Published Date: 2006-09-18 00:00:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Strangles, equine - UK (Scotland)
Archive Number: 20060918.2656
STRANGLES, EQUINE - UK (SCOTLAND)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Mon 18 Sep 2006
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: TheHorse.com, article 7658 [edited]
British Horse Society Scotland Urges Precautions Against Strangles
Scotland has experienced an alarming increase in the number of
strangles outbreaks this year , and the British Horse Society
(BHS) is urging horse owners and yard managers to take strict
biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of this distressing and
highly contagious disease.
The BHS is also actively lobbying for the status of strangles in
Scotland -- which attacks horses, ponies and donkeys -- to be
adjusted so that outbreaks must be made public.
BHS Scotland Development Officer Helene Mauchlen said 10 percent of
yards in Scotland have been affected by strangles this summer .
She said: "Where yard managers take all the precautions and advice
recommended by vets, and by the Horserace Betting Levy Board, they
can quickly be clear of the disease. Strangles can be very
distressing for the animal and owner. The disease is highly
contagious, so those responsible for equines 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."
BHS Scotland is lobbying the Scottish Parliament to have a strangles
biosecurity code created under the new Animal Health and Welfare Act
2006, which becomes law next month (October 2006). Strangles will be
the main subject of discussion at the next meeting of the Cross Party
Group on Animal Welfare.
The BHS is working closely with the Animal Health Trust on a program
to find a fully effective vaccine for strangles.
Strangles is an infection of the equine lymph glands. The swollen
glands can restrict the airway, 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 appreciate.
While strangles is not currently a notifiable disease, it is strongly
advised that owners and caretakers should act responsibly and inform
other horse owners of any suspected or confirmed cases to help to
prevent further spread of this disease. The incubation period is
usually about a week but may take as long as 2 weeks before any
clinical signs are shown.
In 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.
At the 1st sign of any of the above symptoms, horse owners or
caretakers 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.
Strict 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.
Handlers and caretakers 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 on 08701 299992 or by emailing: <email@example.com>.
[Strangles is not included in OIE's list of notifiable diseases; it
is not zoonotic.
The following data are derived from Mod.TG's commentary in posting
The infectious disease strangles is a caused by the bacterium
_Streptococcus equi_. In horses, the disease causes swollen lymph
nodes and a nasal discharge that may resemble pus. The lymph nodes
may swell and burst, thus spreading more bacteria. The horse may be
lethargic and anorectic.
The disease is spread through objects such as water troughs, feed
buckets, brushes, reins, and other equipment if contaminated with
infected pus. Recovered horses can spread the disease for up to 8 or
10 months even though they can appear clinically healthy and normal.
There are vaccines available for preventing the disease. Most often,
antibiotics are used when horses have the disease. Horses need rest
and should be isolated from other horses if they have the disease. - Mod.AS]