Pigeon Fever – Killer for Horses

Wild Horse Foundation

Pigeon Fever – Type 3 of Strangles

While some have never seen what Pigeon Fever will do to any horses we have received wild horses from the government with this.  This will cause the horse to pick at its body and tear it open from the skin and away.  There are not cures for any strangles. Regular strangles, like flu can be given a shot to help defend against it but is not a cure or stops it from happening. If a horse has strangles and is given the shot this will only prolong the effects of the disease, not stop it. It will be dormant until stress or other actions cause it to surface. Bastard Strangles which implodes in the horses pulmonary track/lungs causes it do drown from fluid in the lungs, no cure. Pigeon Fever, looks like a big balloon in the center of the chest on the horse and when big enough for the horse to bite into will pop and then the skin rips away from the body exposing the chest cavity.  

Strangles is airborne, by water or contact. Once you have a facility that has been infected with strangles it is recommended that the facility be quarantined until tested clear.  The best way to rid a facility is to bleach/water spray the facility and let natural sun take its course along with time.  It’s estimated to be 360 days left undisturbed. Read up in APHIS recommendation and USDA guidelines for contagious disease.  

These pictures were pulled from our files.  There are no strangle cases of any type on the Wild Horse Foundation on this date, 3-31-10.  All wild horses or any horses are required prior to arriving at the Foundation to have current coggins and immunizations with vaccines vials code numbers to validate accuracy.

This mare opened this wound up herself. Sever weight loss is normal due to the infection over taking the body.

After the wound has been opened all you can really do is keep it hydroed and give antibiotics.  If the horse is strong enough to pull out of this then they will make it. Most will not and die before they ever recover.

This actually opens up into the chest cavity into the body.

Before this was said and done the entire front of this horse came off. Not one piece of her skin was left in place.  We hydroed  and worked her everyday and you wouldn’t think or know she was a wild horse. 

As you can see into the cavity of the wild horse.  Layers of infected skin, tissue and muscle. While mostly topical this eventually rotten all her skin away.

With iodine wash and thorough rinsing twice a day we at least made her feel better. We couldn’t do anything about the disease accept only guess if the BLM really ever gives vaccinations for what? We know there is no vaccination for this.

Daily cleansing of the area is vitally important to the recovery.  If the horse can sustain this and recover from it its immune system will be weak for some time. Its important to watch and monitor the health for a period of 6 months to one year.

No the BLM does not call you or tell you they are sending “SICK” “INFECTED” “DISEASED HORSES” to anyone, they just do it because they are the BLM, the Federal government.  They use the cloak of immunity making the public think they are prosecution proof of the law.

The Foundation in its mission has taken on the responsibility to care for these wild horses when they come in only by donations.  No grants or government help from any agencies has ever helped.

The mare has healed and is doing fine.  She is in a great home and treated extra special because of her fight to survive this tragic ordeal.

She believed and trusted us and we healed her with kindness and patience.  This had to run its course.   

© Copyright 1995-2015 Wild Horse Foundation.  WILD HORSE FOUNDATION is a trademark of the Wild Horse Foundation.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  P. O. Box 692, Franklin, Texas 77856




 If you can help, please DONATEFor more information contact: grfield@wildhorsefoundation.org   © Copyright 1995-2015 Wild Horse Foundation.  WILD HORSE FOUNDATION is a trademark of the Wild Horse Foundation.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  P. O. Box 692, Franklin, Texas 77856