Posted: 31st March 2021 | Back to news feed

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has released a new animation to help explain why we should all care about strangles carriers if we want to protect horses from the misery of the infectious disease.

It comes as the charity looks forward to joining forces with other leading equine organisations to host next month’s Strangles Awareness Week, which will run from 3rd to 9th May.

Redwings Strangles Awareness Week campaign banner

Strangles carriers appear to be perfectly healthy but are carrying hidden bacteria in part of their respiratory system. They may shed some of those bacteria at any time, with potential to infect other horses and trigger strangles outbreaks without anyone knowing where the disease has come from.

But the good news is that we can not only find and treat strangles carriers, we can prevent horses from becoming carriers in the first place. By asking a vet to check horses who are recovering from the infection, we can find and treat those who need a helping hand to completely clear the disease.

Without treatment, around one in every 10 horses who are infected with strangles will become a carrier. This is an average, however, and in some outbreaks the number may be higher.

Redwings horses

In Redwings' own outbreak in 2015, their vets treated eight out of 30 infected horses who were otherwise likely to have become long-term carriers, putting all their rescued residents at risk of the disease.

It is hoped that this light-hearted animation will help people understand the process that can lead to horses becoming silent strangles carriers and what we can do about it.

If you own or care for a horse, you can show that you would be willing to stop your horse becoming a carrier by taking the Stamp Out Strangles pledge.  Central to Redwings’ award-winning Stamp Out Strangles campaign, pledging is free, easy and you’ll be sent a Strangles Speak Out: Information Pack, endorsed by the British Equine Veterinary Association, with practical tips and guidance on preventing and managing strangles.

Taking part in Strangles Awareness Week is another great opportunity to help protect horses from strangles. During the Week, horse owners and yard managers are being invited to share their own experiences of strangles in order to encourage more to be open about the disease and promote support for people affected by an outbreak.

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