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WEIRD SYMPTOMS - Possible explanation #18

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  • WEIRD SYMPTOMS - Possible explanation #18

    First horse is 12 year old 17h perch/qtr/paint fed good hay, turned into fat pony. Didn't think too much of fat rolls (other drama at the barn). Fed min. grain, free choice hay, August pasture, didn't worry. Sept. cough developed, no temp. No drainage, no infection, no leaking noses, glands feel normal. Some good days, some bad, just enough cough to make you worry/wonder.

    Swelling in neck
    Looking at horse head on - center line. 3 inches below throat latch going down chest. Rectangular in shape, going downward. 2" x 4" varies in size.
    Mass feels like a bite, kinda hard, but not fixed, currently softer, but still a good solid mass.

    Vet came out. 15 days of Sulpha/Tri ... 30 tablets a day. Vet ruled out strangles. Thought maybe mass - tumor, blocked throat, swallowed something, caught in throat, infection. Waiting to reduce swelling so we can get x-rays.

    Swelling is reduced some, late in treatment, but still visable.

    Spoke with OSU they want to exam, x-ray, ultra sound, possibly surgery. We were already to go, figured we would have appointment Mon/Tues. Waited to schedule, as truck needed new tires.

    Then Saturday second horse has it...

    5 year old hackney/welsh. Exactly the same, swelling in neck, slight cough mostly morning/night. When the head is down to eat. Animal is not distressed in anyway.

    She shows green stains on her neck from sticking head through the fence.

    Currently they are on dry lot, but they have been at pasture. Have a wee bit of trouble breathing if worked, but again very fat ponies.

    Environmental factors - acorns, juicy purple berries (nobody seems to eat), pine trees, pressure treated wood in stalls, flora & fauna of OH.

    What is doing this - vet is stumped and feeling harassed. OSU is giddy for something to do, and would like to hit with lots of testing and bills. We are just scratching our heads, so with all your experience has anyone run into this before?

    Thanks for your help.

    If we don't get any better ideas, we'll take them to OSU - just figured I would ask before breaking out VISA.


    Last edited by RU2U; Oct. 6, 2010, 11:59 PM. Reason: change titile
    The View from Here

  • #2
    Sounds odd to say the least.

    Don't have any ideas other then something stinging them ( but that would probably leave a round mark/swelling).

    Do you have any pics?

    Hope you can update us when/if you figure it out.

    OSU is giddy for something to do, and would like to hit with lots of testing and bills.
    I had to giggle at that. Not a fan of experienced vets who get excited about injuries!! lol


    ps. Jingles for you.
    A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


    • #3
      We have a horse at the barn that had similar symptoms last month. The vet ruled it to be allergies. He put the horse on a Rx and has the owners soaking the hay. I'll see if I can find out what they put the horse on and get back to you. It cleared it up and the horse is feeling much better now.
      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



      • #4
        I am curious how strangles was ruled out. Did he swab for it or just think that wasn't what it was?
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • #5
          Interesting, because I noticed a lump in my mare's neck a few days ago. Hers is farther down - about halfway down her neck, and is on midline, although seems to be more on the left side than the right. I attributed it to a bite or some similar trauma - but now I'm wondering. She's not coughing though, and seems perfectly normal otherwise...

          I also laughed when you said "OSU is giddy for something to do." It's been a little slow around the hospital lately, so you are exactly right! We like seeing weird stuff, but I know how much it sucks to hear the vet say, "Wow, this is REALLY interesting! I've never seen anything like this before" when they are referring to your horse

          Adams Equine Wellness


          • #6
            I am with you, sounds like waiting for more symptoms is more reasonable than running to spend on many tests right now, with the horses not really sick, unless you have the extra money sitting around.

            Could they be sticking their heads thru the fence somewhere it irritates the spot they push against the fence?
            Is that the right spot the swelling is on, or not?

            Easy to tell if it is allergies, use some allergy medication and see if that resolves.


            • #7
              Interesting...could you post a picture? My horse started having swelling on the back half of his cheeks and in the throat latch area. No other symptoms. I have connected it with eating dried cherry tree leaves (the ones that drop those tiny purple berries at this time of year). I am in Michigan so I wouldn't be surprised if you have those trees around too. When I moved him to a paddock with no access to those leaves, the swelling went away. Put him back into the suspect paddock and the swelling returned. The closest thing I could find on the internet was "grass glands"...look it up. With my horse is is most probably swollen salivary glands.
              Good luck that it turns out to be nothing!
              Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.


              • #8
                My draft X mare used to get 'grass mumps'. My vet had never heard of them (and still doesn't think that was the case). Cothers brought them to my attention when I was describing her symptoms here. Lots of swelling in the face, 1 time so bad her eyes were almost shut. Her head would get so big I couldn't put the halter on sometimes, other times it was just a few bumps. For 3 years we treated this as allergies (although my vet didn't really think thats what it was). Dex took care of the swelling right away, so until I read about 'grass mumps' she was living on a low dose of dex. She had only a dry lot-not real grass, but grass hay was part of her diet. Just to try it, we took her off the grass hay and gave her a feeder (no more eating off the ground, they say that draining can be part of it with grass mumps). She has not had a single lump in over a year. No dex, no other changes, just changed hay and put in a feeder. Could be a coincidence...
                Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


                • #9
                  Allergy to something they are eating. Try an antihistime and dex.
                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                  • #10
                    ?pigeon fever

                    Where are you? Just heard about pigeon fever ( sometimes called false strangles) from a friend in Texas; it apparently happens most in California and Texas. I only know from googling but have a look - just a random link ( I am sure there are better ones out there):

                    Last edited by Borah; Oct. 5, 2010, 09:58 AM. Reason: spelling


                    • #11
                      Don't think it's related but acorns (in a large amount) can be poisonous - cause colic in my older mare years ago. Figure out what plants you do have in the pasture and see if any could be causing the problem.

                      Now in Kentucky


                      • #12
                        Well- so funny this- had a 3 year old come down with something quite like that. Does have access to cherry trees, and I live in MI. He did develop a fever and they did drain. Not strangles, as it was right in the area but the wrong presentation plus swab was negative. . Bloodwork came back ok, too. Its been about a month since it happened.....

                        Time to google this grass lumps!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by annikak View Post
                          Time to google this grass lumps!
                          Me too! And then I had to laugh, thinking that if anyone monitors the types of searches put into Google, how many spikes in weird searches are a result of information shared on COTH?
                          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                          • #14
                            I was told the "grass mumps" was due to a certain type of clover. Two horses at my place both with a compromised immune system had this every year. No other horses within the last 30 years on my property had these symptoms.


                            • #15
                              I also started looking into causes of enlarged thyroid, as I think that might be where it is located on a horse? Then work interrupted me (hahaha).
                              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                              • #16
                                Found this on enlarged thyroid glands on the internet, not sure how accurate it is:


                                http://thyroid.blogspot.com/2005_09_04_archive.html (scroll down to the part about horses.

                                http://arbelos.org/thyroid-gland/enl...oid-gland.html (again, scroll to the horse part).
                                There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                                • Original Poster



                                  Rain all day, lots of mud, but some willing babies.

                                  Notice paint along lower neck-line, pony girl is hard to see, but paint shows it well. Its smaller today, but still visable
                                  The View from Here


                                  • Original Poster

                                    May have found it.

                                    Been doing some research think I found it:


                                    Scientific diagnosis:


                                    I am thinking top item in Merck. Then he had an infection that aggravated it. Haven't found other pictures of it yet, but sounds like it might be it.

                                    Will keep looking...
                                    The View from Here


                                    • #19
                                      But why would 2 horses have it if it is something congenital?