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Recent outbreak of ‘Strangles’ has UDAF concerned

File Photo: Horses

SALT LAKE CITY — Recent outbreaks of a disease that affects horses, donkeys and mules in Nevada and Colorado has the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food concerned.

UDAF State Veterinarian Dr. Barry Pittman wants to remind Utah horse owners, especially those that take their animals to shows or rodeos, to be wary for any signs of the Strangles (Streptococcus equi) disease.

According to the UDAF press release, the initial signs are fever, trouble swallowing, noisy breathing, swollen lymph nodes, and thick discharge from the nose.

The infection is spread through any contact with a horse that may or may not already show the signs of the disease, the release said.

To prevent infection Pittman is asking horse owners to not share tack, feed tubs, water containers, trailers, pens or stalls with any horses of an unknown health status.

Fatality of the disease is rare but does happen, the press release warns, and if there’s any sign of the illness to please consult your local veterinarian as soon as possible.

Depending on the severity of the signs, antibiotics may or may not be used.