Horse Society issues advice over Strangles outbreak
British Horse Society has received reports of an outbreak of Strangles
in Cumbria. Cases have been unofficially confirmed in the county.
is an infection of the equine lymph glands. The swollen glands can
restrict the airways, hence the name 'strangles'. It is caused by
the bacterium Streptococcus Equi and is highly infectious and contagious.
The disease is more prevalent and more serious than many horse owners
Strangles is not a notifiable disease, it is strongly advised that
owners and carers should be responsible and inform other horse owners
of any suspected or confirmed cases as a matter of courtesy to help
prevent further spread of this disease. The incubation period is
usually about a week but may take as long as two weeks before any
clinical signs are shown.
BHS acting head of welfare, Helen Owens, added, "Strangles
can be very distressing for the animal and owner. The disease is
highly contagious, and with several indoor shows taking place over
the Christmas break, owners and carers should be extra vigilant
and carry out good hygiene practices to help prevent this disease
from spreading. If owners are concerned about their horses they
should contact their vet immediately".
very mild cases there may only be slight nasal discharge, but in
more severe cases this can extend to swollen glands, coughing, excessive
nasal discharge, raised temperatures, breathing and swallowing difficulties
and abscessed lymph nodes.
the first sign of any of the above symptoms horse owners or carers
should isolate the horse and contact their vet immediately. Any
horse, pony or donkey which the infected animal has been in contact
with should also be isolated and strictly monitored.
hygiene is essential as direct contact with infected horses is the
simplest means of transmitting the disease. Grooming kits, buckets,
water troughs and tack should be cleaned thoroughly and disinfected
daily. These items should not be shared with other animals.
and carers of infected animals should also change clothes, footwear
and ideally shower before handling any uninfected animals to help
reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
Guidelines and advice on Strangles are available from The British
Horse Society Welfare Department (tel: 08701 299 992) or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> .