Quarantine has been released at the training facility in Fayette County, Kentucky, were one horse tested positive for strangles.
Quarantine has been released at the training facility in Fayette County, Kentucky, were one horse tested positive for strangles. | Wikimedia Commons

In late December, a Thoroughbred who arrived at a training facility in Fayette County, Kentucky, from out of state started displaying clinical signs of strangles. The horse tested positive on January 4. Thirteen horses were exposed, but no additional positive cases were confirmed. The quarantine on the property has been released.

EDCC Health Watch is an Equine Network marketing program that utilizes information from the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) to create and disseminate verified equine disease reports. The EDCC is an independent nonprofit organization that is supported by industry donations in order to provide open access to infectious disease information.

About Strangles

Strangles in horses is an infection caused by Streptococcus equi subspecies equi and spread through direct contact with other equids or contaminated surfaces. Horses that aren’t showing clinical signs can harbor and spread the bacteria, and recovered horses remain contagious for at least six weeks, with the potential to cause outbreaks long-term.

Infected horses can exhibit a variety of clinical signs:

  • Fever
  • Swollen and/or abscessed lymph nodes
  • Nasal discharge
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Muscle swelling
  • Difficulty swallowing

Veterinarians diagnose horses using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing with either a nasal swab, wash, or an abscess sample, and they treat most cases based on clinical signs, implementing antibiotics for severe cases. Overuse of antibiotics can prevent an infected horse from developing immunity. Most horses make a full recovery in three to four weeks.

A vaccine is available but not always effective. Biosecurity measures of quarantining new horses at a facility and maintaining high standards of hygiene and disinfecting surfaces can help lower the risk of outbreak or contain one when it occurs.

Brought to you by Boehringer Ingelheim, The Art of the Horse

What did you think of this article?

Thank you for your feedback!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Horse&Rider provides all you need for today’s Western horse life. Learn from top professional trainers, clinicians, and horsekeeping experts.

Related Articles


Equine Influenza Confirmed in Alberta

Two horses in Mountain View County are positive and under voluntary quarantine.
Read Now

Strangles Confirmed in Two Washington Counties

The affected horses reside in Clallam and Snohomish Counties.
Read Now

EHM Confirmed in California Mare

The horse resides in San Luis Obispo County, where 42 horses are exposed.
Read Now