There have been a LOT of posts floating around the interwebs about strangles and disease outbreaks in Colorado. Heritage Equine from Parker, Colorado and the Equine Disease Communication Center have confirmed this to be true.
Fifty eight horses and 28 ponies out of a herd of 230 at Fort Westernaires in Jefferson County, Colorado have been diagnosed with Strangles. All horses in the herd are quarantined and the affected horses are being treated. The Jefferson County Fairgrounds is not quarantined.
Things to know about Strangles:
Strangles (Equine Distemper) is a contagious upper respiratory tract infection of horses and other equines caused by a gram-positive bacterium, Streptococcus equi. As a result the lymph nodes swell, compressing the pharynx, larynx and trachea and can cause airway obstruction leading to death, hence the name Strangles. Strangles is enzootic in domesticated horses worldwide. The contagious nature of the infection has at times led to limitations on sporting events.
The disease is spread by an infected horse when nasal discharge or pus from the draining lymph nodes contaminate pastures, feed troughs, brushes, bedding, tack etc.
A horse with strangles will typically develop abscesses in the lymph nodes of the head and neck causing coughing fits and difficulty swallowing. Clinical signs include fever up to 106 °F and yellow coloured nasal discharge from both the nose and eyes.
Proper quarantine and biosecurity measures are important here. Learn more about Equine Biosecurity through this informative article…