There is no one treatment plan that is suitable for every case of strangles. Treatment often revolves around supportive care, good stable management and hygiene, and this is determined by the attending veterinary surgeon. Antibiotics may not always be used since studies have shown that antimicrobials cannot easily penetrate the abscess capsule. Assessing the use of antibiotics is best left to the attending vet.


After the lymph nodes swell and abscesses form, many vets advise only symptomatic therapy (warm packs to help the abscesses mature and possibly surgical opening). Subsequently, vets can recommend a washing (lavage) of the abscess cavity or cavities with antiseptic solution until healed, often weeks after first signs of the disease.

Strangles: enlarged lymph nodesStrangles abscess