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If there is anyone that can talk about hot horses on a hack, it is me.  My horse Shandy was a complete nightmare on hacks.  He would attem...

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Facts You Need To Know About Strangles!

Strangles is a terrible spreadable illness that horses can get.  It can cause multiple health problems and it easily spread to other horses meaning a horse who has been diagnosed should be quarantined from all other horses.  Here are some facts on the matter.  

What is the cause of Strangles in horses? 

Strangles is caused by a bacteria called  Streptococcus equi subspecies equi or strep equi.  It causes high temperatures, flu-like symptoms and more.   
Strangles is not airborne, there must some kind of contact like horses touching, sharing tack, sharing water or food buckets, the rider's clothing or hands and other animals.  Other animals like dogs do not develop the illness but if they touch one horse who has strangles then touch another horse they will spread the disease.   

What are the symptoms of Strangles? 

Symptoms of strangles can vary from hardly any to severe.  There are a few tell tale signs of the illness and some that can often be mistaken for other things.  The main symptoms of strangles are the following.   

  • Depression  

  • Loss in appetite  

  • Difficulty eating  

  • High temperature  

  • Cough  

  • Nasal Discharge  

  • Flu-like symptoms  

  • Swollen Glands in the throat area  

  • Ruptured glands in the throat area that cause a big abscess  

  • Breathing Problems  

Sometimes a horse will only show small symptoms that look more like the usual cold.  Care should be taken if your horse shows one or more signs above.  Check the temperature of the horse and if you are concerned then phone your vet.   

How is Strangles treated? 

 Your vet will first take some tests for strangles.  These include a swab test taken from the throat of abscess and a blood test.  A blood test in highly recommended and you should ask for all of your horses to get a blood test.  This is because a horse will take up to two weeks to show signs after getting the illness.   
A horse can also be a carrier and will not get the illness but will pass it on.  The horse will need  rest, lot of care and anti-inflammatories.   

How to Care For a Horse Who Has Strangles? 

Lots of care should be taken when your horse has strangles.  It should be quarantined immediately and they should be a routine on keeping the illness contained.  Disinfectant foot baths should be placed around the yard, owners touching a horse who has strangles should disinfect hands and change clothes and bootsisolate the horse, do not allow the horse to go into the fieldtell everyone before they enter the yard, do not take your horse anywhere and once your horse has the all clear, wait an extra week or two to be safe.   
Once every horse on the yard has tested negative you should disinfect everything at the yard.  Wash all tack, rugs, stables and anywhere else that a horse will come in contact with.   
Next, wash every piece of your clothing on a hot wash to get rid of any bacteria.   

If you are ever, at all concerned about your horse phone your vet as soon as you can.  It is better to test and get a negative result than to not test a horse who has strangles.  If your yard does have strangles then you should take every precaution possible to ensure it is not spread further.  


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