Clinical Signs

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Affected horses typically have a high temperature, cough, poor appetite, nasal discharge and swollen or abscessed lymph nodes of the head, which can appear as open sores. Some infected horses may become very ill and the disease may become fatal if the bacterium spreads to other parts of the body (‘bastard strangles’) or the respiratory tract is occluded by swollen lymph nodes (hence the term ‘strangles’). However, in some horses, a nasal discharge without glandular swelling is sometimes all that is seen.