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Strangles Awareness Week 

Photo: Shutterstock

From 6th to 12th of May is Strangles Awareness Week - a week that focuses on strangles. The aim is to raise awareness of the disease and how best to prevent infection. 

This week is widespread in the UK and is proving to have a big impact on the fight against strangles in the country. Giveaways, donations, webinars, and much more are organized to raise awareness and provide information about the contagious disease. You can also read and watch a lot of personal stories about equine strangles and learn from other horse owners' experiences. In addition, information will be provided on the latest research, vaccines, and treatment.  

What is strangles?   

Strangles is a respiratory infection of the horse's upper respiratory tract, primarily the head region. It is one of the most common infectious diseases in horses. It has an infection rate of almost 100%. The disease is caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus equi. It can take up to two weeks from the time a horse is infected until it starts showing symptoms.  

There is no cure for strangles, but it is possible to make the course of the disease less painful for the horse. The vaccine against strangles is highly effective and it is recommended to incorporate it into your horse's annual vaccination routine.  


Classic symptoms of strangles   

  • Fever - between 38.2 and up to 41 degrees   
  • A depressed horse   
  • Not eating the feed   
  • Runny nose   
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the head region   

Symptoms begin one to two and a half days before the horse starts contaminating other horses. This is why temperature measurement is essential in order to prevent infection with strangles.   

Learn more about Strangles on Strangles Awareness Week.

What is Strangles Awareness Week?  

Strangles Awareness Week (SAW) is a global collaborative initiative aimed at preventing and managing strangles - the most common contagious equine disease.  

Taking place in the first week of May each year, SAW is a way for horse owners to join a rapidly growing network of horse owners and horse people who want to help protect horses and businesses from the serious and multiple consequences of a strangles outbreak. 

Highlights from Focus Week 2023  

Last year, the main focus was to raise awareness of the importance of regular temperature checks as part of a preventative choking routine. The campaign reached an impressive 8.5 million people and included the distribution of 8,000 thermometers across the UK.  

The week also featured a seminar "Taking the Heat Out of Strangles".

Watch or re-watch the webinar here.



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