This is in NY, in case state laws prevail... is a vet allowed to give strangles test results on a horse to a boarding barn owner if the horse owners have refused to give the results to the barn owner or other boarders?
A horse at my barn came down with strangles symptoms last week and was quarantined in a separate outbuilding, and the test done. The horse owners say that the results have not come in yet. It's been a week now, so this seems shady to me--I thought the test was 4 days at most. I'm guessing that the test is positive and that's why they don't want to share the results.
So right now I'm missing lessons, trail rides with my friends from another barn, and probably a show in a week, because I have to assume that it is strangles until notified otherwise... and the barn owner, who is taking care of the horse, is still having to disinfect and change clothes a gazillion times a day. I obviously don't want it to be strangles, but I would at least rather know what the test results are so I could make decisions accordingly, since something like this can affect my plans for months--not to mention the other dozen boarders who are likewise in limbo.
Meanwhile, the idiot owner of the sick horse keeps coming up to the main barn to use the bathroom or go into the tack room, despite having been told repeatedly that she is not under any circumstances to go there. The legal ramifications if she gets my horse sick and I am obligated to punch her are a whole different matter, I suppose...
So, I know there are normally confidentiality issues, but wouldn't a vet be obligated to tell the property owner if there's a contagious horse on the property if the horse's owners refuse to?
the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one
I use this quote a lot! First of all, the BO should be communicating with all clients about what is going on and removing any speculation, concern, discord, anxiety, etc. First and foremost it is the BO's responsibility to respect the concerns of all the owners. The owner of the horse potentially impacted in your barn would have absolutely no say in how we would manage the situation.
We had the unfortunate experience of managing strangles in our 50+ stall facility in 2005. As SOON as the possiblity of strangles was raised and before confirmed, we went into action treating it as if it was. We spoke with the vets treating the horse (who was at our vet school by then) and got our local vet involved. A email was sent to all boarders with what we knew, what we did not know, and what actions we were taking. We also sent a couple articles about strangles. We voluntarily quanrantined the barn - no one in or out.
Included in this was the RULES for everyone to follow. These rules were adjusted as we managed through this. The rules were not negotiable.
Each horse had their temperature taken 2 x daily as well as very careful observation of behavior, eating, pooping, etc. All was noted on a spreadsheet that hung on a clipboard outside the office door.
Daily updates were sent to the boarders so everyone was in the loop.
We got a couple of the industrial chemical sprayers, the kind you wear on your back, and sanitized every stall, aisle, cross-tie, etc. It was a challenge shifing horses around so their stall could be stripped, sanitized and rebedded within 24 hours.
Then all common areas were sanitized 2x day. All turnout paddocks were sprayed at the end of each day. We designated paddocks as 'clean' - no strangles horse had been in them and then 'dirty' - strangles horse had been in them and then adjusted turnout accordingly and maintained it.
we followed customary rules for preventing contamination.
We managed to keep the impact to less than 15 horses as a result. We were quarnatined for 4 months from start to finish. We did not lift our voluntary quarnatine until 30 days following the last temperature. And we continued the temperature checks for 30 days following that.
The only time I demanded a boarder leave immediately was during this period of time when they refused to follow the rules. Their horse was one impacted yet they thought it was OK to ride the horse in 94 degree heat the day following his temp breaking. Our rules required all impacted horses be restricted to their stalls until 72 hrs following their temp breaking, then to a 'dirty' turnout paddock for 7 more days and then they could return to common areas. She did this twice and we warned her that the third time she would be asked to leave.
Well, the b**** did not like the 'dirty' paddock her horse was assigned and waited for me to leave the property so that she could put her horse in a 'clean' paddock. One of the other boarders call me and I returned to catch the horse in the paddock. My exact words were 'you f***** selfish b****, get you and your horse off our property now.' She was gone 48 hrs later. I also told her if she tried to go to any barn and not disclose where she was coming from, I would do it for her. While I did kick her out, I was not going to let her lie to another barn. Since she didn't have a trailer and the horse community is pretty small, she followed that last rule. A friend with her own barn took her in.
While I respect that most times the owner knows best but there are times when the BO knows best in terms of respecting the needs of the many.
We have a barn in the area that has had strangles but they are taking no precautions, no quarantine and horses are still going in & out. There is a group that is livid wants to get out but they can't find a barn to take them. Not fair to the boarders nor the horses.
I hope you BO takes charge quickly so that if this is strangles that their actions now prevent the impact. good luck.