This highly contagious bacterial infection (Streptococcus equi) is now common in many areas of the UK and causes major economic problems on big yards. Unlike other infections, strangles tends to localise itself at the back of the throat, rather than spreading around the whole body. Infected animals should not be moved or exercised and show a wide variety of clinical signs – classically they develop a high temperature, nasal discharge and get large, hot and painful lymph-node swellings around the neck and jaw area. These swellings can eventually burst out as abscesses. In rare cases horses can go on to develop ‘bastard’ strangles, where abscesses form elsewhere in the body. Bastard strangles is usually fatal.