Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Strangles: Serious, But Not Often Fatal - Full Article

by: Emmy Widman, Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
January 30 2009, Article # 13546

Due to its contagious nature, outbreaks of the bacterial disease strangles, which can cause serious complications, periodically occur. This can send owners scrambling to protect their horses.

Owners are justifiably concerned because strangles is transmitted easily, and can be a drawn-out and unpleasant illness. The good news is that most horses recover from it.

"Strangles is a fairly common disease for horses," said Kathy Seino, DVM, PhD, a Washington State University assistant professor of equine medicine. "There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and phobia about it, even though it is a disease that has been around for about 800 years. The first case was reported in 1251.

"It is important that owners know the majority of horses that get strangles become clinically affected, but recover without any veterinary attention," she said. "People fear it though because once you get it in a barn full of horses, strangles spreads easily and causes a lot of clinical sickness. So it is a big pain to manage, and often people don't know how to treat and control it."


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