Strangles is one of the oldest recorded diseases in horses, first recorded in 1251, and with approximately 600 outbreaks a year.
Strangles is the UK’s most commonly diagnosed infectious disease in horses and in horses globally (although not in Iceland – where no horses have been permitted to be imported for over 1000 years!)
Over a third of regions in the UK (61/167 = total regions, 36.6%) with cases in the last year. As horse owners, we should be prepared to encounter this disease in our careers, either in our own horses or others.
Over 90% of horse owners know the key signs of strangles; Snot, fever, abscesses
71% of horse owners are aware that, left untreated, around 10% of horses that recover from strangles become long-term carriers that can infect other horses for years into the future
Nasal discharge and temperature were the most common symptoms of strangles at the time of diagnosis between 2015 and 2019
The World Organisation for Animal Health does not officially recognise strangles as an equine infectious disease of international importance for trade as the disease is just so widespread, and it was thought to be caused by just one strain. Recent research showed that different strains travel around the world (globetrotting!), causing disease in countries as far apart as Argentina and the UK.
There are also new tools that can be used to prevent or significantly reduce the risk of strangles, including maps of strangles cases https://app.jshiny.com/jdata/ses/sesview/