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July 1, 2004 Press Release
From: Ben Chase ~ Rockingham County Extension Agent ~ Agriculture Livestock
Equine Strangles In The Area
For livestock and horse owners, prevention of diseases is a top priority for maintaining healthy animals. Even taking all the preventative measures, sometimes diseases can still be prevalent and affect animals. Good husbandry skills and understanding of diseases is a key factor in prevention and spread of any disease. Many times when a disease breaks, it is kept quiet, but from a animal owners perspective it is far better to address diseases head on and quickly because it will cost less, animals will get well quicker and due to awareness will prevent the disease from spreading.
Equine Strangles (Streptococcus equi) is a very common disease that has affected horses a very long time. (Only Horses) This year like many before, it is present and being treated in Rockingham & Guilford Counties. One Rockingham County horse farm has dealt with this disease this year and has been very open about. The horses on this particular farm are used by many recreational riders that show and trail ride, as
well as those youth involved in 4-H horse educational programs. Exactly how the horses these were exposed to Strangles is not clear. What is clear is that this disease is prevalent in this area and everywhere. The key for us in dealing with this situation is working closely with Veterinarians and closely monitoring animals, taking temperatures, isolating the sick, disinfecting everything, and perhaps the most important things is to bring awareness about the disease.
According to Dr. Fred Kirkland, Director of Livestock Animal Health Programs with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Sciences, Strangles is not a regulated disease and there are no state regulations requiring quarantine of affected animals but horse owners should be working closely with a licensed veterinarian. To help with the understanding of Strangles, Dr. Mark Wallace, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM at Reidsville Veterinary Hospital was asked to provide the following information.
Strangles is a bacterial disease of horses that has been recognized as early as the 1700's. It continues to be a troublesome issue for horses and their owners & has been identified worldwide. It is a common & treatable condition that is routinely seen throughout North Carolina. Strangles can affect horses of any age, but the very young & very old tend to be the most susceptible. Outbreaks of this contagious disease
account for lost training & performance time, missed breeding dates, veterinary treatment, & cumbersome control measures.
Strangles is the name given to an infection caused by a bacterial organism, Streptococcus equi. This respiratory infection often results in nasal discharge, fever, and swelling of the lymph nodes around the head & neck. In the most severe cases, swelling of the lymph nodes can result in abnormal upper respiratory noise, hence the name strangles. Fortunately, most cases of strangles do not become this severe. Many affected horses will simply be lethargic, off feed, & exhibit malaise. Swollen lymph nodes may initially appear firm & painful, progressing to rupture with draining of pus. If you suspect that your horse may have strangles, you should promptly isolate the horse from other horses & call your veterinarian.
Treatment of strangles varies based on symptoms & severity of each individual case. In many cases, a horse with strangles needs time & rest to let the disease run it's course. To encourage external rupture of swollen lymph nodes, hot packs & drawing salve can be applied to the affected areas. However, in some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatories & anti-biotics. It is important to consult your veterinarian before starting on any course of treatment.
Strangles is a highly contagious bacterial disease that is transmitted thru direct contact with nasal secretions or pus from other infected horses. Transfer from horse to horse usually involves direct face-to-face contact or exposure to contaminated feed buckets, water troughs, hands, grooming tools or trailers. Control of strangles begins with isolation of newly arrived horses and any horses showing symptoms of strangles should be isolated immediately. Rectal temperatures of suspect horses should be monitored twice daily for signs of fever. Vaccination against this disease is important for horses at risk, such as horses that travel away from their farm frequently, have contact with strange horses, or live in a high horse traffic environment. Vaccination has been shown to reduce the likelihood of infection and the severity of symptoms. Consult your veterinarian concerning appropriate isolation times.
In conclusion, strangles is a serious respiratory infection of horses, but rarely becomes life-threatening when appropriate veterinary care is given. Strangles is a major source of inconvenience to the horse industry. Piedmont triad area veterinarians successfully diagnose & treat this condition in horses all over Guilford & Rockingham Counties every year.
Special Thanks to the contributors of this article.
A 2004 Hay Directory is compiled & maintained by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service for the Rockingham County area. This directory is intended as a service to both hay producers and buyers in the area. If you would like to be included in this hay listing, or you are in need of hay, please call
Ben at 336-342-8235 and let Ben Chase know your name, address & phone, type of hay, number of bales, square or round bales, and weight per bale.
September - October
Take Soil Samples. Apply lime to pastures with pH below 5.8. Remember the best time to plant cool season grasses (fescue, orchard grass, clovers, etc.) is August 25 - October 15. Consider overseeding Bermuda grass for winter grazing with rye, ryegrass, etc. in late September. Planting early will require that herbicides be used to suppress the existing grass growth. Overseed legumes into properly fertilized and grazed pure grass pastures. - Keep grazing summer grasses and completely use them up before grazing cool season forages.
Decide which fescue pastures will be stockpiled for winter grazing. Nitrogen (60 to 80 pounds/acre should be applied if have not done so. - Plant alfalfa and other legumes (clovers) on time: August 25 - October 15 and check on proper nodule formation. - Graze sudan and sorghum-sudans after frost, but before they weather badly. Use precaution just after the first few frost. Prussic acid can become a hazard in young regrowth and for about 3 days after a killing frost.
Taxes on Horse Feed Purchases
The sales use tax division of the N. C. Department
of Revenue (919-733-3661), states that feed purchased for horses with a commercial purpose is not
subject to state and local sales and use tax. However, feed purchased for animals owned for pleasure
or as pets is subject to a 6% tax rate. Commercial use is defined as use by a person who holds or
produces animals income or profit. Examples include livestock farmers, persons engaged in boarding
animals, operating riding stables, or conducting similar commercial activities. Commercial horse
farm operators are required to provide the vendor with a feed certificate to show they are exempt,
Form E-599F. Feed certificates can be obtained from any Department of Revenue office by calling
(919) 715-0397. Alternatively, forms can be downloaded from the NC Department of Revenue web site:
Equine Rescue League
NCERL is a non-profit organization
held together by volunteers and donations. NCERL rescues abused, neglected,
injured or abandoned equine, we provide care, rehabilitation, love and find
compatible homes for needy horses. We have equine available for adoption
and are always looking for good foster homes. We have many foster homes
throughout the state and are currently building a barn for those equine
who are in need of rehabilitation. We have rescued about 52 equine to date
in our 2 year existence. Anyone who is interested in helping can just go
to our site and fill out the online forms or call me personally -
336-282-1076. Vicki Pardue, Triad Chapter Coordinator for NCERL.
On the local level to raise funds we are set up with 2 horse show facilities
that we provide concessions. We do informational booths at many places
including Oak Ridge Easter horse show and Carolina Classic Expo. We are
planning our own fundraising horse show on October 6th at the Sandy Ridge
Equestrian Center in Colfax. We have t-shirts and ball caps for sale. We
are currently working on getting an 800 number for individuals to call and
report abuse and neglect.
submitted by Horsecr8zy@aol.com
- Take forage test to find out level of
- In April, fertilize cool season grasses if haven't already done so.
- Utilize winter annual pastures before grazing begins on other pastures which may be harvested as hay.
- Harvest fescue and orchard grass as soon as seed heads begin to flower.
- Fertilize warm season grasses when dormancy breaks.
- Prepare for planting warm season grasses, plant at 2 week intervals to stagger
- Fertilize warm season grasses with Nitrogen after each cutting or every 4 to 6 weeks on pastures.
- Spray pasture weeds while they are small (3 inches) for most effective control.
- Do not apply Nitrogen to fescue or orchard grass pastures after April until August.
- Drag pastures to spread manure.
With the recent terrorists events, there is an increased possibility that a foreign animal disease could be introduced into our nations livestock herds. As a result, livestock owners need to have an increased farm security and
biosecurity. The best line of defense for any animal disease whether accidentally or intentionally introduced is the livestock owner. Therefore, livestock owners should observe the following suggestions:
Check livestock regularly and at different times of the day/night and report any suspicious activities, intruders, or circumstances to the local police or sheriff's department. Record license plate numbers and descriptions of trespassers.
Watch for and report any of these signs in animals to your veterinarian: Sudden, unexplained death loss in the herd or flock Severe illness affecting a high percentage of animals Blistering around an animal's mouth, nose, teats or hooves Unusual ticks or maggots Central nervous system disorders that cause an animal to stagger or fall.
If you travel internationally, don't bring restricted products into the U.S., such as sausages, hams or other dangerous products that could spread disease. NEVER allow visitors or family members to bring these items onto your property.
If you travel outside the U.S., launder or dry clean clothing and coats before you return. Shower, wash your hair and put on clean clothes before heading to your flight home. Viruses or bacteria can be carried in your hair or on your skin, so it's important to bathe before traveling. Provide arriving international travelers with a clean set of clothing that can be worn after they shower.
Remove mud and manure from your shoes before journeying back to the U.S.! Ask the Customs agent or USDA official to disinfect your shoes and other potentially contaminated items if you've been to a farm, zoo or other site where livestock or wildlife have been co-mingled. Provide shoes for visitors, or insist they wear only shoes that have not been worn on a farm in another country.
For at least 5 days before you return to the U.S., don't go around farms, sale barns, zoos, fairs or other sites where livestock are kept. You could carry bacteria or viruses in your lungs, throat or nasal passages, and although you don't become ill, you could spread a livestock disease. Likewise, don't allow international travelers to have access to your livestock until they've been in the U.S. for at least 14 days.
A top PHBA Mare in the nation was tragically electrocuted when she bit through the clipper cord while being prepared for a show. Make sure that your electrical source at home, in the barn, and at where you show have ground fault protected circuits. This means that if a horse, dog, mouse or careless person cut
(bit) through a cord, that the circuit will cut off and the person/horse will not be electrocuted. Clippers, fans, and other electrical equipment may be used at shows. To prevent a future accident you
should get a portable GFCI with 3Outlet Power Block available for about $30.00. Make sure it meets National Electric Code and OSHA requirements. Use it like a surge
protector at home and while traveling.
In the past, you may recall that we have had some
underhanded sales representatives trying to get people to buy "new and environmentally sound" chemicals over the phone for weed or
parasite control. WELL, THEY ARE AT IT AGAIN! Please use caution when dealing with some of these "good deals", once you give them your credit card it's too late. If someone calls you wanting you to purchase a chemical, make sure you find out some vital information. A reputable chemical representative will be willing to provide you with this product information.
Ask for a product label to be sent to you.
Ask for the EPA Registration Number of the product.
Ask for the EPA Establishment Number.
Call North Carolina Department of Agriculture at (919) 7333556 or call
your local Agricultural Extension Center.
Frequently in the past, products have low concentration of active ingredients and high application rates. These factors increase cost per acre or animal. There have been a couple of different sales pitches and a couple of "different" chemical companies.
Make sure you don't get taken advantage of and learn all you can about the chemicals before you buy. Also, when you do use chemicals, that you need to read and follow all label directions.
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