Stable Shield News

What is Strangles

Strangles is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by bacteria (Streptoccoccus Equi). It can affect all horses, ponies and even donkeys with the bacteria affecting the lymph nodes initally. 

What are the signs of Strangles?

Every case can vary between those mildly affected to hose who are more severe and have serious issues breathing. This is where the name Strangles came from. 

The more common signs of Strangles include;

  • Loss of appetite
  • High/raised temperature
  • Cough
  • Nasal Discharge
  • Swollen lymph glands 

Horses are required to have a strict incubation of between 3-14 days and most horses fully recover within 6 weeks. 

How does Strangles spread?

Strangles can spread very quickly through a yard, through horse to horse contact or via tack, shared drinking water and on clothing. Typically the infection enters through the respiratory tract and abscesses form in the lymph nodes. 

In order to prevent an outbreak in your yard, it is important that you follow your biosecurity protocols. These can include;

  • Ensuring tack and grooming kit is disinfeted regularly. 
  • Stables are disinfected and fully cleaned every six weeks
  • A horse showing signs of strangles should be isolated and tested 
  • Avoid sharing water troughs, equipment and possible contact between horses

New arrivals to a yard are quarantined for at least two weeks (All equipment kept seperate for this time). 

Ensure biosecuity protocols are adhered to will minimise the risk of infection in their yard and prevent the spread of strangles.