What Is Strangles?

Strangles is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus Equi.

Symptoms classically include:

  • High temperature
  • Coughing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Swollen and abscessed lymph nodes under the jaw

However a nasal discharge without glandular swelling is frequently all that is observed, a carrier state without any obvious clinical signs is also possible.

In very extreme cases strangles can be fatal.

Disease Control and Prevention

All horses entering a stud or yard should be monitored closely, particularly in the first 7 to 14 days after arrival.  Any horses that develop any of the possible clinical signs should be isolated and veterinary advice sought.

Spread of strangles can be limited by early detection, isolation and treatment of affected horses and any ‘in contacts’. 

Hygiene should be of the highest standard.

There are a number of different methods to identify the disease. The best way is to perform guttural pouch washes but nasopharyngeal swabs and blood samples can also be used depending on the disease stage.

On detection your vet will be able to advise you on the best treatment.

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