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RE: RC: Strangles

OK, lemme see if I can answer all the questions I was asked in one post...

Kathy, no, I don't have any precise numbers on fatalities from strangles--but as I recall, it is in single digits.

Regarding efficacy, my numbers came from some of the early work on the IN vaccine--if there are more recent statistics, I'd be interested in hearing about them.

Regarding lifetime immunity--sorry, but I have to disagree with the "Horseman's Advisor"--recovered horses can and do get strangles, not uncommonly.  The old thought about recovered horses being immune for life likely came from the days when horses were more or less constantly exposed to the disease, so that recovered horses were constantly getting their immunity challenged and boosted by that exposure.  The immunity from recovery is in most cases longer-lived than immunity from vaccine, but is on the order of a few years, rather than lifetime.  The "Horseman's Advisor" cited studies indicating 2-year immunity in recovered horses in experimental cases--this likely is not dissimilar to real life.  The cases I have seen have been 5-15 after recovery.

Regarding vaccinating of recovered horses--Sylvia, you are right up to a point in that vaccination could well be harmful to the newly recovered horse, but since active infection does eventually go away and immunity wanes, it would most likely be advisable to start a vaccination program of recovered horses 2-3 years post-recovery.

Regarding use of antibiotics--there is a lot of controversy about antibiotics and strangles, and my own opinion is that one must use them knowledgeably on a case-by-case basis.  Yes, there IS an increased risk of causing internal abcesses with use of antibiotics in strangles.  However, some horses are so ill that there simply is no choice.  My personal preference is to use non-antibiotic treatment as much as possible (Banamine to control fever and discomfort, antioxidants to help with immune response such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and selenium, topical treatment such as Numotizine on unruptured abcesses, etc.) and to make sure that any abcesses are open and draining if one has to use antibiotics.  Simply lancing the abcesses often will do as much as putting the horse on antibiotics.  There are also two schools of thought regarding the choice of antibiotics--sulfas (SMZ, etc.) kill bacteria in a different manner than do penicillins, and there is conflicting research regarding wh!
ich is the better approach regar
ding the problem of internal abcesses, etc.

Hope that helps...


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