Strangles in horses

How to prevent an infectious outbreak of strangles!       

An outbreak of strangles in horses can last as long as six months on a yard with inadequate isolation procedures.

After the outbreak of strangles and discussions between the vet and yard owner, new improved procedures were introduces to prevent the spread of disease.

All new horses arriving at our yard are isolated for a two week period, as this is the most effective way to prevent a strangles outbreak.

The “silent carrier” will always pose a risk on any yard. The stable must be well away from other horses, no contact what so ever!

This includes the sharing of horse equipment. If you’re in charge of a horse and have others to look after, make sure you do the quarantine horse last, so as not to pose a risk.

When you arrive at the yard the next day, you need to use the same system as before.


Good hygiene will prevent or control the disease, so your clothes can only be worn once per visit and all equipment must be disinfected with nothing to be shared

Controlling an outbreak of strangles in horses

After the vet had diagnosed my horse with this highly infectious disease, stricked quarantine measures were put in place.

The yard had to be shut down. No movement of horses was allowed.

No horse could enter and no horse could leave. This meant all the competition horses could not compete. It now affected everyone.


My horse was put into isolation and all others that had been in contact had to remain on box rest. Hygiene was stepped up to the highest level.

It was like a major operation on a daily basis, everything had to be disinfected.

Those that were attending the yard twice a day had to change into fresh clean clothes before entering the yard.

I had to walk through a foot dip on arrival and after I had finished with my horse; likewise the others who were confined to their stable.

It was a trying time for all of us, but under the guidance of the vet, several weeks later, are yard was given the all clear and it was such a relief.

Life after strangles


It hit us all hard but raised our standards and awareness.

When I take my horse anywhere, I always try to avoid people stoking him or other horses having contact with him.

You might think I'm over the top but preventing Strangles is always in the back of my mind and I will do my utmost to keep all my horses safe. 


Strangles in horses can spread by direct contact, for example nose to nose contact.





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