How do they test for strangles in horses?

Diagnostic testing to detect shedding of the bacteria which causes Strangles in horses, Streptococcus equi, currently includes bacterial isolation by aerobic culture and subsequent biochemical identification, and bacterial DNA detection by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

How does a vet test for strangles?

A blood test exists which can establish if new horses entering a yard have previously been exposed to the infection. This blood test detects antibodies, which are produced in response to infection with the bacteria, which causes Strangles. This is particularly useful to identify carrier horses.

How long does it take for a horse to show symptoms of strangles?

Once a horse is exposed to the bacteria, it will begin to show symptoms in two to six days. If left untreated, it will develop abscessed lymph nodes within one to two weeks after the onset of illness.

Which sample are taken for the diagnosis of strangles?

Ashley Boyle of New Bolton Center’s Equine Field Service team shows that the best method for diagnosing Strangles in horses is to take samples from a horse’s guttural pouch and analyze them using a loop-mediated amplification (LAMP) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

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How long do strangles results take?

Strangles can take up to two weeks succeeding infection to induce antibody production. Therefore, if your horse had been infected by strangles in the few days preceding the first blood test, the test will still show as negative.

How long can a horse be a carrier for strangles?

Horses often remain infected, and infectious, for 4 to 6 weeks but 1 in 10 will continue to discharge infectious material for longer and may remain carriers for years acting as a source of further outbreaks. Horses with chondroids will remain carriers until the chondroids are removed.

Can a horse recover from strangles?

Most animals fully recover from strangles in two to four weeks. Although enduring immunity against re-infection is variable, in some equids it can last for years. However, not all horses develop a protective immunity upon recovery.

Can a horse have strangles without nasal discharge?

Strangles is sometimes considered to be a disease of foals and young adult horses. Older horses are often immune to strangles due to prior exposure during their youth, or they may display only lethargy and nasal discharge without obvious lymph node swelling (however, these animals can still spread the disease).

What disinfectant kills strangles?

Kill the bacteria easily by heat and disinfectants such as an iodine-based disinfectant, chlorhexidine, or hot steam spray. Eliminating its spread will require steps such as: Cleaning and disinfecting water buckets and feed containers daily. Scrubbing to disinfect any stall areas contaminated by an infected animal.

Is there a vaccine for strangles?

To help protect horses against strangles, look to PINNACLE ® I.N. — the only modified-live bacterial vaccine developed to help prevent strangles caused by Streptococcus equi (S. equi).

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Can you get a false positive strangles test?

As with all ELISA tests, false negative and false positive results may occur and so timing of the test and careful interpretation of any results are important. A very small proportion of horses having being exposed to S.

How do you prevent strangles?


  1. Ensuring that the yard is not overcrowded.
  2. Avoid sharing tack or equipment from horses of an unknown health status.
  3. At shows/when away from the yard do not allow your horse to touch horses of an unknown health status. …
  4. Ensure that new arrivals to the yard are quarantined for at least 2 weeks.

How do you get rid of strangles in horses?

In most cases, strangles is treated with rest and supportive care. Horses are monitored closely to ensure pain management and adequate consumption of food and water. If not treated with antibiotics, 75% of horses mount a sufficient immune response to develop long-term immunity to strangles.

What does a horse blood test show?

The CBC quantifies the types of cells in a blood sample—specifically the red cells, the white cells and the platelets. Run on a sample of whole blood that has been blended with an anticoagulant, the CBC is a general-purpose screening tool that can yield a great deal of information about a horse’s general health.