Horse Sickness Causes Alachua County Quarantines

Published: Feb. 27, 2018 at 6:59 PM EST
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Since February 20th there have been two horse quarantines in Alachua County due to the illness known as "Strangles."

And the disease is causing some concern for participants in upcoming horse shows.

Tv20's Landon Harrar was live, and shows us what veterinarians are telling him about the disease.

Really what I learned today Dave and Paige is "Strangles" acts very similarly like the flu does for people, but its a horse specific bacterial infection.

With a name like strangles, this infection may sound scary

Dr. Erica Lacher is a horse veterinarian and she explained "It was once called strangles because it could cause horses to strangle,

But with the invention of antibiotics its much easier to treat than it used to be.

"Dr. Lacher went on to say "We don't have that happen so much anymore potentially if they're not treated it could happen but usually they just get these big abcesses around their throat, the first thing you see though is horses draining a lot of snot."

Strangles most commonly comes from situations where horses are in extremely close conditions to each other, like kill pens.

Dr. Lacher said "Those are horses that are destine for slaughter in Mexico or Canada unscrupulous buyers pull them out of those sales and sell them to unsuspecting people."

For anyone taking their horse to up coming shows lacher says try to avoid nose to nose contact with unknown horses and only let them eat and drink the food and water when you know where it came from.

Dr. Lacher gave the advice "you want to have your buckets that your horse drinks out of don't go over to a community water trough and let your hose drink, its like getting that last sip of beer off the counter at one of the breweries downtown, not a good idea you don't want to do it."

Horse owners we spoke with didn't seem too worried about the sickness saying there's plenty of worse problems a horse can get which are harder to treat.

Molly Cobb owns the Pony Paddock and trains horses as a living. she said "We are aware of it, its a virus, it doesn't last very long in the environment and most horses on this farm because of their age they are going to be immune to it anyway so it doesn't really affect us."(so you have no fear about taking your horses somewhere else) No."

Landon concluded while live in front of the Springhill Equine Clinic, "Dave and Paige as for the quarantines, Well Dr. Lacher told me when a horse shows symptoms, They place them away from other horses until they've been symptom free for at least 21 days."