Could this be an abscess? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-17-2011, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Saxonburg, PA
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Could this be an abscess?

First some background info:

Last Sun Thia choked. Nothing too major. By the time the vet got out she had managed to unstick whatever was stuck. We still had her tubed jsut to make sure. The vet gave her some banamine and said not to give her any grain for two days.

Fast forward to Wed. I go to the barn to find that Thia has a palm sized hive-like swelling on the right side of her neck. About a hands width past her jaw and right below the crease in her neck, and halfway across the bottom. The barn owner had noticed right before I pulled up and immediately pulled her hay and grain. The BO said the swelling happened almost immediately after giving her her grain. I had bought diff. grain on Sun. b/c the BO thought she might have choked on her oat/pellet mix. I got her straight pellets, the Nutrena Safe Choice. The BO said she was fine on the Safe Choice but that morning (Wed.) she had mixed a little of her grain in to see if we could wean Thia back onto her (BO) grain.

While I was waiting for the vet to call back I put a cold compress on the swelling in hopes it would go down. It mostly did. I should add that Thia is acting absolutely normal and drinking water fine. In fact she snoozed whilke I held the icepack to her neck.

When the vet called back she said that Thia couldn't be choking since she was acting normal and that the swelling would have been on the left side, not the right. She also didn't think it was an allergic reaction as both sides would be swollen. Though she did say the swelling could have been internal on the left and we just couldn't see it. Since Thia wasn't in any distress she felt that she didn't have to come out, and told me to keep Thia completely off grain for a week and to just let her have hay and grass on turnout. After a week I can start out by giving her two handfuls of grain and monitoring her to see what happens. If she is fine I can start giving her grain as normal. I'm probably just going to stick to the Safe Choice.

Now to yesterday: I go out to the barn to find that Thia now has a hard, golf ball sized lump on her right side. All of the swelling is gone except for that. She's acting normal and eating and drinking fine. She didn't seem bothered by me touching at it, but to be honest I didn't mess with it much because I don;'t want to be screwing around with something I don't know about. I showed it to the BO and she said she would keep an eye on her and let me know if anything changes. So far I haven't heard anything from her. I am going back out this evening to check on her.

Does anyone have any ideas on what this could be? My sister thinks it might be an abscess, as she has seen a few mares at the breeding farm she works at get them in their neck. I am going to be calling the vet tomorrow (unless something drastic happens and she seems really sick or in distress) but i just wanted to get some opinions on what this could be. Thank you and cookies for anyone who reads this novel the whole way through!

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post #2 of 3 Old 07-17-2011, 03:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Strangles doesn't seem to fit, and that's the gut reflex diagnosis. Then I thought guttural pouch infection, but after Googling it, I'm not sure how right that sounds, either. So I don't know. Hope the vet has some answers.
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-17-2011, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
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If it happened suddenly, it could be a bug bite/sting. Some of those cause big welts/swelling for a few days. In my experience, abscesses usually take longer to get large and have at least some drainage. Hope it turns out to be something simple.

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