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Lump under the jaw

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  • Lump under the jaw

    A very dear school horse that I have been riding has got a quarter-sized lump under his jaw, in the groove between the jaw bones. It's off to one side (the near side). It's hard, not warm, and he is behaving normally. Well, as normal as this horse can behave .

    It was really only discovered because we were clipping off the winter beard he had been growing. Any ideas as to what it could be? It's going to be checked when the vet's next out but, well, I worry.
    Forward momentum!

  • #2
    My TB had one of these recently. It was just an abscess. Try hot packing this lump and see if you can't get it to drain. If it drains/opens, keep the area as clean as possible and put some triple antibiotic on it. Ask the vet if you will need SMZ's

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    • #3
      Is the horse gray? My horse developed his first gray horse melanoma in that exact spot...

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      • #4
        Are you sure it's not just, ah... his tongue?

        A woman at our barn was absolutely convinced that her horse had strangles because of a 'strange lump' and spent several hours soaking it in hot epsom salt water and not letting anyone come near fearing risk of infection... Vet came out and kindly explained that it was just his tongue.

        My mare has a very prominent 'tongue bump' that I never really took note of until she was clipped.

        Just thought I'd mention it just in case .

        Otherwise my first guess would be an abscess or melanoma if the horse is grey.
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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Nope, he's bay with no white anywhere (makes cleaning him up easier!)

          I'm fairly sure it's not his tongue as the trainer has felt it and been concerned. Hence him seeing the vet the next time he's out. Don't abscesses hurt though? I'm told he tends to get a nice abscess in one foot or the other around december which takes him out of commission for a month or so.

          I wish I knew more! I love this schoolie so much and I really hope it's not cancer or anything too bad.
          Forward momentum!

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          • #6
            My TB's abscess was the size of small chicken egg. When I touched it or poked at it lightly with my finger, it didn't seem to bother him. I guess it didn't hurt. I totally thought it was cancer at first because it was hard and I hadn't noticed it b4 his chin was shaved.
            The easiest thing to do is get a towel and soak it in hot water (or microwave it) and put on this thing. If it is an abscess, this will help it come to a head. It may even burst while you are there. I had to hot pack my guy twice b4 it opened up. It was totally gross. Wound up having 3 drainage points. If it does open, be sure to flush it out with dilouted betadine.

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            • #7
              My gelding had one of these. It turned out to be a fracture in his mandible. He stopped eating hay/grass... would just take it in his mouth and spit it back out. Sucked down grain. When he started dropping weight dramatically, and after several different treatments, my vet was sure he had cancer and referred us to the hospital. Got an xray of his head, and viola!! The xray confirmed the fracture and subsequent healing. He has a permanent lump now. I was never so relieved in my life. I had planned and prepared to not bring him back home. Could only deduce that he was playing a game of halter tag and didn't let go!
              ******
              Shadow Dancer 2/17/91-12/23/10 - My Horse, My Heart <3

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks guys. I'm going to hope that it is simply an abscess before jumping to scarier conclusions. Or at least try to do so! My brain tends to go to the worst case scenario.
                Forward momentum!

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                • #9
                  Just wanted to mention that even though my horse did have cancer, we got lucky thanks to early detection and excision. I suspect that a lot more horses have cutaneous lymphomas than you hear about. My horse's tumor had a little ulcerated area in the middle of it, so at first, I thought it was an insect bite. Then, it got smaller, so I wasn't panicked. Little did I know that these tumors tend to wax and wane. Boy am I glad now I decided to have a needle aspirate done.

                  The odds are, your horse has something less serious. There are dozens of things it could be. But if this persists for much longer, buy yourself some peace of mind and have your vet pull some cells.

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                  • #10
                    A good tip-off to the condition is your horse's attitude.
                    Mine had a lump under the jaw a few months back. it was tiny and I didn't really notice it until he started demonstrating behavioral changes. I was stumped: he was suddenly impossible to catch in his turnout paddock and once bolted out of his stall when I came in to put his halter on and take him to the main barn to tack up.

                    I called the vet, saying it was a toss-up between him and the animal psychic.

                    I was immediately referred to the equine dental specialist.

                    Lameness is easy to spot and diagnose, as is colic.
                    Dental problems most often manifest themselves in behavioral changes.
                    X-rays revealed an abcessed tooth. The dentist wasn't 100% sure that was the cause of the problem, but prescribed 10 days of antibiotics.

                    Within a day - he was his old self. She said that since his response to the medication was so swift, we got it right! It was an abcess in the root of a tooth, an inch or so behind the lump. My horse being only 5 y/o - the base of the root was pretty deep in the jaw.

                    Hope your situation has an equally happy ending
                    ... It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that Shwung

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                    • #11
                      My bay mare (years ago) had a lump in the same place. Vet came out, gave her a sedative, she rested on my husband's shoulder, and vet removed it. He actually looked like a mechanic peering under a car . Lump was just a cyst and no big deal. Hope your's is the same. Gotta love those schoolies!

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