Druse in horses msd animal health germany

Druse is a disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi
Infectious disease. Basically, all horses of any age can be affected by the disease. The main risk groups are:

– Young horses – Horses in large herds – Horses with frequent changes of location, such as show and breeding horses

Druse is extremely painful for the horse and difficult to treat. In addition, a horse that appears to be completely healthy can be a carrier of the pathogen (ca. 10% of recovered horses become carriers). Therefore, it is important to minimize contact with horses with unknown status. Once druse has taken hold of a horse population, it can spread very quickly through direct contact but also indirect contact (via feed, watering, tack or people) and it is difficult to eradicate in affected herds. Outbreaks can last for months. lead to the isolation of the entire farm.

Several measures can be taken to minimize the risk of druse

1. Vaccinate!Vaccination against Streptococcus equi can in most cases completely prevent the occurrence of druse in horse herds. The need for vaccination depends on the individual druse risk of a herd. Ask your veterinarian about the risk of thrush in your herd. He will also advise you on the optimal vaccination schedule for your horses.

2: Other measures:

– avoid contact with horses of unknown origin and health status – no overcrowding of stable compartments – a quarantine of 2 to 3 weeks for all newly stabled horses


Characteristic of druse is:

– Increase in body temperature – nasal discharge – cough – lymph node abscess – respiratory distress

In some cases, the signs of the presence of druse are obvious that your veterinarian can make the diagnosis based on that alone. However, this is not always the case, so that the collection of nasal swab samples for further investigations may be necessary. You should always obtain a veterinary diagnosis, as horses may show some of the above symptoms under completely different circumstances.

When the first case of druse is diagnosed in a herd, all other horses are at risk. Therefore, should immediately:

– all affected horses should be separated from the others – the herd should be closed, d.h. all horse traffic in and out of the herd to be prevented – all healthy appearing horses to be carefully observed within the following 2-3 weeks to detect new cases of druse as early as possible – people in contact with horses outside the affected herd to be avoided

This means that you are completely isolated from the outside world. Unfortunately, this situation can last for months (at least until 3 weeks after the last affected horse has recovered).


If the diagnosis can be made very early, your veterinarian will decide if antibiotic treatment is necessary. If the diagnosis is made after abscesses have formed, your veterinarian can open them to promote drainage.

Most horses can be fully recovered, however statistically about 1% of cases end fatally. Up to 10% may develop complications such as multiple abscesses.


If a stable is affected by the bacterium Streptococcus equi, the disease can spread very quickly. This is possible through direct contact between horses, but also through indirect contact, such as a cough.B.

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