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Tetanus/Strangles

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TETANUS

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Tetanus: Tetanus is a serious disease that can affect all domestic animals. Horses are particularly susceptible. Tetanus spores, which occur in soil, enter the tissues of the animal through wounds. The type of wound commonly infected is the deep puncture, which may be caused by penetration of a splinter or a nail. Crushing wounds are also dangerous. However, some cases of tetanus commence from wounds that are so small that they are not noticed. An affected horse becomes stiff in its movements, the ears are pricked, and the tail is held out stiffly. Generalised muscle spasms may then occur and death results from paralysis of the breathing muscles. Tetanus is difficult to treat, and even with intensive veterinary care the chances of saving the horse are slight. Tetanus can be easily prevented by vaccination.

Ears are pricked

Tail held out stiffly

Stiff in its movements

For full protection, a horse is given a course of 2 injections at a 4 week interval and a booster injection within 12 months. A booster every four or five years thereafter will maintain continuous protection.
If your horse is not vaccinated and it suffers a wound, veterinary attention should be sought immediately.

STRANGLES

Strangles: This is a highly infectious bacterial disease of the upper respiratory tract of horses. Outbreaks of the disease may be expected in-groups of horses where there is a changing population. Animals taking part in events, competitions and pony club activities may also be exposed. Cold weather and poor ventilation assist the spread of the disease.

Although common in young animals, it can occur at any age. The disease is characterised by cold-like symptoms with fever, nasal discharge, depression and reluctance to eat. Hot, tender, swellings develop in glands, usually around the head, jaw and neck, as a result of abscess formation. These often rupture and discharge a thick creamy-yellow pus. Most horses recover but the infection can cause death or chronic illness.

Fever

Symptoms of Strangles  

 

 

 

Nasal Discharge

Hot, tender, swellings in glands

Vaccination, involving an initial course of 3 injections and then yearly boosters, will assist in the control of strangles. Discuss vaccination of your horse with your vet when planning to visit shows, or horse competitions or if moving the horse to a new agistment property.

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