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Michigan filly tests positive for strangulation

A filly in Newaygo County, Michigan, recently tested positive for strangulation, marking the third confirmed case at the facility.
A filly in Newaygo County, Michigan, recently tested positive for strangulation, marking the third confirmed case at the facility. | AdobeStock

A Quarter Horse filly in Newaygo County, Michigan, recently tested positive for strangulation after developing clinical signs on May 10, including a runny nose and fever. Two horses at the facility had previously tested positive for strangulation. The filly is now recovering.

EDCC Health Watch is an equine network marketing program that uses information from the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) to create and disseminate verified reports of equine diseases. He EDCC is an independent nonprofit organization supported by industry donations to provide open access to information on infectious diseases.

About strangles

Strangulation in horses is an infection caused by Streptococcus equi subspecies equi and spreads through direct contact with other equids or contaminated surfaces. Horses that do not show clinical signs can harbor and spread the bacteria, and recovered horses remain contagious for at least six weeks, with the potential to cause long-term outbreaks.

Infected horses may present a variety of clinical signs:

  • Fever
  • Swollen and/or abscessed lymph nodes
  • Runny nose
  • Cough or wheezing
  • muscle swelling
  • difficulty to swallow

Veterinarians diagnose horses using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, either with a nasal swab, wash, or abscess sample, and treat most cases based on clinical signs, implementing antibiotics. for serious cases. Overuse of antibiotics can prevent an infected horse from developing immunity. Most horses make a full recovery in three to four weeks.

There is a vaccine available, but it is not always effective. Biosecurity measures of quarantining new horses in a facility and maintaining high standards of hygiene and surface disinfection can help reduce the risk of an outbreak or contain one when it occurs.