Horsing around for a good cause

Sally Moore spent some of her wind-swept Sunday with members of the Gordonton Pony Club.

The local veterinarian  gave a talk on the contagious disease Strangles and then lent her stethoscope for all those eager for some hands-on practice.

Fifteen-year-old Olivia was quiet and very well behaved throughout the session, N8N can report.  She is also a thoroughly lovely horse.

Better yet, the sun did shine for most of the event.


For those interested – Strangles, which is also known as horse distemper, is an infectious bacterial horse disease.   It is transmitted from horse to horse as well as via gear and people.

Young horses are more affected but any unvaccinated horse can catch it.

Incubation time is three to six days.  Early signs are the animal going off its food followed by high fevers.  The horse then has trouble swallowing but they will normally recover within 14 days.

Treatment includes complete rest and nursing care, hot packs, feeding soft food and isolation for at least four weeks.

Strangles is highly contagious and can cause epidemics. The good news is vaccinations can prevent it.  An initial course is three vaccinations, two weeks apart then annually.


For more details visit the Global Veterinary Services website.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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