Equine Strangles In Horses
|This is a highly infectious disease that causes abscesses to form around the lymph nodes and is caused by the Streptococcus equi bacteria.
How Do Horses Become Infected By Strangles?
- It is when the Lymph node abscess bursts that Strangles is at its most infectious. Any contact with this thick puss discharge will infect another horse.
- Handlers who have had contact with a horse with Strangles are at risk of spreading the bacteria which may be being carried on clothing, boots etc.
- There are some horses who can carry the Strangles bacteria but who show no outward signs themselves.
Very young and very old horses are most at risk from Strangles as both have weaker immune systems.
Signs Of Strangles
- The horse will have a high temperature.
- There will be a thick yellowy nasal discharge.
- The horses lymph glands which are in the jaw area will be swollen due to an abscess forming.
- The horse will lose its appetite and may also have great difficulty in swallowing.
- The horse will be depressed.
- The horse may have difficulty in breathing.
Treatment Of Strangles
- A course of anti-inflammatory drugs are often administered with antibiotics being given in the later stages of the disease, if antibiotics are given too soon the bacteria are often not completely removed and the bacteria return.
- Lancing and regular flushing out of the Lymph nodes can often help to quicken recovery.
- Applying hot packs to the Lymph nodes will encourage the abscess to burst and drain.
- The horse must be put into isolation from all other horses due to the infectious nature of the bacteria.
- It is recommended that one person only manages the treatment and day to day management of the horse to help prevent the bacteria from spreading to other horses.
- All bedding should be
carefully disposed of preferably by burning.
- Feeding utensils must be kept separate.
- Mucking out utensils must be kept separate.
- Feed soft palatable feeds that will be easy to swallow.
- The handler must disinfect themselves, their clothes and boots thoroughly before handling other horses.