Bastard Strangles Results in Michigan Horse Death

A mare was euthanized after she presented with atypical strangles lesions in her brain.
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Strangles in horse nasal discharge

While most horses recover from strangles without issue, complications from the infection include spread of the infection to lymph nodes other than the head and neck (also known as metastatic infection or bastard strangles), according to the AAEP.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that a 5-year-old mare was euthanized due to atypical (bastard) strangles with abscesses in the brain that cultured positive for S. equi subspecies equi (strangles).

The mare from Wexford County, Michigan, had onset of clinical signs on November 6 that included fever and neurologic signs. The vaccinated mare was confirmed with strangles on December 6. Ten other horses were exposed.

Information for this report was provided by the Equine Disease Communication Center. Information on strangles for horse owners can be found from the AAEP.