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Dr Chris
Dr Chris, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2203
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS
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Strangles, Horse, Strangles, he has strangles, No, yes he

Customer Question

Strangles
JA: What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Horse
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the horse?
Customer: Strangles
JA: Where does the horse seem to hurt?
Customer: he has strangles
JA: Can you see anything that looks wrong or different?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Nothing visually obvious. Is the horse eating normally?
Customer: yes he had two pouch washes both pouches looked clear but came back as low positives today was his 3rd one and the vet said he has pus in his left, can this be correct? Can he catch strangles again straight after having it or could I be dealing with something else
JA: OK. No appetite problems. What is the horse's name and age?
Customer: Chester age 2
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Vet
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi what it is, my horse got strangles at the start of June, it was left to do it’s thing and he had his first pouch wash on the 27th of July, he was flushed with antibiotics and a sample taken, all looked clear but he came back as a low positive, he was then redone on the 10th august again all looked clear but he came back with a low positive again of (37.05 ct ). I waited 4 weeks this time and he was done again today but his left pouch is showing pus this was flushed out today and the vet said she wasn’t going to send the sample away because she could see the pus and he’s to be redone again in a further 2 weeks.
Could this be the case that he has strangles again or could this be something else ? I don’t understand how his pouches can be clear then all of a sudden pus appears
Expert:  Dr Chris replied 9 days ago.

Hi, Welcome to Just Answer. I'm Chris, a small animal Vet based in the UK. I am reviewing your question and will get back to you as soon as possible

Expert:  Dr Chris replied 9 days ago.

Sorry to hear of this with your horse. Whilst most horses will clear the strangles infection after 6 weeks, around 10% of horses become 'persistently infected' this means that they show few or no clinical symptoms but remain carriers of the disease and can spread th infection to other horses. There is a chance that this is the case with your horse, especially as the testing is picking up lower levels of bacterial dna.

Hopefully your horse may just be taking a longer time to clear the infection. Repeated lavaging of the gutteral pouches to help remove pus can also help with this.

I hope that answers your question? Please let me know if you need any further help or advice.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
What will be the case if he doesn’t clear ? Is it worth putting him into a field for a while on his own then re doing ?
He’s only 2. This will be our 4th wash . Is it also worth asking my vet for some oral antibiotics and steriods to give him over the next two weeks to help?
Expert:  Dr Chris replied 9 days ago.

Use of antibiotics is contraversial, antibiotics (if needed) are usually given by injection and can be required for 2 months. Antibiotics are not generally given as they can actually prolong the course of the illness in many cases, but if you horse is failing to clear the infection naturally then this could possibly be considered. Certainly isolating your horse from others until he tests negative would be advisible.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
He has had the antibiotic ran through his pouch each time we have flushed
Expert:  Dr Chris replied 9 days ago.

Yes that can certainly help, as can removing impacted pus. But ultimately the immune system has to erridicate the infection