New Brunswick

Contagious horse disease reported in province

A case of a highly contagious horse disease has been confirmed in New Brunswick.

Horse with strangles was euthanized, but there were other health reasons involved

A case of strangles, a highly contagious horse disease, has been reported in the province. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

A case of a highly contagious disease for horses has been confirmed in New Brunswick.

Equestrian Canada issued a release Friday stating a farm in the western part of the province had been under quarantine since Nov. 5 after a veterinarian was called to treat a horse that was not eating and had swelling.

After testing confirmed the horse had strangles, it was euthanized. However, other health reasons were involved.

Two other horses and a pony remained under quarantine after being exposed to the disease.

The release said only the pony caught the disease and was treated. One of two horses tested positive for the disease but did not show any clinical signs.

The farm remains under quarantine. Testing will continue.

Frustrating news

Deanna Phelan, the president of the New Brunswick Equestrian Association, said it's frustrating to keep hearing about cases of strangles happening in the province. She was also surprised to hear of it happening this time of year.

Deanna Phelan, president of the New Brunswick Equestrian Federation, is frustrated to hear of another case of strangles in the province. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

Four cases were confirmed in the province in May and June. 

With 2,300 members in the equestrian association, she said vaccinating horses is important. 

"We have been very proactive about educating and informing our members the need of proper bio-security … and part of bio-security is regular yearly vaccines." 

Phelan, who owns a riding school in Geary, says she's disappointed that there are still horse owners who do not vaccinate their animals. 

"Herd health … we have to be equally concerned about our animals." 

Phelan said there are several vaccinations that have to be completed to protect horses from contracting diseases like strangles. 

"The NBEA was not notified so I'm disappointed with the provincial vet lab," she said.

While Phelan said she knows it's in the off-season for horse shows and competitions, she remains concerned.

"This is a very passionate thing for me because I run a business and I don't need someone shutting me down." 

She said it is far cheaper to vaccinate a horse than to treat a horse for strangles.