Elevated white blood count indicates internal abscess – a.k.a. Bastard Strangles

Tell me more about bastard strangles. My mare is 17 yrs old and 5 1/2 mo bred. She developed a bad cold with thick mucos and a cough for about 10 days I treated her with penecillin and I thought she was well. Since she has lost weight ...Tell me more about bastard strangles. My mare is 17 yrs old and 5 1/2 mo bred. She developed a bad cold with thick mucos and a cough for about 10 days I treated her with penecillin and I thought she was well. Since she has lost weight ...

Story originally posted by: Dr. Michael Lowder, DVM, MSUniv. of GA School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lowder:

Tell me more about bastard strangles. My mare is 17 yrs old and 5 1/2 mo bred. She developed a bad cold with thick mucos and a cough for about 10 days I treated her with penicillin and I thought she was well. Since she has lost weight and doesn’t have a good appetite, she had edema accumulate under her belly. Her white count went up 13,000 we put her on genomycin and white count went up to 16,000. Her red count was low also. Now we have her on sulfur meds now her white count is slowly coming down. The edema is gone from under her belly now. 2 different vets are thinking she has an abcess somewhere suggesting bastard strangles. Tell me more.

Thanks,
Pam

Pam,

Bastard strangles are usually a sequel to strangles. If your mare does have an internal abscess it will take some time to treat as antibiotics do not penetrate abscesses well.

Good Luck,
Dr. Lowder