Article Text

An outbreak of strangles in young ponies
  1. R Dalgleish,
  2. S Love,
  3. HM Pirie,
  4. M Pirie,
  5. DJ Taylor and
  6. NG Wright

Abstract

A natural outbreak of strangles occurred in a group of 19 young experimental ponies. The disease was diagnosed in 11 of them within two days of their arrival at Glasgow University veterinary school and five others developed clinical signs within a further four days, a morbidity rate of 84 per cent. All of the affected ponies had typical signs of strangles including dullness, anorexia, pyrexia, regional lymphadenitis, occasionally with rupture of the lymph node, conjunctivitis and a mucopurulent nasal discharge. Nine of the affected ponies were destroyed during the clinical phase of the disease for post mortem studies. The clinical disease in the remaining animals lasted approximately 21 days although one pony had to be destroyed 10 days after the onset of clinical signs because of the development of septic arthritis. All 16 affected animals exhibited peripheral blood neutrophilia and high plasma fibrinogen levels. beta haemolytic streptococci were isolated by nasopharyngeal swabbing from 18 of the 19 ponies. Streptococcus equi was confirmed only in three animals within the first four days of the outbreak. The majority of the other isolates identified to species were S zooepidemicus. beta haemolytic streptococci were still present in six ponies 40 days after they had clinically recovered and were isolated regularly from three ponies which did not develop clinical strangles but remained in contract with affected animals throughout the study.

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