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strangles???? sooo not happy....

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  • strangles???? sooo not happy....

    So I had the vet out today because one of the horses at the barn had some swelling at his throat latch. I noticed it & have been taking his temp since Monday. Never a fever. Absolutely no discharge. Has full appetite, bright, alert. 15 year old who was vaccinated in January for strangles. The horse has private turnout, doesn't share a stall & hasn't gone to a show since February. No other horses on the property show signs (small herd, 11 horses)

    Vet lanced the swelling and found puss so he said he thought it was strangles. Didn't culture it or anything but said he recommended quarantining the barn for 3 weeks.

    I feel like I've failed as a barn owner. Everyone on the property is vaccinated, I never let horses drink out of public troughs at shows. I really trust this vet & he's been great to me, but it just doesn't seem to be adding up. Maybe I'm just looking for reasons for it not to be strangles? Opinions please?

  • #2
    I'd culture the horse. Pus does not always = strangles as the causative agent. Vaccinated horses certainly can get strangles (my understanding is the IM is all but worthless, the IN isn't 100% but better) although vaccinated horses perhaps get less sick and get through it more quickly.

    But there does seem to be a lot of this going around. I just went through it where I board my horses--the whole barn broke out due to lack of quarantine, fun times--and there have been a couple other threads about strangles outbreaks recently. (I'd link, but search is broken. Alas.) If it IS strangles, PLEASE quarantine a full four weeks after the last horse is well.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      absolutely. I'm taking it seriously no matter what. I don't want to be the cause of strangles in my area. Just frustrated & baffled. He was vaccinated with the IN.

      Comment


      • #4
        You didn't fail, it happens. It can come in on the vet's sleeve or the farrier's shoes or any other number of ways. I too would culture.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home

        Comment


        • #5
          I second (or third) the idea of doing a culture.
          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have not heard of strangles without a fever.

            I too would want a culture.

            I had a horse present similarly, and it was not strangles, rather it was a localized infection that posed no threat to the other horses in my care.
            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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            • #7
              Definitely get a culture, as Strangles isn't the only cause of pus.
              Tack Cleaning/All-Things-Tack nut
              ~DQ wanna-be~

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              • #8
                Strangles happens. It has little to do with barn owner or barn management when it shows up. Your vet's conservative approach is excellent to prevent spreading if indeed you have strangles at your barn. Does the horse owner not want to pay for a culture? The horse owner may not, thinking that the horse just has an abcess and is not planning to leave the property in the near future and is otherwise fine. That is reasonable. You, as barn manager, may want a more definitive diagnosis. You might want to pay for a culture on this horse to determine if you have strangles on the property or not. it sounds like the vet is just being conservative, covering his/her butt. The vaccination is not 100%. ETA: As BO, you can always quarantine this horse in particular if the vet suspects strangles and no one wants to pay for a definitive diagnosis.
                Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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                • #9
                  I had a mare that had swelling under throat latch areas/lymph nodes. It eventually opened up and had a little puss. We cultured it and turned out NOT to be strangles. Mare never had fever or went off feed.
                  I would quarantine your horse to keep others safe and definitely get it cultured.
                  Happy Hour-TB
                  Cowboy Casanova - Brandenburg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Another vote for culture.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There is no way to determine that it is or is not strangles without a culture. I would demand one.

                      There is a horse where I board who has persistent lumps like that in her jowl area. They have been cultured, and they have been lanced more than once. They are disgusting and full of pus, but they are not strangles. Horse has no fever, etc., seems to feel fine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm used to thinking of strangles swelling being between the jowls. And maybe that's what you mean. I think of the throat latch area as being behind that. so throat latch area sounds like it could be something else. Weird that he lanced it. Good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mhtokay View Post
                          I'm used to thinking of strangles swelling being between the jowls. And maybe that's what you mean. I think of the throat latch area as being behind that. so throat latch area sounds like it could be something else. Weird that he lanced it. Good luck.
                          My friend had a gelding with strangles (confirmed wtih a culture) and it came out exactly where you are thinking throatlatch. It doesn't always come out under/between the jaw bones.
                          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            On the side of the throatlatch, not underneath. Think like where your throatlatch would hook on your bridle.
                            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That seems like a sub-standard Vet not to culture it. That should be standard procedure, IMO.
                              Jeanie
                              RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                To the OP - did they culture the sample? I would insist on it so that you and the other horse owners know exactly what you are dealing with!

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