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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brought home a new mare on tuesday, shes currently in quarantine. She was exposed to strangles first week of february, had a fever and a small absess that drained. She appeared healthy when we picked her up. Yesterday I was clipping her and noticed she has an absess around the area her submandibular lymph nodes would be. It is rock hard and about the size of an egg. Had a friend here that has seen strangles before, and said it doesn't look like typical strangles onset, that the absess looked old. The mare has a normal temp, absolutely no nasal discharge, great appetite. Seems the lump is tender to touch though. I have called the vet, just waiting for a return call, but wanted some opinions from others that have actually dealt with strangles before.
 

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I have never seen strangles but I have a mare that has rock hard nodes on the side of her neck.I was scared when I first noticed them but now she has had them for years and is fine. I do not know what they are - we do not have an equine vet in our area and will not let the local vet near any animal. I know this does not really help but I thought I would tell you.
 

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I have not seen that but just to be on the safe side you are doing the right thing by contacting a vet, even if it turns out to be nothing. Better to be safe than sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea this is definately something the vet is going to have to look at. I've had horses for years and years and luckily I have never seen strangles, so I have nothing to compare to.
I had thought once they get strangles they build up an immunity to it, at least for a few years.
 

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Theres alot of that going around where I live, people are being very careful, I've heard once they've gotten it once, they are immune to it and never get it again. My coach's boyfriend hates the way "Heartland" has sent out strangles as a very very very bad sickness. If handled well its like a common fever. Though.. more.. gross-ish.

They develope those sore like things that are filled with puss and will leak and drip. I've seen it before. Looks SO gross. All I remember doing is keeping them clean, but yes, a vets help will work. :)
 

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We had a few cases of strangles go through the barn a few years ago. It's a complete pain! None of the horses that got it had the same symptoms. Some of them acted funny right away, one never got a temp or was off his feed, one had a lump on the bottom of his throat, one had one way up high, one lump was huge, one lump was small... The only common thing was the pus. I was thinking that once they get it they shouldn't get it again (like chicken pox). The ones that got it were horses that were younger and hadn't really traveled anywhere or been exposed to anything. Glad you put her in quarantine and called the vet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Definately strangles. Talked the the vet this morning, he didnt' come out, but said it sounds suspiciously like strangles. This afternoon I checked on her again and she has a tiny bit of yellowish watery drainage coming form the area. Its not actually broke open yet. I clipped her all the way down and cleaned it up. Then put some hot compresses on it. Her attitude is definately perked up today as well. What I don't understand is why she is getting strangles again when she just had it a month ago. Or maybe she just actually never recovered? Shes in sorry shape to begin with, very thin, so maybe just doens't have the immune response she outta have.

Also, should I be flushing out the absess when it does open up with an iodine or nolvasan solution?
 

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^^That sounds pretty right about her never having gotten over it. Our horses caught it a couple of years ago from a neighbor horse and of the 12 horses we have, only 3 of them actually showed symptoms. Koda took a couple of months to get all the way healed up. Just when I thought he was okay and healed, another lump would appear and break open. I am a thorough believer in letting a horse fight off an infection on their own if they can. I will clean it with cold water but not much else. That gives them a better chance to have a lot of antibodies for the future.
 

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Strangles is extremely contagious. You must wear a smock or other protective clothing when you area treating this patient. The exudate from the abscess is loaded with bacteria, and is easily transported to other horses by contact. Change your clothes including boots, and wash your hands very well after treating your patient. Keep ALL supplies, including grooming, separate. Boil wraps or any cloth used. Make sure you use a separate container for your waste materials. Leave the abscess alone as long as it is draining. Remember, the patient is still contagious for several days after the abcess stops draining.
Stay diligent in your efforts to keep the other horses disease free. It all depends on how you manage your situation from here on in. Good luck.
 

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Brought home a new mare on tuesday, shes currently in quarantine. She was exposed to strangles first week of february, had a fever and a small absess that drained. She appeared healthy when we picked her up. Yesterday I was clipping her and noticed she has an absess around the area her submandibular lymph nodes would be. It is rock hard and about the size of an egg. Had a friend here that has seen strangles before, and said it doesn't look like typical strangles onset, that the absess looked old. The mare has a normal temp, absolutely no nasal discharge, great appetite. Seems the lump is tender to touch though. I have called the vet, just waiting for a return call, but wanted some opinions from others that have actually dealt with strangles before.
Has she been seen by a vet since she was first diagnosed? that's the only new one you've found so far?

Because of the exposure I would get it checked or seen by a vet. Having said that tho, I have seen strangles on a few occasions and I have to agree it doesn't sound like a typical break out. My only concern is not every horse will present with the exact same kind of absess. I really think it would be a good idea to get her another full check by a qualified vet to make sure there isn't something else brewing on her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wanted to update on the mare. Her abcesses drained, closed up and seemed to go away. Then swelled up to about half a golf ball size, drained only a small amount, then closed again.
It has been completely closed up now for about a week. To be honest with you I can't tell if the lymph nodes or normal sized now or not. I have never had any reason to shave a horse's throught all the way down and study it, so have nothing to compare to. The lymph node that had been swollen is only very very slightly larger than the other. There is also a tiny lump about 2 inchs below the right lymph node that looks like a small marble under her skin and it pretty soft.
If nothing else happens I'd like to have a nasophyrangeal (sp?) swap done of her in the next couple weeks to see where we stand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also wanted to ad that she had gained 75-100 pounds since she has been here and she actually looking like a normal horse. And is full of herself!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry to keep reposting, I just wanted to add some pictures. I guess the marble sized lump isn't 2 inches, its closer up under the lymph node. The white spot is where it had drained.
 

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Yes, it's time for a vet exam and some diagnostic testing. It may be strangles, but it may also be something else such as a foreign body that is under the skin and causing a localized infection.

You should be flushing the area daily when it is open both to clean it and to help keep it open until there is no more drainage. And remember that if it is Strangles this horse will be contageous for at least 3 weeks after all symptoms stop and may very well be a silent carrier so it would be good to have her guttural pouches checked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you Ryle. She has not had any diagnostics done, I talked to my vet about it, he did not want to do any and said it was probably strangles due to her history of having it in February.
I had been putting hot compresses on the area 2x a day and washing it well, and the vet also told me to put Icthamol on it. It was only open enough for me to flush it out one morning only. The second time it swelled up, I had the vet out and had wanted him to lance it for me and drain it. He told me just the leave it and that it would drain on its own. To be honest, I just think he doesn't want to deal with it. He also wanted to give her a course of penicillin, but I did not after reading how penicillin can prolong strangles if they already have absesses developed and could cause ******* strangles. Am I wrong?
I wanted to call a different vet out weeks ago, but my fiance wanted me to just wait it out. I think its PAST time I call and find someone that will actually do something for me, our usual vet is obvously not interested in helping me out on this. I don't want this poor mare in quarantine the rest of the summer if possible!
Any other advice is appreciated. I will keep updated on things when I get someone else out here to look at her.
 

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I would call a different vet out because it sounds like your vet just doesn't want to deal with it. Strangles should not drag on in a single horse for 2 months.

Putting her on penicillin can slow the maturation of abcesses so isn't recommended once the abcesses have started forming but not ruptured. But it doesn't cause ******* strangles to give penicillin and might be a good idea in a horse that has had a long-running infection. By this point her immune system has got to be pretty strained. I wouldn't just start her on it though. Get another vet out..one that just does horses if possible...and get some diagnostics run so that you KNOW what you are dealing with.
 
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