Originally Posted by TheRoughrider21 View Post
She's boarded but I'm still not sure how she would have caught it. There hasn't been any horses that have strangles in the past few months.
My BO doesn't think its strangles. She doesn't have any other symptoms besides the lumps.
There are what are called "inapparent carriers" meaning that they don't have symptoms and can carry the bacteria for YEARS, spreading it to other horses without being sick themselves. The only way to diagnose these animals is to do scoping and/or swabs on their guttural pouches. Often you will find chondroids or pus rocks within the pouches.
If your BO doesn't think it is strangles, perhaps she needs to be educated. Big abscessed retropharyngeal lymph nodes (the ones right behind/under the jaw) that split open and ooze pus are pretty much always strangles. I suppose a cat could have jumped up and bitten her there, causing an abscess but other than that it is strangles with about 95% certainty.
Even if she doesn't want to admit that it is Strangles, this is a very classic presentation of the disease so there is no reason to not take every precaution and treat it as if it is. Although it has been several days now so if precautions weren't taken it will be possible that it has already been spread about. The most critical horses at the boarding barn to worry about would be foals, young horses, and mares in foal. Like someone else mentioned, there is some immunity built up to Streptococcus Equi (the causative bacterium) so hopefully you have a bunch of horses out there that have been previously exposed and have some degree of immunity built up.
I strongly suggest you speak with your veterinarian so that they can give you the facts on Strangles- how it presents, how it spreads, and how horses can become inapparent carriers.