What horses are at risk for contracting Strangles?

American Association of Equine Practitioners

Any age horse can be affected, but it is the very young and the very old who usually suffer the worst. Young horses may not have yet developed sufficient immunity through natural exposure in their short lives, while the immune system of the geriatric horse may be less functional due to age-related decline. It takes about 3-14 days for the disease to incubate once the horse has been exposed until he shows clinical signs of infection. Not all infected horses develop obvious symptoms of disease yet these asymptomatic individuals may serve as carriers and shed the organism through their respiratory secretions and saliva and spread it to other susceptible horses.

Strangles is a highly contagious disease, particularly in conditions of stress. This includes situations where horses are housed in crowded areas, or with poor hygiene, or with inadequate nutrition. Transmission occurs via direct contact with nasal secretions or saliva. Flies also spread the disease, as do contaminated feed buckets, rakes, human hands and clothing. The organism can survive in the environment for a couple of months, particularly if shielded from the sun inside of dark barns or within the soil. Once established on a property, another outbreak may occur on that farm a year or two later. The infection keeps cycling through horses to the environment and back to horses to become a persistent and frustrating management issue.

Once a horse has been infected with strangles, it is possible for him to continue to shed the organism through nasal secretions for months. Most horses stop shedding within about 6 weeks, but the potential exists for a previously sick horse to carry the infection to others despite appearing to be fully recovered. Nasopharyngeal swabs of suspected carriers or of previously infected horses can help identify those that may be shedding S. equi organisms yet are not exhibiting clinical signs. In one study, the average period of shedding from carriers was 9.2 months, with one horse shedding for as long as 42 months. Sixty-eight percent of horses continued to shed for at least four weeks following resolution of clinical signs. Seventy-five percent of horses infected by strangles develop a long-lived immunity once they recover from the disease.

Reprinted with permission from the American Association of Equine Practioners www.myhorsematters.com
2004-2012 Horse Tack Review

 Horse Tack Reviews
 Submit Your Own Review!
 Search Review Database
 All Reader Reviews
 Staff Reviews
 Submit a Product for Review

 English Tack Reviews
 Dressage Saddles
 Jumping Saddles
 Close Contact Saddles
 All Purpose Saddles
 English Saddle Fittings/Pads
 English Bridles
 English Bridle Accessories
 English Show Apparel
 English Casual Apparel
 English Chaps/Boots/Helmets
 English Miscellaneous

 Western Tack Reviews
 Barrel Saddles
 Reining Saddles
 Roping Saddles
 Show Saddles
 Trail Saddles
 Western Saddle Fittings/Pads
 Western Bridles
 Western Bridle Accessories
 Western Show Apparel
 Western Casual Apparel
 Western Chaps/Boots/Hats
 Western Miscellaneous

 Horse Gear Reviews
 Horse Boots and Wraps
 Horse Health and Well Being
 Horse Apparel
 Horse Treats
 Horse Miscellaneous

 Barn & Stable Reviews
 Fly Control
 Grooming Equipment
 Stable Accessories
 Tack Room
 Training Equipment
 Barn and Stable Misc

 Barn and Stable Articles
 English Articles
 Feature and Misc Articles
 Grooming Articles
 Horse Care & Health Articles
 Horse Related Gift Articles
 News and Events
 Training Articles
 Western Articles

 Other Features
 About Us / Contact Information
 Articles & Subjects By Date
 Article Archives
 Join Our Mailing List
 Privacy Policy