What do you feed her? Including hours at pasture and what kind of grass is she on.
My 6yo TWH started friday not acting right(head down, slow moving, but still ate supper and all since, tonight she has swelling under her jaw and large lump that feels like her bone on left side of jaw! She feels extremely warm (however can't find thermometer) compared to other horses and cool night. She had all her vaccines on Wednesday last week. Any suggestions?
As big head came to mind.
I had a horse with this ( I was supplementing calcium at the time) and no vet could tell me what it was! After hours of study I concluded it was big head . As she was on setaria.
The effective treatment is MOVE HORSE OFF PASTURE & cal plus & Kelp . 1 cup of cal+ & 50ml of kelp daily in feed for 1-2 weeks depending on severity . You should see results within a week if so decrease amount to recomended daily amount .
Some info for you, hope it helps.
Big Head, or Bran Disease as it is also called, is a bone disorder found in horses due to a low absorption of dietary calcium.
The low calcium in the diet leads to low blood calcium which in turn causes the horse to start 'mining' calcium and phopshorous from the bones to maintain normal blood calcium levels.
Normal blood calcium levels are vital for survival as clacium is involved in a whole range of bodily functions, including blood coagulation, muscle contraction (including heart muscle), glandular secretion and temperature regulation.
As calcium and minerals are mobilised from bones they are replaced by fibrous connective tissue, which causes the bone to enlarge. In young, mature horses, this bone enlargement is most obvious in the facial bones, giving rise to the name 'Big Head'.
Big Head is most commonly seen in horses grazing tropical grasses such as kikuyu, buffel and setaria species. These grasses contain substances called oxalates that bind up calcium, making it unavailable for absorption from the bowel.
The disease is also known as Bran Disease because it was once common in horses fed high levels of bran, due to the high phosphorous, low calcium content of bran and the presence of phytates in bran which also bind up calcium.
High grain diets, which are also high in phosphorous and low in calcium, can cause similar signs.
Horses develop enlarged facial bones particularly above and behind the facial crests. Sometimes the nasal passages can become obstructed leading to a respiratory noise during exercise. If the leg bones are affected, the horse may have a shifting lameness, and bone and joint tenderness. Leg and vertebral fractures can occur due to the weakness of the bones.