How To Protect Your Horse From Strangles

How To Protect Your Horse From Strangles

Strangles is a highly contagious bacterial infection in horses caused by Streptococcus equi. Understanding the signs of strangles and taking preventive measures is crucial for horse owners to protect their animals from contracting this serious disease. Here, we will discuss the signs of strangles and provide recommendations to prevent its spread.

Strangles can be alarming, as horses suffering from this disease can exhibit visually shocking symptoms. Unfortunately, strangles is more common than perceived, as owners often isolate affected horses to prevent outsiders from observing the symptoms. The bacteria responsible for strangles, Streptococcus equi, is hardy and can survive on various surfaces, including soil and water, for extended periods. This makes it possible for strangles to spread even after an infected horse has left the premises.

Notably, not all horses carrying the strangles bacteria will show signs of illness. Some seemingly healthy horses can unknowingly shed the bacteria through coughing or sneezing, contributing to its spread.

The signs of strangles in horses include:

  • High temperature (+38.5°C)
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Thick and discolored nasal discharge
  • Swelling of glands under the jaw


If you suspect that your horse may have strangles, it is crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and guidance.

To prevent the spread of strangles, it is essential to implement a robust biosecurity routine at your yard.

Here are some key measures to prioritise:

  • Regularly disinfect shared areas to minimise the pathogenic load.
  • Disinfect tack, especially shared bits, between uses.
  • Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands between touching different horses.
  • Avoid horse-to-horse contact, particularly when attending shows or events.
  • Disinfect your trailer and equipment before and after traveling.
  • Use a strangles-killing water treatment in all shared water troughs to eliminate the bacteria and prevent its spread.

Equine Bio-Genie offers a range of disinfectant products that have been proven to effectively kill equine-specific viruses and bacteria, including strangles. These products are safe for use around humans and horses, as well as being environmentally friendly.

For individual horse owners, we recommend our General Purpose spray and Travel kit, providing quick and easy disinfection solutions for tack and equipment. Larger yards and small holdings can benefit from the economical concentrated disinfectant and sprayers.

Moreover, it is highly recommended to regularly treat shared water troughs with our strangles-killing water treatment. This treatment not only eradicates the strangles bacteria but also helps keep the troughs clean from green algae.

For more information about Equine Bio-Genie's products and services, please reach out to us on 07971 474 422 or via email at

By being diligent in implementing these preventive measures and utilising effective disinfection products, horse owners can significantly reduce the risk of their horses contracting the strangles virus and contribute to maintaining a healthy equine community.


Bespoke Equine Testing

We have gone to the very well respected equine laboratory of the Irish Equine Centre to have additional efficacy testing carried out. 

We have commissioned testing done to unusually low contact times across various dilution rates. These tests were carried out using an equine serum as an interfering agent under clean and dirty conditions