Georgia Herd Hit by Strangles

According to an April 16 AccessNorthGa.com report cited on ProMED, a herd of about 115 horses in western Georgia has been quarantined because of a strangles outbreak at the farm. "Under an order by Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin dated 1 April 2004, no horses from the herd can be removed, nor any new animals brought to the farm in Talbot County, just east of Waverly Hall off Georgia Highway 208," said the ProMED report.

Strangles is a purulent pharyngitis (a pus-associated inflammation of the throat) caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi. It is also causes a lymphadenitis (inflammation of the lymph nodes) affecting the head region. S. equi depends on the horse for survival, and it survives only briefly in nasal discharge and pus drained from abscesses. Strangles can be transmitted by direct contact with this discharge or pus, or by people, flies, veterinary instruments, or shared equipment like buckets or tack. Quarantine and rigorous disinfection procedures are implemented when strangles is diagnosed on a farm. For more information on strangles, read "Strangles: Horses at Risk."

The quarantine of the Georgia horses will be lifted after a veterinarian certifies that the herd has shown no signs of the disease for 30 days. According to the owner, the cases were nearly cleared up by April 16.

Strangles became a reportable disease in Georgia in 2002, and this designation facilitates the tracking of the disease and aides in the education of owners. It is recommended that owners practice self-quarantine. "As this is a large barn with several owners, and because some owners may want to move their animals, a quarantine becomes necessary," said the ProMED moderator.

 

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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