Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Bastard Strangles

Synonyms: Internal Strep equi Abscess

Most cases of Strangles are uncomplicated. They resolve with time and some basic treatment. However, occasionally the organism that causes Strangles (Streptococcus equi), can end up in unlikely places such as the abdomen, where it can cause a life-threatening disease.

Internal abscesses can result in weight loss, abdominal pain (colic), fever, depression and a variety of other more severe symptoms and complications.

If Strangles affects a population of horses, it is critical to be on the lookout during and after the outbreak for horses with this atypical and potentially more serious form of this disease.


By keeping your horse's general health as good as it can be you reduce the severity of this disease, especially this complication.

Maintain excellent general health through the best husbandry and nutrition. Reduce exposure to Streptococcus equi, by placing new horses in quarantine for 4-6 weeks, if possible. Understand and use vaccines to reduce the likelihood of infection.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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