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Runny nose w/ yellow discharge but no fever

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    Runny nose w/ yellow discharge but no fever

    I’m embarrassed to admit that in 20 years of having horses I’ve never actually had a horse with a true runny nose.

    But today one of my geldings has a runny nose with yellow snot. It’s only in his right nostril and he also has a slightly teary eye. He was just fine this morning so this has started within the last 9ish hours. He has no fever and otherwise is just fine.

    I’ve heard horror stories about runny noses turning into months of treatment for sinusitis with surgery and everything else, so I’m not sure if it’s something that qualifies for getting the vet out as an emergency call.

    Any advice or words of wisdom to share with a newbie in this area? TIA

    Could be an invasive tooth root, ethmoid tumor in the sinuses, or something as simple as he inhaled something that irritated his sinuses on that side. You need to have his sinuses scoped to find out. Had the latter happen to my gelding in 2018; antiobiotics cleared it up--just irritated sinus passages. Uniprim didn't help; SMZs knocked it right out.


      My Cushings pony had something like that. Out of the blue he developed a snotty nostril - just on one side. It smelled AWFUL! I was sure he had an abscessed tooth on that side. I took him to the vet clinic and they x-rayed his head. Nothing showed up on the x-ray except for a white area that the vet said looked like a tract of infection. He put him on antibiotics ( maybe SMZ's - not sure). The infection healed up and no more snotty nose. A month or so later when the DVM dentist was in town to do the horses - he looked at the pony and he did not see any evidence of a fractured or abscessed tooth.

      It has been a few years since and he has shown no signs of this problem again. I do think the Cushings makes him more susceptible to infection and maybe this started as an allergy problem and progressed. I am happy it has not reappeared ( Knock on Wood). So maybe it may not be as bad as you fear. I admit - I was expecting a horror story too.


        I'd take his temp 2X day - morning and night. You can call the vet. One of ours did that and it was an allergy. He was getting over bacterial pneumonia at the time. 20 years with no runny nose is not something to be embarrassed about.


          Original Poster

          Thanks for the responses everyone.

          It looks like the mucous has mostly cleared up now, his nostril is mostly crusty at this point.

          His temp has also been normal and he’s been eating/drinking normally.

          I guess I’ll continue monitoring for now and see how he does over the next 24 hours.

          I feel like I’m always the ultra paranoid horse mom, ready to call the vet out as soon as a horse sneezes.


            This time of year it could be as simple as allergy.
            If snot is gone, temp is good & he is otherwise normal, chalk it up to that.
            If snot returns & sticks round a day or two and/or increases or smells, call the vet.
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


              Originally posted by DinkyDonk View Post
              Could be an invasive tooth root, ethmoid tumor in the sinuses, or something as simple as he inhaled something that irritated his sinuses on that side. You need to have his sinuses scoped to find out. Had the latter happen to my gelding in 2018; antiobiotics cleared it up--just irritated sinus passages. Uniprim didn't help; SMZs knocked it right out.
              My friends horse had yellow snot for 2 yrs. No temp, was scoped and fine, teeth floated and checked by 2 different dentists and 1 vet...nothing. Finally got head x rayed and had a cracked molar/root. Got it pulled, and snot is gone, finally! Poor guy. No other signs though. Ate normally, rode normally, etc. Vet originally said allergies after they couldnt find anything and had him on meds for that. Then mentioned maybe heaves. Glad it was finally solved.