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Scarlett survives Strangles!

16th March 2017

You may remember the story of Scarlett, an eight-year-old Thoroughbred mare who arrived at Bransby Horses in November last year following seizure by the RSPCA; she was found abandoned close to a busy road and was ushered into a garden to keep her safe. In a very poor state, with a body condition of just two out of five, Scarlett had severe swelling under her neck, nasal discharge and an abscess which indicated that sadly, Scarlett had a disease called Strangles, which positive test results later confirmed.

Scarlett was exhausted and struggled to eat forage because of the extent to which her neck was swollen. Covered in lice, open cuts and sores around her back legs and hind quarters, it was evident that she was very stressed and in a lot of pain. Live worms were also found in her droppings but luckily, veterinary assistance was not far away; Scarlett’s abscesses were soon lanced to relieve the pressure around her neck.

Despite their best attempts, the RSPCA were unable to locate her most recent owner; Scarlett’s microchip had not been updated with their details. The microchip did enable us to look into her history though and  we discovered she has raced and competed in dressage and eventing. It is sad to see a once loved and cared for horse end up abandoned by a road in such poor health.

We are delighted to announce that after four months in isolation at the Animal Reception Centre (ARC), Scarlett is almost at the end of her journey to rehabilitation and has been declared free from Strangles by vets following tests. Scarlett was kept in quarantine to prevent the Strangles spreading to other equines. Whilst in isolation, Scarlett had her own feed and water buckets which were disinfected after every use. The staff caring for her wore overalls before entering her stable, whilst foot dips and disinfectant sprays were also used. All waste materials, including bedding and dressings were bagged, sealed and put into clinical waste. Quarantine is paramount with a contagious disease like Strangles, in cases like this. Scarlett received a combination of endoscope and serology (blood) tests which were used to determine that she was free from the Strangles infection. The team at the ARC worked tirelessly to care for Scarlett and have done an excellent job of turning this beautiful horse’s life around.

A favourite with the staff, Scarlett responded extremely well to treatment and has proved to be a kind-natured and loving mare with a wonderful temperament. Now that Scarlett progressed extremely well on her long road to recovery, she is now ready to move out of the ARC and go into the Rehoming Barn to continue her ridden career, in the hope that one day she will find a loving home and receive the attention that she deserves!

We could not continue to improve the life of equines like Scarlett without your support. If you could support our vital rescue and welfare work, please visit our Donate pages.