Symptoms of an Equine Strangles Infection in Horse or Pony

Equine Strangles is a highly contagious bacterial disease of horses which affects the lymph nodes.

It is is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus Equi. Strangles is among the most commonly diagnosed infectious diseases of horses in the UK.

The disease is known as "Strangles" because a horse or pony with strangles makes strangled breathing noises due to the lymph nodes situated between the jaw bone becoming enlarged and swollen.

If you are well aware of how your horse or pony is when it is healthy and what is normal the sooner you are likely to spot any symptoms of a disease like strangles. So it is a good idea to monitor your horse or pony's health on a daily basis.


A horse or pony infected with Strangles may show one or more or all of the following symptoms:

  • A high temperature - above 100.8
  • Swelling around the horse's throat and jaw.
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulting swallowing
  • Poor appetite - not eating feed
  • Thick white or yellow discharge from the horse or pony's nose
  • Lack of energy, weakness or listlessness
  • Coughing

Once a horse or pony has become infected with strangles the symptoms of the disease usually start to show within 2 to 6 days.

If your horse or shows these symptoms you should isolate him to try to stop the disease being passed to other horses and call your vet immediately.

Symptoms and signs of Strangles infection or disease in a Horse or Pony