Owners are being encouraged to take advantage of the new strangles vaccine as part of a multi-factor approach to combating the disease.
The long-awaited vaccine launched in the UK last autumn, having been in development for more than 25 years. It reduces the clinical signs of the infection, including high temperature and coughing, and can reduce the number of lymph node abscesses. Trials demonstrated it can protect “more than 94% of horses”, but despite the benefits, vets have reported a limited uptake of the vaccine.
Edd Knowles of Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic told H&H the vaccine is an “exciting addition” to the strategies to combat strangles.
“There is no single ‘magic bullet’ to prevent strangles and currently we often see an over-reliance on blood testing to prevent the condition,” said Dr Knowles. “When combined with other biosecurity measures, vaccination should reduce the impact of strangles on our horses.”
Bell Equine vet Karen Coumbe added that she is “looking forward” to when the vaccine is in regular use. “Especially in stable yards, where young horses move in and out frequently, so are at a higher risk of disease. As of yet, there has been…