Strangles in Arizona: An Equine Health Concern

Even in the picturesque landscapes of Cochise County, Arizona, equine health concerns remain no laughing matter. Indeed, a horse in the area has recently tested positive for strangles, a contagious equine disease - the stuff of every horse owner's nightmare.

Understanding Strangles: It's No Horse Play

Strangles, caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi subspecies equi, can spread like wildfire through direct contact between horses or contaminated surfaces. What's more, a horse doesn't need to be cha-cha-cha-ing with the Grim Reaper to be contagious — animals in recovery can spread the disease for a good six weeks or so! Symptoms of strangles include a fever, swollen lymph nodes, and nasal discharge. When these symptoms escalate, they can give rise to abscesses in the throat, making it difficult for horses to eat. And if that didn't paint a grim enough picture, here's the punchline: in severe cases, strangles can be downright fatal!

Biosecurity Measures: Not Just For Sci-Fi Movies

Aside from preventing a potential sequel to "War of The Worlds" with equines as the new extraterrestrial antagonists, biosecurity measures in horse facilities are vital for keeping strangles at bay. The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) is at the helm of monitoring this situation and strongly advises that prevention is better than cure.

And what better way to kickstart prevention than by robust biosecurity measures? These include isolating newly arrived horses and the thorough washing and disinfection of equipment. Not to mention minimizing contact between horses from different facilities, because hey, social distancing is not a concept just for humans!

The Power-Packed Duo: Vaccination and Hygiene

Endorsing a regular vaccination routine against strangles can help muzzle the spread of the disease. Coupled with maintaining good hygiene practices, such as washing hands before and after handling horses, these measures prove to be the first line of defense in protecting horse health.

Another crucial step in control measures is the quarantine of any horses that show signs of the disease or have had close encounters of the infected kind.

Continued Research: Running the Course

While the Strangles vaccine proves an invaluable tool in the arsenal against the disease, there is a need to understand its limitations. As the saying goes, there's always room for improvement, and the same applies to understanding and refining prevention measures.

Moreover, strangles doesn't just wreak havoc on horses but can strike a colossal blow to the equine industry; from the expenses related to quarantine and treatment costs to the potential loss of valuable horses, strangles can indeed be a significant economic stressor.


In a nutshell, understanding strangles and the importance of vaccination, and implementing rigorous biosecurity are paramount in preventing the spread of this contagious disease. After all, when it comes to our hoofed pals, prevention should always be the goal.

For a more detailed understanding of strangles and other equine diseases, consider visiting the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) website.

Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Note: This article is an informative piece based on articles published on, and does not include all the information from the original articles.