What would cause a horse's face to swell up? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-26-2012, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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What would cause a horse's face to swell up?

Recently I've been helping my friend take care of her horses because she is pregnant, and should stay on bed rest. I do have plenty of experience with horses, and have owned my own. She has two horses, they get the exact same treatment, space, food, and are right next to each other. They are up to date on all shots and are all dewormed. I have never seen anything like what these two horses are going through.

I had to sell my horse because of sadistic jerks. They threw rocks at my horse, splashed him with water in 40 degree weather, stole food from him, and broke his fence to let him out at night on a regular basis. They broke my shed door and cut locks, and stole $1500 worth of stuff from me. People would go in his stall, and sit on his back and kick the hell out of him. This turned him skittish and hard to handle. Someone threatened to poison him, and i saw some oats (which i have never fed him) in his stall, and i have to wonder if there was something in the oats. After I made sure he was still healthy, I sold him to a nice lady 200 miles away to get him in a safer place. I have no idea who I pissed off, at that point, no one had anything against me.

First I'll tell you my opinion on what happened with my friends horses. These stables are absolutely horrible. Its a "do-it-yourself" type thing, so it's conditions are not regulated. The very cheap boarding prices attract people who know nothing about horses. Many horses have horrible shelters, are underweight, and have horrible hooves. After I sold my horse, I started a blog about it to get more people aware since the local police and animal control are helpless.

Since I have been working with my friends horses a lot, I'm starting to think that some people who are pissed off about my blog think I bought her horses. They are punishing "my" horses for what I did.

One horse was perfectly healthy. For two days, she was eating and drinking (she was actually going through about twice as much water as usual), but becoming lethargic. In the third day, she must have dropped 50lbs overnight, refused to eat, but was still drinking. Her gums were abnormally pale and she had a white goo seeping from her eyes.I called her owners over to take a look. On their way over, she collapsed to the ground. When her eyes glazed over, I freaked out, and made her stand up.

Her owners arrived and called every vet withing 300 miles, but none would come (That's another reason i sold my horse, the lack of resources is dangerous: no vets for 300 miles, the only one who will come here will only come on the two scheduled days a year). At about midnight, we decided there wasn't anything else we could do, so we left for the night, and were going to try and do more in the morning. Two hours later, her owner came back, and the horse was dead.

The other horse was upset, but still 100% okay. Two days ago, their other mare's face and neck swelled up. Everything else is normal; attitude, hunger, thirst, etc. Yesterday, the swelling was the same, and when I post this, I'm going to go check on her again.

When they finally managed to get ahold of a vet, he said that the only thing he can think of without a necropsy is poison. I wouldn't put it past the people down here. There have been two cases of people who owned horses (who were not very well liked) coming back to dead horses. My horse was threatened, and these people are angry with me and may want to take it out on the horses i love.

Thankfully, the owners aren't angry with me, and encourage me to continue my blog to see if anything changes.

What would cause a horse's face to swell up? Both horses got sick withing a week. On the first horse, we ruled out strangles and colic. We don't know where to begin with the swollen face with no other symptoms.

Last edited by farmpony84; 12-26-2012 at 07:43 PM. Reason: Removed curse word and blog address.
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-26-2012, 04:40 PM
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I though strangles origionaly but maybe poisoning but it does sound like some sort of sickness, those poor horses!!!! maybe the horse being poisoned could allow the police to take action??? or animal welfare??
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-26-2012, 04:42 PM
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I dont know how much I can really offer. The only time I knew of a horse's face swelling up was when it was bit by a rattle snake. I'm assuming you have looked for and cuts and anything obvious already that may cause this. Did the vet say anything about what you can do for the horse?

This is what happens when you have democrats in office
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-26-2012, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Just got back form the stables, and her face is back to normal.
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-26-2012, 05:42 PM
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man what a horror story sucks about all that is going on. But what sucks the most is the idiots you have for vets. umm you can do alot to know whats going on with a horse if the vet actually gets oof their butts and comes sees the horse takes blood obsurves others horses etc etc but to say a partial diagnoses over the phone pbbbbs I would sell my horses too if I had to deal with that **** and the vets. Not fair to the horses.

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post #6 of 12 Old 12-26-2012, 06:09 PM
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What a horror story iam glad you sold your horse so at least he can be safe from the idiots that are being sooo cruel.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-27-2012, 08:58 PM
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(Owner of the horses) today i stoped by because i was in the hospital and didnt get a cance to take her her christmass stocking Windsong want willing to get close to my husband and stood as far back as she could and used her lips to take the carrot from him, when i walked up she wantered up and rubbed her head agist the fence. thanks to a nice blanket of snow from two days ago you can tell she has been spening most her time hidding in her shelter even though she has a -0 heavy winter blanket on.
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-27-2012, 09:14 PM
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I just did a yellow page search for your area and there are numerous vets. I just clicked on a few and several are large animal vets so I wouldn't think you would have a problem getting medical care. I do not believe you checked a 300 mile radius and no one would come. Something does not sound right to me. Just my 2 cents
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-27-2012, 09:21 PM
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Botulism will cause a horse's face to swell and it's tongue becomes paralyzed. These symptoms cause rapid weight loss, dehydration and death. Botulism lives in the soil.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-27-2012, 09:24 PM
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If it was me , I would have spend the night over there , make sure someone drops you off so there isn't a vehicle or what not , and I would sit there with a video camera in hand and a gun on my side . If you could get some sort of video proof of them coming on the property , the law should be able to do something . I would scare the crap out of them to ... Get what you need on camera and then fire some "warning " shots in the air. Is this your friends property ? Is there signs stating NO TRESPASSING ?
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