Farm Ireland

Sunday 22 April 2018

Strangles on the increase in southeast

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Strangles, a highly contagious disease that affects the upper respiratory tract of horses, is believed to be on the increase in certain areas, ISPCA inspectors have revealed.

The disease, which is caused by the bacterium streptococcus equi, can affect all horses and is potentially fatal.

Barbara Bent, ISPCA chairperson, said inspectors had highlighted certain areas where strangles was on the increase.

"It is doing the rounds in the Carlow/Kilkenny, Clonmel and Wexford areas," said Ms Bent.

"Youngsters are worst affected. Foals and weanlings are vulnerable because they do not have much of an immune system so they go downhill."

The first signs of strangles include the horse not being its normal self, losing appetite and, in some cases, a cough develops.

In some cases, glands may swell profusely and can restrict the airway, which is where the name -- strangles -- originates.

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