Lv 5
Baylen asked in PetsHorses · 9 years ago

Are there any other methods of treatment(strangles)?

Coming back from the trainer we found out my horse has strangles(she got it from there). We had 2 opinions on the matter the vet was out once and thought it was a mouth infection then, came back and told us she was pretty positive it was strangles. The abscess on my horses jaw area has opened up and is draining so she seems to be almost over it. There is only one abscess and nothing more. We have been giving her penicillin for the last 3 days and we have 2 more days to go we also have been instructed to give her a dose of bute twice a day till she seems to be doing okay with out it.

The vet told us the penicillin can and usually does treat the strangles. But I was wondering if there was any other treatment? I have read that some vets argue about whether or not to treat it or just nurse the abscess till it comes open then nurse it some more till the horse is fully healed. Because the horse will build some what of an immunity towards it. I also read that over time there immunity lowers to it and they have a chance of getting it again but its not always the case.

I have been taking precautions and scrubbing out there tank ever day and blah blah making sure everything is clean. When she came home we had no idea she had strangles until about a day later when she started showing snot we called the vet and they vet was there by the next day. By then my other horse had been exposed and is probably already infected. So they are in quarantine together.

I have also heard of bastered strangles but I am not sure how that occurs. Is it just like an abscess on the out side of the body that moves in? Or is it just when the case gets bad that they start to form on the inside of the horses body? When bastered strangles do occur what can be done and how will you know? ANY other information on the strangles or what further action I may have to take would be very much appreciated thanks.

(We're going back to the large animal clinic in the morning to grab some more penicillin and bute so if I have any questions more or need answers from the vet I'll be sure to ask.)

Please no rude remarks unless you must. I am only trying to learn about this.


MW- Yes it is swelling of the lymph nodes the vet thought it was a mouth abscess because she had a giant sore in her mouth that could have caused the abscess. The abscess wasn't in her mouth it was on her jaw cheek area right where the sore was in her mouth. There was nasal discharge it wasn't thick just green. Vet sad she was showing signs for strangles but she wasn't for absolute sure because of her moth sore so she took a nose swab. And it was strangles, I thought it was a mouth infection so I posted that. The vet said it could have been but was leaning more towards strangles. Also like I said in the post above....We had no idea she had strangles till about 3 days after we got her home. My other horse had already been exposed. They are in a pen together no other horses in contact range.

3 Answers

  • gallop
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Bastard strangles is a complication that can occur in up to 20% of cases, and involves formation of abscesses in organs throughout the body, commonly including the lungs, liver, spleen, kidney and brain. Penicillin G is the usual antibiotic used in treatment. It has been thought by some vets that using antibiotics to treat strangles could cause bastard strangles, but there is no evidence that this is the case. But once lymph nodes become abscessed, antibiotic treatment may just prolong the illness.

    If bastard strangles is diagnosed, then penicillin treatment is generally required over a prolonged period, and the horse may or may not survive.

    Once the active strangles infection is resolved, waiting a minimum of at least 30 days or longer before opening the quarantine area to other horses is advised, since it is not certain how long the s. equii bacteria remain viable on the various exposed surfaces. Be sure to practice strict biosecurity protocol in the meantime.

    Immunity rendered by infection is thought to last for approximately 5 years. Some horses will develop secondary guttural pouch infections and continue to shed the bacteria indefinitely. These horses show no symptoms of illness and act as carriers to spread the bacteria to other horses.

    Your vet can perform a series of three nasopharyngeal swabs or guttural pouch lavages over a period of weeks following the active infection to determine whether the guttural pouches have become infected and are shedding the bacteria. If the swabs test positive, then you will need to treat the guttural pouch infection.

    If your horse develops bastard strangles, you'll know it. the bacteria spread systemically via the lymphatic vessels, and the horse will be extremely ill and lethargic and develop a high fever.

    Source(s): Registered Nurse and 58 years with horses
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Sounds pretty standard to me. Get it open and draining before penicillin therapy. Just keep it milked out the best you can and keep all affected horses away from nonaffected/nonvaccinated horses. Also disinfect everything before any other horses come into contact with it.

    I worked at a show/breeding barn years ago that had a strangles outbreak among the client mares but none of the full time resident horses got it because they were vaccinated the previous winter.

    I've never heard of any other treatment.

  • 9 years ago

    Strangles is the swelling of a horses lymph nodes? so Why would your vet think it was strangles because she has a abscess in her mouth? that makes no sense??? strangles is also accompanied by nasal discharge and fever so i to would be wondering why the vet didn't diagnose it as strangles in the first place if that's what it really is? because a mouth infection and strangles look totally differnt???

    if i were you i would be looking for a new vet becuse strangles is deadly and I hope to god you have gher no were Near your other horses

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