Management of Strangles

What To Do In An Outbreak

Once the first case of strangles on a yard has been diagnosed, all other horses are at risk.

The affected horse needs to be isolated from the other horses.
The yard should be closed to horses from outside the yard and horses should not be moved from the yard - even if they seem healthy.
All healthy animals on the yard should be monitored closely to pick up new cases of strangles as early as possible. Monitoring rectal temperatures twice daily is a useful exercise.
It is useful to move horses into three distinct groups:

Equipment and staff should not move between groups and groups should be kept out of contact with each other. Horses showing signs of disease or a raised temperature should be moved into the red group. The idea is to try and limit the spread of strangles so that it does not pass around the whole yard. This obviously has welfare benefits for the individual horses but will also reduce the costs and time involved in the ’clean up’ procedure after an outbreak.

Wear protective clothing and gloves when handling infected horses and wear waterproof footwear that can be easily cleaned in a suitable disinfectant. It is a good idea to have foot dips available for each group of horses.

Ensure everyone on the yard has been informed and behaves appropriately.

People who are in regular contact with horses from outside the yard should stay away from the infected yard as much as possible.

Effectively, an outbreak could mean that a yard will be closed down. Unfortunately, this situation can last for months.



Limiting the spread
of strangles around
the yard will benefit
the individual horse
but will also reduce
the costs and time
involved in the ‘clean
up’ procedure after
an outbreak