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Equine Strangles Disease

Description of Equine Strangles

Equine Strangles is a highly dangerous and contagious prevalent disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi. Strangles affects the horse's lymph nodes in the upper respiratory tract and is one of the most common equine respiratory infections in the world, affecting horses of all ages and breeds. The most dangerous element of strangles is the speed with which it spreads between horses.


Symptoms of Equine Strangles

  • abscesses in the neck oozing thick yellow pus
  • loss of appetite
  • cough
  • nasal discharge
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck area
  • breathing problems


Causes of Equine Strangles

  • Infection by the bacterium Streptococcus equi
  • Cross infection between horses, farriers vets, handlers



Treatment of Equine Strangles

Isolate the horse and call your vet immediately.  Each case of strangles is individual but good stable management and first class hygiene are common requisites for all cases and imperative for recovery.  Your vet may then recommend some of the following:

  • antibiotics
  • warm packs to help draw out abscess
  • washing of the abscesses with antiseptic solution
  • surgical opening.

There is another form is strangles known as “bastard strangles” which occurs in different areas of the body.  This strangles strain has does not respond well to treatment but your vet will advise.





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