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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Equine strangles (horses)

About the disease

Equine strangles is not a notifiable disease. Contact your private vet immediately if you suspect disease.

Strangles is a contagious bacterial infection that affects horses.

It causes the lymph nodes to block the upper airway making it difficult for horses to breathe, hence the name strangles.

Breaking the Strangles hold leaflet

What is Equine Strangles on Pet Keen


Clinical signs include:

  • fever
  • profuse nasal discharges
  • abscessed lymph nodes of the head and neck

Protect livestock

The best way to protect your horse from getting strangles is to minimize your horse's exposure to it. Swab your horse when it's near places that may breed the virus, like stables with large numbers of horses.

Keep infected horses separate from the rest immediately so it does not spread.

Any new horses introduced to a group should be isolated.

How the disease spreads

Strangles is usually transmitted through:

  • close contact
  • sharing water
  • sharing tack and handlers
  • not changing clothing or not washing hands between horses
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