Strangles.

MurphysMinder

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Have just found out that a loan mare some friends have taken has apparently come from a yard which has strangles. She came to them 3 weeks ago, and for 24 hours was in a field next to 2 of our ponies. They were separated by about a 5 metre wide strip. Should I be concerned about my 2 and watching for symptoms or are they past the incubation period? I'm trying hard not to panic here!
 

Tia

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No you are not past the incubation period. Many people say it is 1 month incubation but that is incorrect, strep can live longer than this which is why the quarantine period is generally 60 days.

Providing your ponies have not touched anything that this horse has touched then the chance of contracting strangles is a very small risk. It is a contact condition and although once again some people think that it is airborne, I think the chances of this are negligible.

If it were me, I'd leave everything the same but perhaps move the fence a little further away so that they definitely can't touch each other for the next 3 months.
 

MurphysMinder

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Thanks for that Tia. At the time mine were grazing next to this mare they were away from home whilst my field was rested. The mare was put in the next door field on the Friday and I moved mine home on the Saturday, and as I said no direct contact so hopefully I'm okay. They are back with an older pony with Cushings who I guess would be most vulnerable which was my main concern. Whats really annoying is that apparently the stud this mare came from knew they had a problem but have only just told my friends.
 

Tia

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Well the stud is totally out of order for not previously mentioning this to your friend. She, and you, will now have to keep your horses away from others along with taking extra precautions for the next couple of months because of their negligence. I'd be a bit peeved to be honest; when it happens and no-one has any knowledge of it, then it is purely an accident and something which everyone just deals with, but to knowingly let a horse leave when there is the risk it could have strangles is, in my opinion, very wrong.
 

Tia

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One thing I noticed though; I've dealt with strangles twice in my life and in both instances, none of the older horses contracted it. You may have noticed my posts in the past about strangles, if not then just to let you know that 75% of all horses who contract strangles develop immunity to it (often lifelong immunity), which is why often the older ones show absolutely no signs of it; the thinking being that they may have had it when they were younger.

Best of luck - don't worry about it though; even if your ponies get it, rarely are there any bad effects if you just leave it to run its course and don't interfere with penicillin and suchlike.
 

MurphysMinder

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Yeh, if its true they knew its a bit much isn't it. Well my lot won't be going anywhere so thats ok. But friends daughter has her horse at livery at university with her and presumably may not be able to bring him back at Christmas which is a shame.
 

BB2008

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I agree a horse should not have been sold at least without warning that it could have strangles, however, i also think that sometimes people fear strangles more than they need. unfortunately my horse contracted strangles two years ago from his yard. Don't get me wrong it was absolutely awful! I hated seeing him so unwell and so ill, and worked really hard looking after him. However, the rumours that went around not about me, but about the yards in the area and how they handled it were just awful and really damaging to the yards, and think were fuelled by fear of the unknown. this just made the problems worse as local yards would hide or not talk about if strangles were on their yard out of fear of these rumours which made it even worse. sounds similar with this yard. If people just are upfront about strangles and handle it properly it really is ok. My horse came through it, returned to full health and unfortunately I had to sell him but it taught me a lot about strangles!!
 

MurphysMinder

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I think you are right there, people should be honest , would save a lot of problems. I have just had a pm from someone asking if the stud in question was"x", as they had heard rumours they had strangles and were hushing it up! Well yes it was x, and perhaps if they had told people from the start it would have saved a lot of worry.
 
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