Riders should be aware of the symptoms of strangles!
    Strangles is a very contagious disease that can make your horse ill. The disease can easily take over your barn if you are not careful.
     Strangles enlarges the lymph nodes between a horse's jawbone. This causes the horse to make strangled breathing sounds.
     Strangles is caused by the bacteria steptococcus equi. The bacteria is spread by contact with horses that are infected or carriers of the disease. Feeding/Water buckets, halters, walls, and fences may transport the bacteria.
     Symptoms of strangles include high fever, swollen lymph nodes, depression, lack of interest in food, and thick and yellow nasal discharge.
Horse with swollen lymph nodes
To prevent strangles from spreading, isolate the infected horse. Don't let other horses use the same stall, buckets, halter, tack, or any other items used on the infected horse. Make your sick horse as comfortable as possible. Keep the infected horse isolated for at least 6 weeks. Even if he isn't showing symptoms, your horse may still carry strangles. If you make contact with the sick horse, avoid contact with other horses.
     If you suspect that your horse has strangles, call your vet and isolate the horse immediately. Treatment depends on the stage of the disease. Vaccines can help prevent the disease but, do not always work.
     Most horses recover from strangles but, about 10 percent of untreated horses die. Occasionally, abscesses spread to the lungs, liver, or brain. This is called Bastard Strangles and is usually fatal.
    You may be thinking, "How did my horse get strangles? He hasn't been around any horses showing symptoms." Horse that do not show symptoms may still be shedding steptococcus equi. Your vet can do a series of test to see if your horse is still shedding the disease.