Strangles: A Common Threat to Horse Health and Performance

Help control this risky disease with the use of an intranasal vaccine.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Pfizer

You want your American Quarter Horses to be at their best, no matter what you use them for. So when it comes to providing protection and helping prevent the spread of respiratory infections such as strangles, choosing an effective vaccine is crucial.

Strangles, caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi, is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection that is most common in young horses.1 The disease can spread quickly in a stable or show setting and is easily transmitted through direct animal-to-animal contact or by objects that may have come in contact with infected horses, such as buckets, bridles or even the hands of the caretakers. Also, horses that have been previously exposed to Streptococcus equi may continue to shed the bacterium without displaying any clinical symptoms, which commonly include fever, difficulty swallowing, abnormal breathing, nasal discharge, swelling and/or abscesses of the lymph nodes.

Strangles isn't the only infectious equine disease. Equine viral arteritis is a resilient virus, one that has significant implications in the breeding business. Download AQHA's FREE report, EVA: A Manageable Problem, and learn all about the symptoms, treatment and prevention of EVA.

When horses travel, trail ride with other horses, compete frequently or move from facility to facility, the risk of exposure to strangles is increased. Since the disease can spread quickly and the origin isn’t easily traced, these horses are at risk to contract the disease if not properly vaccinated.

Therefore, good biosecurity, hygiene and vaccination of these at-risk horses are critical in helping prevent the spread of strangles.

To help protect your horse against strangles, owners can look to an intranasal vaccine such as PINNACLE ® I.N. PINNACLE I.N. is the only two-dose, modified-live vaccine developed to help prevent strangles caused by Streptococcus equi.

Intranasal administration helps provide a “more natural” immune response, stimulating innate and mucosal immunity at the site of infection.2 PINNACLE I.N. utilizes a specially designed cannula, which delivers and helps target the vaccine to the pharyngeal, or throat, area.

PINNACLE I.N. is available only through your veterinarian. Vaccination generally is recommended for young horses, horses kept at facilities with previous strangles infections and horses that travel or are exposed to other horses on a routine basis.3 The American Association of Equine Practitioners classifies strangles as a risk-based disease, so horse owners should talk with their veterinarian to determine the best vaccination protocol for their horses and help give themselves peace of mind when it comes to helping protect against strangles.

For more information on PINNACLE I.N., contact your Pfizer Animal Health representative or call 855-4AH-PFIZER (855-424-7349).

1 American Association of Equine Practitioners. Strangles (Streptococcus equi). 2008. Accessed June 29, 2012.
2 Sweeney CR, Timoney JF, Newton JR, Hines MT: Streptococcus equi Infections in Horses: Guidelines for Treatment, Control, and Prevention of Strangles. J Vet Intern Med 2005;19:123-134.
3 American Association of Equine Practitioners. Understanding Equine Strangles. 2008. Accessed June 29, 2012.

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