What are Equine Strangles and how can they be prevented?
Equine Strangles can be fatal and highly contagious in horses and other equids. It is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus. It causes lymph node swelling and abscessation in the neck and head regions. Strangles, which can be fatal to horses of all ages, is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases. It is more common in young horses.
Signs and symptoms of Equine Strangles
Signs and symptoms of strangles may vary depending on the stage. Horses may develop a fever in the beginning stages. They might also appear off-color. Horses may have loss of appetite, runny nose, and possibly a fever in the early stages. The disease progresses and the lymph nodes in their neck and head begin to swell. They may burst eventually, releasing pus. This can lead to difficulty breathing and a pronounced droopy neck and head.
How are Equine Strangles Spreaded?
Strangles can be spread by direct contact with infected horses or via contact with contaminated items like tack, brushes or water buckets. Even horses who don’t come in direct contact with infected horses can become ill. Strangles is more common in horses who are kept in close quarters such as in racing stables, boarding facilities or show barns.
How are Equine Strangles treated?
Strangles are a complicated disease that can only be treated by a veterinarian. To stop the spread of the disease, the first step is to isolate infected horses. Horses suffering from strangles might need to be fed via a nasogastric tube in order to stop them from inhaling pus from their abscesses. Horses with severe abscesses may need pain relief or antibiotics to clear them.
How can Equine Strangles Be Prevented
Strangles cannot be prevented. There is no cure. This includes avoiding horses coming in contact with infected horses, as well as disinfecting anything that might have been in contact with them. It is also essential to quarantine all horses who come onto your property and to closely monitor for signs of illness.
FAQ 1: How long does a horse take to show signs of strangles following exposure to the disease?
Strangles usually take between 3-14 days to incubate, but it can last up to 21 days. The horse may be infected for up to several weeks before showing signs of illness.
FAQ 2: Can horses strangle humans?
Strangles is not a disease that can spread from horses to people. Humans can transmit strangles to horses. It is important to be careful when handling horses and to clean your hands after coming in contact with horses suffering from the disease.
FAQ 3: My horse was vaccinated against strangles. Does that mean he can’t get the disease?
Strangles vaccines are not 100% effective. The vaccines available can reduce the severity of the disease and help horses recover faster. Horses that have been vaccinated can still be strangled.