Seventh Horse Diagnosed with Strangles in Michigan: An Overview

Unfortunately, another case of strangles has been identified in a barn in Ottawa County, Michigan, making it the seventh horse from this facility to test positive for this contagious disease. The most recent case involves an 11-year-old Quarter Horse mare, which means that not only seasoned horses are at risk. Along with these seven confirmed cases, an additional 27 horses are potentially exposed to this bacterial infection.

Strangles in Horses: Causes and Symptoms

Strangles, or distemper, is a disease in horses caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi subspecies equi. This pesky bacterium can be picked up through direct contact with infected horses or objects that have been contaminated. The infection is made even trickier to manage because horses can be carriers of the bacteria, even if they do not exhibit symptoms. Keep an eye out for common symptoms like fever, swollen lymph nodes, nasal discharge, coughing, difficulty swallowing, wheezing, and muscle swelling. While most horses can recover in a few weeks, strangles can escalate to serious health conditions like pneumonia or laminitis if not treated properly.

Implications of Strangles on the Equine Industry

The occurrence of strangles outbreaks can carry a hefty price tag for the equine industry. This results from quarantine measures, treatment expenses, and possibly revenue loss from missing various horse shows and events. Fast spreading and hard to contain, it underlines the importance of having strict biosecurity measures in place.

The Role of Biosecurity in Curbing Strangles

Steadfast biosecurity measures are a must to prevent the transmission of strangles. These include:

  • Vaccination: Regularly vaccinating horses can significantly decrease the severity and duration of the disease.
  • Quarantine: New horses should undergo quarantine protocols to prevent introducing the bacteria into facilities.
  • Sanitation: Frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and equipment could help deter contamination.
  • Personal Protective Equipment: Using gloves and masks when handling infected horses may prevent the bacteria’s dissemination.
  • Isolation: Isolating sick horses can prevent healthy ones from getting infected.

Diving Deeper into the World of Strangles

It is useful for horse owners, caretakers, and enthusiasts to delve into comprehensive information about strangles, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. With the right knowledge and understanding of the disease, there is a better chance of preventing outbreaks and minimizing economic and health impacts in the equine industry.

Moreover, thorough case studies, such as investigations into this outbreak, provide invaluable data for preventing similar scenarios in the future. For instance, what led to the outbreak? How was it managed, and what were the consequences? Learnings from such analyses can shed more light on effective measures to deal with strangles outbreaks.


In light of the recent discovery of the seventh horse testing positive for strangles in a Michigan barn, diligent biosecurity measures have never been more important. The more we understand this disease, its causes, symptoms, and treatments, the better equipped we are to prevent outbreaks and mitigate any impact on the equine industry. It is clear that further research into this topic offers vital insights for successfully managing strangles outbreaks and stopping their spread.