What is Strangles and do I need to vaccinate my horse against it?
Strangles is a highly contagious and serious disease that affects horses and donkeys. Strangles is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi equi and it affects the upper respiratory system & lymph nodes in the head, particularly in the throat. The lymph nodes can become extremely swollen and painful which can cause difficulty when swallowing and breathing. In some cases the infected lymph nodes will burst and discharge pus. Other symptoms of Strangles include a nasal discharge, coughing, fever, lack of appetite and depression.
There is a vaccine for Strangles which is available as a vaccine on its own, Equivac® S Strangles Vaccine, or in combination with a tetanus vaccine, Equivac® 2in1 Vaccine. You should vaccinate your horse against Strangles, particularly if they come in contact with any other horses. Please speak to your veterinarian regarding the vaccination regime and what is the best option for you and your horse.
If you ever suspect that your horse is infected with Strangles then you should isolate the horse from others and contact your veterinarian immediately to assist with treatment options.