixable, so don't get yourself too worried about it. However, many horse owners have their horses vaccinated for it every year, I don't know if you do or not. Just keep an eye on her for signs of illness. If she does show signs, have the vet check her over but don't worry. It is not commonly fatal.
 

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highly contagious, YES. Miserable, YES. Pain in the ***, Yess. Fatal, usually not.

Honey had it when I bought her. Had to quarantine her, give her injections, and drain her entire jaw area EVERY DAY!

I had to lance the walnut to softball(there were lots of them) sized abcesses a few times a day and drain the contents into a bucket(about a half cup to a pint would come out each time).

She could not eat for a few days and had me really worried when she seemed to have trouble breathing(hence the name "strangles"), I had to use a cooking baster to force her to drink... You could not see her jawline, her jowls were swollen...
happy honey.JPG

During healing, you can see the funny angular look to her jaw? That was an abcess I had just drained, I had to bribe her to eat with carrots, though she was only lipping them even at this point. You can see the swelling, her face had no distinction of any bony processes....

sierrapics 121.JPG

This was the day before she started showing symptoms.

It was miserable.

My advice is to move your horse ASAP, until the whole facility is sanitized and all the horses in residence given the all clear.
OR (if you cannot move her)
Clean anything the infected horses could have come in contact with with a strong bleach solution. Get your horse vetted if it has not had its distemper shot. Make sure the sick animals are quarntined away from your horse. Do not turn your horse out in any paddocks recently used by the infected animals.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh, thanks a lot. After I read that paragraph I felt like I got punched in the stomach. Do you think that if I got her vaccinated now, before she shows any symptoms, that it would prevent her from getting it?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
highly contagious, YES. Miserable, YES. Pain in the ***, Yess. Fatal, usually not.

Honey had it when I bought her. Had to quarantine her, give her injections, and drain her entire jaw area EVERY DAY!

I had to lance the walnut to softball(there were lots of them) sized abcesses a few times a day and drain the contents into a bucket(about a half cup to a pint would come out each time).

She could not eat for a few days and had me really worried when she seemed to have trouble breathing(hence the name "strangles"), I had to use a cooking baster to force her to drink... You could not see her jawline, her jowls were swollen...
View attachment 20018

During healing, you can see the funny angular look to her jaw? That was an abcess I had just drained, I had to bribe her to eat with carrots, though she was only lipping them even at this point. You can see the swelling, her face had no distinction of any bony processes....

View attachment 20019

This was the day before she started showing symptoms.

It was miserable.

My advice is to move your horse ASAP, until the whole facility is sanitized and all the horses in residence given the all clear. Get your horse vetted also. Clean anything the infected horses could have come in contact with with a strong bleach solution.
OMG, your poor girl! DO you think it is likely that another barn would take her in, after knowing that she has come into contact with an infected horse?
 

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Don't panic, please. Mine had a really bad case, as smrobs said some cases are not so severe, some cases can fight it themselves... Just get her checked and hopefully she wi=on't have been exposed to it.

They should have no problem if she has been given the all clear.

But also don't go spending unnecessary dough if it is being properly cared for by the barn staff and other owners.

Maybe, if anything, just look for temporary pasture boarding if you do decide to move her until it clears up...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Don't panic. They should have no problem if she has been given the all clear.

But also don't go spending unnecessary dough if it is being properly cared for by the barn staff and other owners.

Maybe, if anything, just look for temporary pasture boarding if you do decide to move her until it clears up...
Ok, maybe for Christmas I'll ask for a vet check for my horse, lol. I doubt the stable is taking care of it properly.:-| Frankly I've been quite fed up with their laziness. I'm going to beg and plead my parents to let me move her until this is all cleared up.
 

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I highly doubt that another boarding facility would take her because she is coming from an infected barn and the fact is, if there are 2 horses in the same barn that are showing symptoms, then she has already been exposed. I don't know if being vaccinated at this point would help or not, that would be something to ask your vet. Right now, it is likely that she will either get it or not. It depends on her past experience, if she has had it before, it lessens her chance for getting it again. It also depends on her immunities, some horses who have never had it or been vaccinated can be exposed and never get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yea, thats what I was thinking. Well, maybe if she gets it (praying she doesn't) than I can stay home from school to take care of her. :) And maybe my parents will realize what a crap hole this barn has turned into and let me move her closer to home. Thanks for the help guys, I'm feeling a lot better now.
 

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Dynamite,
I have to agree with smrobs on this. Now that two horses at this barn have already had the signs ...moving her probably wouldn't go over well...
My horse Tiny is a strangles survivor. He is not a carrier. He was soooooo sick. He had it when he was a very little one and the poor guy was sick for a long long while. Rushed to the University vet clinic and almost dead. My dad and the vets nursed him back to health, but the poor little guy never got to grow up with the other foals...running and playing in the pasture. He was isolated and alone. Poor guy.
He is 8 yrs old now and very much alive and full of himself at that!

keeping everything sanitized and be mindful while your at the barn not to touch anyone else. Never can hurt to call the vet and ask them what other things you might want to do. A phone call is free and sometimes it helps our head to relax a bit!
Hope all goes well....
Halfpass
 

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As everyone has said, it's not common for Strangles to be fatal. So, don't get too worried about it at this point. Just ensure that the boarding facility is quarantining the sick horses and monitoring temperatures on horses daily so that they can immediately quarantine any others that are sick.

Sick horses should be quarantined for a minimum of 3 weeks after all signs of illness have passed as they can continue to shed the bacteria that long.

And moving a horse from a barn that has Strangles in it is really irresponsible. It is very possible for a horse to be infected and have such a slight case of the illness that he's not outwardly sick but is still shedding the bacteria. Once a barn has a case of Strangles, the whole facility should really be considered "quarantined" with no horses in or out.
 

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see Could my new horse have brought in Strangles? - Page 2 - Horse Forums (HGS)
Strangles Management and Prevention

by: Nancy S. Loving, DVM
November 01 2007, Article # 10688

New strategies for management and prevention.
It is not uncommon for strangles infections to recur on a farm, and until recent years there have been misconceptions about how this disease is maintained in a population of horses. These days scientists understand the phenomenon and can better explain it. We now know a farm that has experienced an outbreak of strangles, caused by Streptococcus equi sppbacteria, might have an ongoing problem, not because the bacteria remain in the environment, but because they persist within the horse, specifically within the guttural pouches or sinuses. Even though a horse might appear to have recovered, he remains an avenue to transmit disease to others by harboring the bacteria within his guttural pouches.
In the interest of eradicating strangles infection from endemic farms (those on which the disease is recurrent) and from the horse population at large, researchers have suggested new strategies to manage horses and facilities to reduce risk of an outbreak. They've also described ways to eliminate the bacteria from carrier horses.
Disease Opportunity
Josie Traub-Dargatz, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, professor of equine medicine and epidemiology at Colorado State University's veterinary school, has been instrumental in developing prevention and recognition programs to protect the equine industry from contagious diseases. Aligning with this focus, she is part of the study group that has been making industry recommendations on equine strangles control.
Traub-Dargatz explains that a horse might be exposed to the causative S. equi bacteria either by the nasal or oral route. Nose-to-nose contact and shared water supplies are efficient means of transmission. She suggests paying close attention to the use of shared water sources, since S. equi is easily transmitted through contaminated water.
Rob Holland, DVM, PhD, a private practitioner and an equine field veterinarian for Pfizer Animal Health, is working with the American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) Infectious Disease Task Force to formulate the most-up-to-date strategies for equine immunization, and he has extensive experience with the dynamics of strangles transmission. Holland concurs, "This disease is often spread through oral contact, such as in water, on bits, or lip chains and twitches. Studies have shown that S. equi obtained through the oral route goes right to the tonsillar region quickly."
Traub-Dargatz adds, "Even a water hose that has been contaminated with the bacteria--because the hose was touched by people with the bacteria on their hands or the end of the hose was dropped into the bucket of an infected horse--can serve as a source of infection. When the hose is dunked into a bucket as it fills, it then inoculates the water with infectious bacteria."
She stresses that while these bacteria survive most efficiently in the horse, in the environment S. equi bacteria persist more effectively in water as compared to soil--the bacteria can survive for three to four weeks in water tanks contaminated by discharges. Although solar radiation and normal soil bacteria play a role in killing off S. equi, how effective they are in killing the bacteria is variable, depending on the surface and the weather conditions, as well as the dose of bacteria present.

CAUTION: BACTERIA SPREADING! 1. A hose can carry bacteria from one bucket to another when you dunk the end in each bucket to fill.
2. S. equi can survive for three to four weeks in water in tanks contaminated by discharges.
3. Bacteria shielded in pus can live longer than if just contained in a drop of clear watery fluid from the horse's nose.
4. In wintertime, pus and contaminated discharges that freeze can persist to infect others when the ground thaws.
5. S. equi lives three days in the soil, seven days on a fence post, and 30-40 days in a water trough.
6. At events, if possible, it is best to leave your horse by your trailer rather than using shared stalls that might be contaminated.
7. Water buckets should not be shared at horse shows.
8. Some horses that continue to shed S. equi past 30 days might clear infections on their own, but it is possible for a horse to shed for weeks, months, or years.
9. Ask owners of visiting or new resident horses about the strangles status of these horses and consider screening for shedding, especially if there is a history of strangles.
10. Contaminated pastures should be empty for at least a month.
11. Water tanks should be cleaned/disinfected daily during an outbreak.
12. When possible, assign specific personnel to handle only the sick animals. Clean hands thoroughly after handling each horse. 13. Work with sick animals last if you are handling healthy and sick horses. 13. Supply disposable coveralls and foot covers or rubber boots that are to be worn only when in contact with sick horses, and arrange for specific changing areas for putting on protective clothing.--Nancy S. Loving, DVM
"It can persist for days in the environment, but not likely for months," she says. "If bacteria are shielded in pus, then there is potential for longer persistence than if it is just contained in a drop of clear watery fluid from the horse's nose."
but there's much more in the thread at the other forum. Had to shorten the post here.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone. I talked to the BM this morning, pretty near all 56 horses (including 4 weanlings and 2 yearlings!) have come into contact with the germs at one point, so they are NOT quarantining them and just letting it run its course.:evil: There's pretty near nothing I can do about it but complain, so I'll just do whatever and try to heal willow the best I can. Oh, and 2 other horses in her paddock came up with it yesterday. Every Christmas, exam, and march break has to be ruined by something!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
One last question: other than cleaning her up every day, is there anything else I should be doing? Can being out in the cold make it any worse?
 

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Thanks everyone. I talked to the BM this morning, pretty near all 56 horses (including 4 weanlings and 2 yearlings!) have come into contact with the germs at one point, so they are NOT quarantining them and just letting it run its course.:evil: There's pretty near nothing I can do about it but complain, so I'll just do whatever and try to heal willow the best I can. Oh, and 2 other horses in her paddock came up with it yesterday. Every Christmas, exam, and march break has to be ruined by something!


First off...moving your horse knowing that it has been exposed to Strangles would be very irresponsible, and no reputable stable would accept a boarder knowing the risks...I know I wouldn't!

Also the yearling and 2 year olds getting it, isn't a surprise to me, as it is the younger horses, and senior horses that will generally get it first due to lack of exposure (youngsters), and weaker immune systems (seniors).

Also unfortunately when you're running a large facility like the one you described, it is sadly inevitable that most of the horses will be exposed to the virus at some point, in one way shape or form.
That being said....the BO and BM and ALL the boarders/owners/visiters should do everything possible to limit the spread. But sometimes it is not possible to quarantine a lot of horses. So like the BM said, you just have to let it run its course. Take the precautions necessary to limit the spread as much as possible yes, but larger facilities tend to get a full blown outbreak, due to the amount of horses and people coming and going, and being handled. And the lack of available space to spereate infected horses.

Also, ensure that YOU are not touching or visiting any other horses while Strangles is evident in your boarding barn...you don't need to be infection any other facilities.
When we know that a barn has a virus going around, whether it be strangles, rhino or the like....we DO NOT allow any visitors on our farm that have visited these facilities, its for the safety of our horses, and peace of mind of our boarders.

I'm sure your horse will be fine, and it will run its course. Just take the proper precautions to limit the spread. And he should be fine outside...just make sure he is warm, has adequate water, shelter.
 
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