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Horse diseases: Recent strangles cases in Florida bring tally to 40

The number of cases of the bacterial equine infection, strangles, has reached 40 to date in 2017, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, with five recent cases reported.


As reported by the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC), the latest cases were reported from Manatee, Volusia and Indian River counties. Here are the details:

The highly contagious upper respiratory disease of equids, known as Strangles, is caused by the gram-positive β-hemolytic bacterium Streptococcus equi ssp. equi.

The organism, Streptococcus equi ssp. equi, can be transmitted via direct contact with nasal or ocular secretions or lymph node discharge from infected horses or via indirect exposure to contaminated trailers, stalls, riding equipment, buckets, halters, lead ropes, brushes, clothing, etc.

The incubation period typically ranges between two and six days but may last up to 14 days.

Classic symptoms may include fever (103 degrees F or higher), mucopurulent nasal discharge, lymphadenopathy (+/- abscessation), general malaise, pharyngitis, dysphagia, upper airway stridor and respiratory distress.

Clinical signs are often age-related, with older horses exhibiting milder symptoms of shorter duration.