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[RC] Strangles in SE region - rides2far

>>>1-    DO NOT GIVE THE VACCINE - the Internists there refuse to give the vaccine unless an owner demands them to do so
>>>2-    A horse which has had Strangles in the past OR has been vaccinated can get the secondary, often fatal, complication called Purpura. 
This is something that concerned me. If you guys get as interested in this as I was and read every website out there you'll see lots of confusing stuff. Such as reading that strangles does best in cool damp conditions (it was cool and rainy at Hahira) and then they said hot dry weather kills it, then today she said, "this cold snap will help, it can't survive the cold".
I only saw Pupura mentioned once, but have run across several individuals who experienced it. Their horse's legs swelled until the skin split after a horse that had a high degree of resistance already was immunized. They suggested on that site that a horse be tested for antibodie levels first...as if any body *ever* does that! So..here I have 7 who spent two weeks in the field with 2 sick horses and didn't catch a thing. Should I innoculate him? Probably not.
I see many vets contradicting the most recently updated sites...maybe doing what they learned years ago and not having changed their opinions?  Such as treating it with antibiotics...oh wait, most said they used to do that but don't, it's more likely to become bastard strangles if you do, just let it run its course; then one said most recent studies show it really doesn't make that more likely. :-P
Neighbor whose horses didn't get sick though I feed them every day said he was totally unconcerned. They used to live at a stables where a guy brought in horses from the sale all the time and there was almost always at least one horse there with it. Little note...there was once an endurance ride held at that place "The High Adventure Ride" and nobody I ever heard of got sick.
As for the quarantine. The state website said the horsemen asked for it so they could attempt to track the disease. However, my horse was well on his way to fine before I ever had a vet out and I could easily have saved that bill. The official treatment is "let it run its course" so how many actually take any precautions?
In 21 years of going to rides, no vacinations, and going to little horse shows, etc. this is my first case. Guess I've been lucky. I don't think you can go through life dipping your feet in bleach every time they touch the ground.
Helpful things I did read:
The horse's temperature will go up 2 days before any other symptoms. The horse is not contagious until the other symptoms start so if you have a horse with a temp, seperate them immediately.
If a horse gets exposed but is away from the source now, it may help to give antibiotics immediately, before any symptoms. However, if they are going to be re-exposed (if they're at a barn where it's present) don't do that because they're just as succeptable when they come off them.
From my experience, the worst thing to dread about the whole disease is trying to keep it from spreading. In our case it wasn't that horrible to have happen to you...just the after effects of quarantine and testing make it so dreaded.  If you just have the attitude that they are going to get exposed regardless so whatever... you may do just as well as those who are obsessive about avoiding it.
Outbreaks tend to happen periodically. Sounds like weather may play a part. It may have been just as present in other years but it wasn't damp enough, who knows.
I believe I read you should not vaccinate if the horse is already exposed. It's too late to help.
They claim resistance from having had it only lasts 7 years or so, so even a horse that has had the disease can get it again eventually thus you should vaccinate. This conflicts with the purpura threat in my mind.
It's a pain in the butt to try to figure out the right thing to do.
Angie McGhee

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