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Strange swelling jaw/poll

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  • Strange swelling jaw/poll

    This may get long- let me start by saying he has had 3 vet visits already and is scheduled for X-rays next week.

    Here is a picture of him "normal" but shapes to show where the swelling is
    Solid light blue areas are where the swelling is the most severe. The shapes that are just outlined in blue are areas that are swollen too.

    This problem has been going on-intermittently- for 3 weeks now. The first time I noticed it was Sept. 11th. His jaw (by that I mean his cheek where the head attaches to the neck) was majorly swollen. There was sort of a hard swelling on both sides on top of the cheek and through his throatlatch area. Both sides evenly swollen. Was sore to the touch but was fine to ride (although not very energetic), eating and breathing normal. A vet was out the next day for another horse and she glanced at him quickly--seemed totally fine, no swelling apparent.

    On Sept 22nd the swelling appeared again. Once again seemed normal other than that. I rode him and he wasn't all that great but not horrible. The next day there was still some swelling. A friend who is a small animal vet looked at him and thought it was really bizarre, but not an emergency. Next day completely normal, fresh and fired up when I rode.
    At this point I called the vet and made an appointment for him to come out on the 27th.

    27th. No swelling. Vet finds enlarged lymph nodes. Ultrasound shows nothing abnormal. Vet says call him if any new symptoms or worsen.

    4th (today) Vet is out to give vaccinations and he IS swollen this time. Vet is very worried. Upon his examination we now notice that the swelling seems to be originating more from his poll. He is quite sore to the touch on his poll and generally displeased with being messed with at all. The swelling on his cheek looks like a muscle that just should not be there. Vet couldn't get a good hold to feel his lymph nodes through the swelling, but definitely still enlarged. He watched me ride him and he was very unwilling to submit to contact of the bit (normally a very supple horse).

    We're still clueless as to what this is. Anyone got any clue??? He has sustained no trauma that I know of. Out to pasture alone, but he does share a fence line. Currently--giving 2g of bute a day and seeing how that helps him. Next week we're going to take him to the clinic and do X-rays. Maybe run blood and check creatinine levels? Vet thinks this could be anything from some sort of muscle disease to something wrong with C1 and C2 vertebrae. He's been great at listening to all the symptoms and is very intent on figuring this out. He's very concerned that this might be something serious.

    I do not have any pictures but I might be able to get an illustration for you. Any help much appreciated.

    FWIW This is my competitive adult jumper and I would very much like him fixed and happy! 7yo WB, never had a thing wrong with him.
    Last edited by SkipChange; Oct. 4, 2010, 10:22 PM.
  • Original Poster

    Bump. Anyone?


    • #3
      Did you ever resolve this?
      Click here for the Roxie blog!


      • #4
        Saw a horse at a Kansas stable last fall that had pigeon fever which in his case caused massive swelling in chest and between front legs, but I believe can also cause poll and throat swelling? Maybe?

        Spread by flies who frequent infected soil, requires destruction of contaminated bedding of afflicted horse, not sure what else.

        Hope you are able to find out what's going on.