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Strangles Complications


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#1
Antonia

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Hi Everyone , I am looking for anyone who has had experience with complications of strangles infection .
Victor has been diagnosed with strangles yesterday after a week of illness that everyone was putting down to a 'virus going around' until a pony got the typical symptoms and Victor started with a nasal discharge .

He started his antibiotics yesterday and this was the day his back legs and underneath abdomen started filling with fluid . He also has a couple of patches of raised skin on his face , more oedema.

I have been scouring Google tonight and havent found anything very encouraging. These swellings seem to be complications of strangles and the oedema a sign of this ....... . " Purpura hemorrhagica (widespread small bleeding along with fluid accumulation (oedema) of the limbs, eye lids and gums) may occur in association with circulating antibody complexes with S. equi M-like protein. The peripheral accumulation of fluid can be so extreme that circulatory failure and death ensue." .......

The only positive thing I can say is that after his second injection of anitbiotics this moring and 'bute' tonight his temperature was normal for the first time in a week.
But I am now very worried about this swelling and the significance of it ! When the vet came yesterday he said his heart and lungs where normal but I have read horrible things about the effects of this swelling when the skin can burst and the pressure can cause the skin to slough off . Also I am worried now about 'bastard strangles' in his body which is another complication he could have.

I am not dramatic about strangles as I have seen it before when it runs it's course and they recover but have never seen these symptoms which don't sound like a good sign.

I am on a yard now that I moved to so I could have a stable for his recovery of his hobday and tie back operation that was done in October but I am not at all happy with it and want to move as soon as possible . This is another depressing thing as I will be stuck here for a while now till he has recovered and swabbed clear.

Has anyone had this complication of oedema with strangles and how did the recovery go ?
Cheers , Antonia

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#2
Nicole

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Oh Antonia,

I have no experience in this but I just wanted to wish you and Victor all the best. You two have not had a fun time together health wise recently.

Big Hugs, and best of luck with it all.

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#3
leahhw

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I don't have personal experience with these complications of strangles but have seen great improvement in typical cases when vitamin C has been used. Give 20ml as an injection into the muscle per day and 2 tablespoons of the (sodium ascorbate) powder in the feed per day until the horse begins to show improvement.
Also I'd avoid any extra salt in his diet if he gets any as it may contribute to the oedema. Best of luck I hope he pulls through!
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#4
lizarch

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Oh Antonio you poor girl, as if you haven't had enough to cope with! I'm afraid I don't have any experience either, but I know Pat Colby in her Natural horse Care does suggest the Vitamin C as well.

I just had a look in an old farm book I use that belonged to my grandfather as sometimes there are old remedies that are very handy in this (and some downright unimaginable!!)so I will pass it on.-

Bastard strangles is when the virus gets into the lymph stream and abscesses can then form anywhere, and if they get into the lungs and bowel then there can be severe problems- which then becomes known as 'glander.' there is a few suggestions that might be of use.

The first is to make up a nose bag of steaming bran mash, and added garlic, to which a little eucalyptus oil is added. The purpose of this is to keep the nostrils open and will help if there are internal 'swellings' as well by helping them break open. The nostrils should also be regularly sponged out with a garlic and turpentine brew.

This brew is made of 3 whole garlic roots(not just 3 cloves)and one cup of turpentine left to brew,covered, cold, for four to six hours.

The brew is also to be used as a liniment to rub regularly on any swollen areas, as according to the old remedies you actually need them to open so they dissipate.

the other suggestion to go along with this is to make sure you keep the bowels open, with oil or rich green feed and a drench below, so as not to provide anywhere for the virus to take hold in the bowel.

Doses of garlic(which is of course very high in Vitamin C)and fenugreek seed are given copiously as natural antibiotics. Two ounces of fenugreek to four garlic roots.

The horse should also be given morning and night a drench of hot liquorice and nutmeg. 8 ounces of licorice stick dissolved in one quart of water, and two heaped dessertspoons of grated or powdered nutmeg stirred in.

Not sure about that last bit of the treatment, but this is also out of one of the books that Pat Colby has based some of her remedies on, so I often refer to it if need be.

I guess these days we just rely on our vet having the solution, but I think all these 'remedies' will only compliment what the vet does, or maybe even save Victor from further complications. I know garlic is brilliant for all sorts of things, so it may be worth a try.

Good luck Antonio, and I'll send healing your way for Victor, and make sure you stay calm and positive for him.

Cheers,

Liz

#5
leahhw

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Liz I have the same book!!! Hahaha I just got it and have only begun reading through it and my jaw seriously dropped at some of the recomendations :eek:

Would love to hear which remedies you have tried with success in the past. Sorry to hijack your post Antonia
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#6
Sweetpea

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My old horse Garth had Strangles when we were at Ag College, he was immunized but still caught a strain that was similar to what you are describing. Some of the other horses caught it and had the infected lymph glands that needed to be drained. One of the horses entire body blew up with air under its skin? My horse recovered but was never the same horse and used to have re-occuring fevers that we couldn't explain. This went on for a further 10 years before he was diagnosed with a lung abscess that eventually made him to weak and we put him to rest. All the horses had antibiotics but it wasn't until the Vet did a gram stain that they discovered that the Bacteria was Gram Negative bacilli so normal antibiotics weren't effective. When we finally administered antibiotics that were effective the side effects from the dying bacteria(released Endotoxins) and caused their legs and abdominal swelling that needed further Treatment with Finadine? All the other horses recovered fully but it took a very long time and we had to use serious infection control measures.
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#7
Antonia

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Thanks everyone for your support and remedies .

Thanks Liz for that recipe the traditional remedy . This must have been in the days before antibiotics but you're right a lot of these things have value
and I will be putting the garlic in that I bought today but have no idea where I can get the injectable Vit C ?

Thank God this morning when I went down he looked a lot brighter and his legs have gone down some . His temp is still up a bit but didnt see any nasal discharge
though it probably hasnt gone completely . His glands never got very big or near to bursting so my worry now is that he wont develop immunity having started the
antibiotics . The vet and I tried to hold off with them but the 7 day temperature and swollen legs tipped us over the edge .
I have read that treating with antibiotics other than at the pre symptomatic stage may increase the risk of bastard strangles.
The information is very confusing and there doesnt seem to be a definite course of action for every case .

Thanks Sweatpea , he has been started on 30 mls IM of Neopen which I have just looked up and is active again gram neg and gram pos bacteria , so that's good.
I am praying he is going to be one of the majority that recovers fully but it is going to be at the back of my mind for a long time about the 'bastard strangles' that could
develop and not show for a long time or debilitate him .
It must have been a worrying many years with your Garth . You poor thing , i know what it's like to have something wrong but not know what exactly.

As for infection control measures there are none being taken !! I saw the yard owner load up a horse that went somewhere today and later 3 women drove up
in a wagon with 3 horses . They got them out tacked them up and walked past my stable and the one next door to me where there is another strangles case to the school for a lesson
with the yard owners wife !

These yard owners know exactly what is going on and will do nothing about it and no measures will be put in place let alone a 'lock down' that there should be.
I am just going to have to get Victor better , tested and get out .
This is an appalling yard in the way it's run and how horses are treated ( not by the livery people I hasten to add) although some are young and ignorant of how to care for them
properly and no good guidance comes from the yard owners . I do my best at the risk of being thought of as bossy .
Cheers , Antonia

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#8
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Antonia I am so sorry to read that Victor is battling the horrible Strangles virus and that once again you are being "put through the mill" and feeling stressed and helpless. You have been given some good advice, and are obviously doing all the right things by Victor, so I am guessing that all will be well again very soon.

In my corner of the paddock (Victoria Australia) I am sure it is a chargeable offence not to report an outbreak of Strangles, whether it be at an agistment facility, your property etc. I remember it broke out at an agistment facility not far from where I previously lived and they reported it immediately to their veterinarian and the local government body. Traffic in and out of the facility was halted until they had the all clear from the vet.

The problem is that the enforcement of the law is never followed through with and there are those horse people among us that really have no moral conscious, which is both very sad and very infuriating. Then there is poor you stuck in the middle. If you report it to your local government authority, and word gets out that it was you who reported it, no doubting you would be shown the stable door quick smart, out on your own with poor sick Victor.

Some veterinary clinics/facilities have stables and yards for unwell horses requiring constant treatment. Perhaps Victor could be relocated to some such place. It wouldn't hurt to ask. Then you could report the unscrupulous yard to the relevant authorities.

You are there for Victor, with all your strength and love and I am quite sure he knows it. I am thinking of you both and sending you lots of positive vibes. X


#9
shell

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Oh Antonia,

We are very sorry to hear about poor Victor. Will be thinking of you both and sending you lots of healing thoughts for Victor's recovery.

I have had no experience with Strangles thankfully and Blue boy is vaccinated yearly against it but by the sounds of it that is not always 100% protection.

Lots of love and best wishes to you and Victor,

Shell and Andy

#10
meredith

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Hmmm.....I would have thought the vet would have had to report it? But in any case I am very sorry to hear about poor Victor Antonia. The poor boy. I've never come across strangles at all so can't really help. Only to add that I'd be getting onto the Vit C big time asap. Here you can get injectable Vit C from the vet but if you can't do that at least get some powder to put in his feed and his water. You can't over do it because it water soluble so he'll just pee out any excess.

Good luck and I hope you can soon get off that yard.
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#11
lizarch

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Hi again Antonio,

Pleased to here he is looking better, try the nosebag thingy too if you can just so he keeps his lungs clear, bit like when we have a cold I guess and need to keep ourselves 'unblocked'

Re the infection control, according to my old,old book, glander is highly contagious, and is also contagious to HUMANS!! It was once widespread in England, due to poor management, but became notifiable way back when so I am guessing it still is. Please make sure you also look after YOU- we can't have you coimng down with anything while helping Victor. I can see your predicament with the yard, do what your heart tells you, and fingers crossed you can get out of there quick smart.

All the best,

Liz

#12
Shane

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Kripes! thinking of you and hope he gets well and gets out soon.
Cheers
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#13
leahhw

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I believe you can mix the powdered vitamin c with distilled water to inject if you aren't able to buy the injectable stuff but I don't know the quantities to use. Leave it with me and I'll get back to you with that if you like, but as Meredith said you can give him plenty in the feed.

Another thing you may be able to try is some comfrey cream if you have access to some (or fresh comfrey would be even better) straight on the swelling or feed a couple of leaves to Victor, it is a great anti inflammatory.

Re the issue with your yard I personally would be making that report regardless, or in the very least make a point of talking loudly about the strangles when there are visitors to the yard. I'm sure those people would like to know what their horses are being subjected to. Best of luck keep us updated. Thoughts and prayers xx
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Leah xx

#14
vicki marr

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Hi Antonia . . . . you and Victor have really been put the the mill tis last 12 months! I haven't had any experience with strangles either, but have got Pat Coleby's book and follow much of what she has recommended in other circumstances.

Good to hear that Victor is starting to pick up and I agree with Liz's advice . . . . look after yourself too!

Sending you and Victor lots of love and positive thoughts.

Cheers,
Vicki
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#15
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Hi Antonia,

My heart goes out to you and Victor, sorry I havent got any more suggestions but everyone here seems to have been really helpful so glad you've got a few things to go with, be strong and I would definitely be making everyone aware of how contagious strangles is. Sometimes people are just ignorant, especially if they think they are 100$ covered by having the vaccination.

Sending lots of love your way, take care.



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#16
leahhw

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Hi Antonia,

If you can't get the injectable vitamin C but can get the powder you can mix it with distilled water at a rate of 1 tablespoon powder to 250mls water, for use as an intramuscular injection.
Sincerely hope something and/or everything everyone has posted here helps you and your precious horse. Best of luck xx
Live for the little moments :-)

Leah xx

#17
Antonia

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Thanks again everyone . He seems much better today , no nasal discharge and normal temp so I turned him out with the others that had been in the field
when he got ill. He went off with a buck and a canter down the field.
So I am relieved but won't feel out of the woods till his antibiotics are finished and he doesnt regress like one of the others has.

I am going to order some aloe vera juice tomorrow to boost his health and give him vit c tablets. I havent found any injectable type in this country although you can buy it in America on line no problem .
I daren't inject powder as I have no access to sterile water and wouldnt know if the powder was sterile but will give him pills in his water .

As to the quarantine , strangles is not a reportable disease in this country although I think it should be, so the vet has no power. So there is no law to enforce . Three separate vets from three practices have seen horses on this yard so the news is out there , just have to hope they spread it ( the news not the bacteria :) )
Most horse owners know it is incredibly infectious but a lot are at the mercy of the yard they on. Many have good protocols that they follow in the event of an outbreak to the level of a foot and mouth outbreak , but there is no law.

And as to 'whistle blowing' on this yard if I stick out my neck I will get my head chopped off and chucked off the yard with nowhere to go as no one would
have us until the vet gives us the all clear. Once i leave I will have no compunction in spreading the story but it will make no difference to how these yard owners behave. They were out with horses again today , not sure what doing , showing or hunting I should think.
I have already taken a risk and tracked down an owner of a pony she put on loan on this yard that was severely neglected and arranged for her to come and pick him up . Luckily I wasn't implicated and stayed away when it happened but I know other people who have complained to the yard about ithe treatment or this horse and were told to mind their own business in no uncertain terms !
So it's just going to have to be keep my head down and leave as soon as I can.

The vaccination doesnt to be available in this country. I remember a couple of years ago it was promoted by a vet practice but it doesnt seem to be something people get done and I read something controversial about it . Will try and find out .

I will keep you posted on the progress of Victor and of our escape when it happens (;
Cheers , Antonia

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#18
leahhw

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Wow, I'm living a sheltered little life here in my corner of the world in Australia. I can't imagine what it must be like for you having to deal with all that, I'm so sorry that you do. All my thoughts, prayers and best wishes for you and Victor.
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#19
meredith

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Antonia I am so relieved that Victor is a little better today....I hope his health continues to improve. I'm sure we're all sending him loads of healing vibes from all corners of the globe.

And goodness what you're going through at that yard.! No wonder you can't wait to leave. Where will you go when you can get out??? Back to Diane's?

Anyhow...wishing you both all the best. I think I'll o give my boys a cuddle now and thank my lucky stars we have it so easy here.
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#20
JudeE

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Hi Antonia,
Crikey - all the dramas you and poor Victor are having recently. So glad he is feeling a bit better and sure hope he continues to make steady progress so you can escape ASAP.
Rosehips and rosehip granules are also very high in Vitamin C so might be worth adding those to his feed as well if you aren't already. Shovel as much Vit C in to him as you possibly can!
Look forward to reading of you and Victor happily settled at another yard very very soon.
JudeE



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