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Myth Busting

Myth: Strangles is not fatal

Strangles infection can spread to lymph nodes in areas other than the head or neck (e.g. chest or abdomen). This is known as “bastard” strangles. This type of infection can be extremely difficult to cure and is frequently fatal. Strangles can also cause damage to the blood vessels and lead to swelling of the head or legs, circulatory failure and death.2,3

Myth: Strangles affects only young horses

While strangles commonly affects foals and younger horses, horses of any age can be infected.2,3

Myth: Only horses with signs of strangles can infect others

Some horses can outwardly show no signs of strangles, yet they can still carry the infection and spread it to other horses.1 This is why it’s important to minimise the risk of infection at all times.




  1. Strategy to Eradicate and Prevent Strangles (STEPS). The British Horse Society, Scotland, 2011.
  2. Queensland Horse Council Inc. Strangles Fact Sheet, May 2010.
  3. Biosecurity NSW. PrimeFact 648, Third Edition, May 2012. NSW Department of Industry and Investment.