Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



Strangles is a contagious disease caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi that has continued to affect horses through the development of long-term asymptomatic carriers. Effective identification of horses carrying S. equi and treatment of these horses has proven difficult. The chemical N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has mucolytic properties and has been used in the treatment of carriers; however the reports show controversial and anecdotal evidence regarding the effectiveness and inflammatory side effects. The goal of this study is to observe whether NAC is irritating to mucosal tissue with the interest of determining if NAC could be used to treat the carrier state of Strangles. Ten, healthy Standardbred mares were used in this random study which involved the endoscopic evaluation of uterine tissue in response to one of three treatment groups; no infusion, Lactated Ringer’s Solution (LRS), or a 3.3% NAC solution. The collected endoscopic images were subjectively evaluated for signs of tissue irritation by a double-blinded researcher. The results from this study indicate that the uterine tissues showed minor inflammation for the treatment groups of LRS and NAC when compared to the no infusion group, and NAC showed fewer signs of inflammation when compared to LRS. These results indicate that NAC may have anti-inflammatory properties.