Conditions or ailments that are the cause of a problem that you see - your observation.

Your vet may diagnose

Bastard Strangles

Synonyms: Internal Strep equi Abscess


Most cases of Strangles are uncomplicated. Abscesses resolve after rupturing and draining, with some time and 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 an abscess to form. An internal abscess can be life-threatening and results in weight loss, abdominal pain (colic), fever, depression and a variety of other more severe signs and complications. Internal abscesses usually are in the abdomen but can be almost anywhere.

DIAGNOSIS of abdominal abscesses requires sampling of abdominal fluid. Ultrasound and rectal exam may help locate an abdominal abscess. Strep blood titers may be helpful.

TREATMENT usually involves long-term antibiotic regimens.

my vet's role


Prognosis is fair to poor and depends on how sick the horse is by the time the problem is diagnosed, their body condition, age, and overall health.

Horses that are in shock or in poor body condition have a worse prognosis.

my role

Questions To Ask Your Vet:
  • What do I need to do to prevent Strangles in my herd?
  • Are my other horses at risk?

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.

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP