Strangles outbreak in a barn I go to.

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by George Spear, Jul 18, 2012.

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    George Spear Member

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    Hey a barn I go to to shoe at has a number of cases of strangles. One horse has died. The vet running the show says if I got there as the last stop of the day and do a strict bio-security decontamination upon leaving all will be OK.

    Anyone have thoughts on dealing with this. My understanding is that strangles is not as communicable as some other diseases but still very contagious.
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    George Spear Member

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    How the heck do you decontaminate an apron?
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    Karen Fletcher Active Member

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    Hi. It can be pretty bad cross contaminating . It could be carried on your shoes, clothes, tools, even your hair. How bout where your hands touch in your truck.

    If it was me, I would buy a tub of Virkon, and carry it in a spray bottle. It's not expensive, but it kills everything and is recommended for barns (and chicken coops)
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    David Van Hook Member

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    Bleach George, Bleach everything. IF you can, I'd try to make that my last stop of the week. Otherwise, you will spread it. I've only had two experiences with strangles (once was the bastard strangles as they were called) and I never saw a horse die from them but it's a rough malady.

    What we did was the owner got me a gallon of bleach and I took a full change of clothes. Only trimmed the horse (so I just didn't wear an apron)and every tool got completely soaked in bleach after use. I just dropped them in the bucket then went and changed clothes and washed any exposed skin before getting back in the truck.

    I don't know if that was too extreme or not but, I didn't spread it to any other horses.

    Hope that helps
    David
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    jack mac Guest

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    Why were theses horses at this barn not vaccinated against strangles in the first place ?. Some horses are carriers of Streptococcus; never get sick or show any signs of sickness.
    Combined Intramuscular strangles & tetanus vaccines are readily available & inexpensive. There is no excuse not to have your horses vaccinated.
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    Rick Burten Professional farrier

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    I simply don't go to a barn where there is a strangles outbreak until the veterinarian(s) give the OK for normal commerce to resume.
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    jack mac Guest

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    If its leather methylated spirit. Soak it in to it then let it dry. Do it out in the open and not near any naked flame or anything that could generate a spark.
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    ray steele Administrator

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    George,

    my suggestion would be that unless it is some kind of dire emergency,


    wait.... until the all clear is given.

    we all know of horses that have gone off schedule for one reason or anotherand my guess is that if it is a competent owner they won't be going anywhere anyways.

    regards

    ray Steele
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    Marc Jerram FdSc AWCF www.thefarrier.co.uk

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    100% agree with you rick
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    david a hall Moderator

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    We have a bit around us at the min, the big riding school up the road from me caught it from the farrier!!! he took his daughters pony in to the yard with it, £20000 later the yard owner isnt to pleased.
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    david a hall Moderator

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    Jack you gone all health and safety on me?
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    brian robertson Active Member

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    I would pass, until the "all clear" is given by their Vet.

    . You may or may not be the cause of spredding it BUT if it shows up at another barn where you've worked; IT'S ALL ON YOU. Don't take that risk.

    The flys in your truck can carry it.
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    dana fenn It's complicated . . . .

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    Oh, boy . . . . i can believe that.

    the old timers i grew up around always said it can sit in the dirt and the stalls for up to a year? . . . . don't know . . . . .
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    Thomas Opinionated and I know it

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    I'd say absolutely don't go unless it's something that requires critical treatment.

    This is I think the best online information resource re strangles:

    http://www.equine-strangles.co.uk/

    It's highly infectious and spreads quickly through direct contact between horses or via indirect contact, e.g
    • tack and equipment
    • shared drinking bowls and feed
    • clothing
    • hands
    • grass
    • water in troughs
    • flies
    It's incumbent on all owners/farriers etc to know that strangles is not a minor or insignificant condition. It's fatal in 1% of cases. 10% of horses are left with serious long term health problems. 10% of cases become carriers.

    You may find it of interest to know that the vaccine that's available in the USA is not licenced in the UK and because it fails on efficacy. Or to put it another way it fails to protect more than 60 % of vaccinated horses.

    In the UK we have a vaccine with higher efficacy and that's a lip injection and even so it's 'sold' only as "reducing clinical signs and the incidence of lymph node abscesses" and to "help with yard management". It very specifically comes with a warning to owners that it is not a substitute for good stable management and disease awareness.

    It's vital to ensure that yard management is properly undertaken and that means QUARANTINE. The quarantine period for strangles is 3 weeks. Quarantine means no direct OR indirect contact between horses for a period of 3 weeks. So no sharing fence lines or any equipment and no moving from a new horse to another horse wearing the same clothes and without hand washing.

    In large horse populations, outbreaks typically last for months, essentially shutting down stabling premises. Moreover, some “recovered” horses (carriers) can harbour Strep. equi with no outward clinical signs. Consequently, new or recurrent outbreaks are likely unless costly diagnostic procedures and aggressive quarantine measures are used.

    It's not considered good practice here to have anyone attend a yard with strangles unless it's vital they're there AND they're not going to be going somewhere else where there's horses. Those who essentially must attend, e.g. the vet would ordinarily gown up in disposable boiler suits/gloves etc and the 'dirty' outer clothing would be put in sealed clinical waste bags prior to departure and to be incinerated. Likewise staff at a yard nursing horses with strangles would be assigned and separated "infected horses/clean horses" and all would deploy bio security measures. Virkon is the disinfectant of choice.

    Here a yard would be locked down and all neighbouring equestrian establishments would be warned not to go anywhere near the yard with strangles until there was an "all clear" by a vet and with swabs taken from the nasopharynx. Farriers would be told and yards ordinarily post notices to let people know there's strangles in the area and for the likes of customers and visitors.

    To ensure a yard is clear there needs to be a series of 3 nasopharyngeal swabs (e.g., swabs introduced through the nose and collecting material from the back of the throat), evenly spaced over 2 or 3 weeks It's pretty much the norm for a yard to be 'locked down' for many months and particularly if it's a yard where movement management, equipment sharing and quarantine is lax and where there's 'unknown' horses coming and going and not being tested to check if they're carrier status.

    Six to eight weeks after resolution of the clinical signs the horse should be checked for carrier status before return to contact with other horses. Three negative throat swabs over a 2-week period or negative culture from the guttural pouch flushings will determine each individual horses status. Occasional clinically healthy animals may not be detected as carriers unless throat swabs are taken over a longer period of up to 2-3 months.

    So unless this visit is essential then I'd say forget it till they've got the all clear and if you must go then ensure they're operating strict quarantining of any infected or potential contact horse and don't go anywhere near them before attending to other horses. As your vet says you go last thing and then everything would be disposed of or washed in virkon before you go anywhere near another equestrian establishment.
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    Steve Marshall Member

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    I have had Strangles at my barn, its not pretty. Caught at another barn during a training session. Barn owner was flippant about it. My advise stay away. My yearling at the time really struggled to get over it and it set him back a good year.
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    jack mac Guest

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    Vaccination is mandatory in the racing industry over here. Riding clubs & pony clubs will not allow any horse to attend a rally if it has not been vaccinated for strangles. Proof of vaccinations mandated in the clubs constitution & must be recorded in their club diary.
    Vaccination does not insure that a horse can not still contract strangles. However it gives the horse a greater resistance to contracting strangles. It has been my experience that horses that have been vaccinated that are unfortunate to still contract strangles. Only injure in most cases very mild symptoms of nasal mucus discharge as opposed to abbesses forming & the complications that brings.
    Only a moron would not have their horses vaccinated for strangles. Personally I wouldn't bother shoeing or trim for morons.
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    dana fenn It's complicated . . . .

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    okay, so if you've gone thru this in a barn of 45-50 horses, what is bastard strangles? a hold over?
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    jack mac Guest

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    Why don't you clean your shoeing gear David ?. All my gear gets brushed over with turpentine to disinfect it regularly . My apron gets the mentholated spirit treatment once a fortnight, then gets a lick of flints medicated oil. The most common thing for a farrier to spread around the country side property to property is Ringworm. Once its on a property it can take years to get rid of. What nasties I wouldn't want on my property.I'm sure as hell not going to take to a clients property if I can help it.
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    jack mac Guest

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    Bastard strangles is when it effects lymph nodes in other parts of the body. Other then normal occurrence in the vicinity of the lower jaw region. With bastard strangles an abbesses may form involving a lymph node near a vital organ.
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    dana fenn It's complicated . . . .

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    okay, so i have to ask, Jack . .. .strangles involves all the lymph nodes, so WHAT makes it Bastard strangles, i guesss that would be what i'm asking? at least that's been what i've run into over the years ?

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