There's quite a bit of backstory to this... I recently got a 20 year old TWH gelding from a friend, he was a rescue that she rehabbed (severe founder from gorging on walnuts - he was in a bare lot with nothing but a tree, no grass) and needed to rehome. She also had another rescue who had strangles 2 or 3 years ago - these horses were pasturemates for two years. Anyway, the gelding had his annual vet check and vaccinations in March, and I brought him home about 3 weeks ago. Since I knew where he came from, know the woman, and knew he had JUST had a vet check, I only kept him separated from my mare and mini donkey for a week before letting them in together.
Yesterday I noticed he was acting kind of "depressed", just standing with his head down rather than grazing, not sticking quite as close to my other two as usual, etc, and while grooming him noticed that he had swollen, tender lymph nodes at the juncture of jaw and neck (throatlatch area). He also has swollen lymph nodes under his jaw, but those are still "soft" and the ones on the throatlatch are hard. No fever, still has appetite, has clear, watery nasal discharge. Called my vet to see what she thought... She said number one differential diagnosis when you see swollen submandibular lymph nodes is strangles. But since there is no fever and he has a great appetite, I don't know... She is planning to come out Monday afternoon to check him out and hopefully tell me it is NOT strangles!!!
I decided to feel my mare and mini-donk's lymph nodes as well, and my mare's lymph nodes at the throat latch also seem to be somewhat swollen, though soft and non-tender. She also has clear, watery nasal drainage. She is not acting depressed and is her normal piggy self. Mini-donk does not have any swelling, no discharge.
My mom, who actually owns the gelding, thinks that since he does not have a fever and is eating, we should tell the vet not to worry about coming out. That it would be a "waste" of money. I think it'd be best to KNOW what the heck is up, especially since the mare has some swelling as well. What would you do? Have any of you had horses with similar symptoms?