Worried About Strangles

Strangles is a contagious disease that affects horses. It’s really unpleasant. A quick glance at a few photos here and I am sure it won’t take much imagination to see what an uncomfortable and horrible disease it is! It can result in death, though treatment is usually effective, but it’s not something you’d want any animal to have to go through.

So, when I heard that there had been a few cases in WA recently, I thought I had better look into this. I am about to take TK out into a social environment and this increases his risk of getting the disease. However, it would seem that the original reports have been greatly exaggerated, as detailed in this article by the ABC (a far more reliable source of information. You can trust the ABC, like you can trust CBC or PBS).

I contacted the local vet and the WA Endurance Riders Association and no rides are cancelled and there are no bio-hazard policies in place. If you want to get your horse vaccinated, that’s a great idea, and always better to be safe than sorry. But basically the WAERA are asking people to use common sense and not bring a sick horse to a ride.

Great advice!

So, I probably will organise to have TK and Nero vaccinated, but am not going to freak out about it. It will cost me $75 per horse, and I still haven’t made much of a dent in the existing vet bill, so might wait until I have a little more available cash, and not make that debt to them any bigger than it already is.

Further to the topic of horses, I have contacted and left a message for the Registrar of Racehorses to find out how to transfer ownership of TK to me. Right now, according to his RISA records, he has 5 owners! Presumably he was purchased as a ‘pooled investment’ and failed miserably. I have his Thoroughbred Identification Card, but no transfer papers. It’s really neat to look at these records: TK’s real name is Party Flight, and he’s trialled (run a race) twice and came in last in each race. Then his record ends. In other words, TK is SLOW! hehehe I guess I’m not the only one who complained about this problem of his!

Also, had the farrier out here this weekend to do the boys’ feet and had a little chat. TK’s got some funny movement in his hind legs, he really rolls on the outside of each hoof and twists his hind legs at a walk. The farrier is sure he’ll be fine and sound for pleasure, but won’t pull up sound in endurance. Basically, his unusual action in the hind leg will either cause him pain over the long haul and therefore he won’t come through sound, or just the odd action will cause the vets to pull him when he does his trot out. Since I am going to an endurance ride in 12 days time, and only doing the social ride, it will be a good opportunity to discuss this potential problem with the enduro vet.

I’m not phased if he doesn’t turn out to be an endurance horse. I’m mostly after a pleasure horse and all-rounder, but of course, one that will also be able to complete the Blackwood Marathon this year!

So, I guess the information I’ve gathered today answers a few of my worries, but I still have a few more things to work through to ensure he’ll be – and stay – healthy and strong.

P.S. Sorry I went a little crazy with the links today! I guess that’s what happens when you get off work early but are trapped in the house due to the rain. It’s meant to be my hills day, but that certainly wasn’t on the cards in this weather! Don’t you just love spring? One minute it’s the sunniest nicest day you can imagine, the next you’re soaked to the bone!


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