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PerchiesKisses 01-19-2012 01:54 PM

Question about lump on throat.
One of the horses at my barn has developed a lump on the underside of his throat. It's about the size of a golf ball and has lost all the hair on it. There was a ball of puss about the size of a grape that we drained out of the lump, but most of it is still hard.

The horse is still eating, breathing and drinking normally. Still passing urine and fecal normally, and hasn't changed one bit in personality since the lump developed.

The lump was first noticed on Sunday, when we called the vet, who said to drain it, and then soak it in Epson Salts if possible - minus 25 degrees celcius and outdoor board don't always make soaking a good idea.

There was no halter on the horse to cause rubbing, and the horse didn't have any marks the week before. But the side of the lump had a red scabby mark before we drained it ... so I'm thinking maybe a puncture wound that got infected? Although it could also be itchy which resulted on him rubbing on something.

We had Strangles in the herd starting June of last year, and the last visible symptoms were seen in September. We haven't yet had a swab done due to some financial troubles that the farm I'm at has had - it doesn't make sense to swab half the herd (can you believe it? $100-150/per horse to stick a Q-tip up his nose - multiply that by the 30 horses in the herd... **** I'm in the wrong profession!!). But because we haven't had the swab, I'm wondering if it could be strangles causing the lump.

For this reason both us and the vet don't want to treat with penicillin for fear it'll cause Rogue Strangles... which is even more costly and more deadly.

What else can cause a hard, hairless lump on the throat?

PerchiesKisses 01-19-2012 10:45 PM

These pictures are from BEFORE it was drained.

This is the lump from the side:

Really would like to know what - else - can cause a lump like this. in the middle of winter no less.

PaintsPwn 01-19-2012 10:48 PM

It could be strangles. That stuff will live in the ground forever, which is why it's so hard to get rid of.

Central Montana Equine Veterinary Services - Strangles

Did you scrub the fences/shelters with bleach?

bubba13 01-19-2012 10:59 PM

That sure looks like Strangles to me. Could be an unrelated abscess, but it's pretty large for that--especially for it to appear out of the blue. Quarantine the horse, pronto. Probably already far too late for that.

smrobs 01-19-2012 11:12 PM

Agreed, there is a possibility that it is an isolated abscess, but far more likely, it is strangles. As for the scabby place on it, it's not uncommon for the boil to rupture then re-seal itself and swell up again...unfortunately. If that has happened, then likely the entire herd has been exposed again.

hillside farm 01-20-2012 09:55 AM

Didn't your vet tell you what it was when he checked the horse?

PerchiesKisses 01-20-2012 11:11 AM

She said it's most likely strangles, but *could* be something else.

The herd is the same herd with no new additions, and no removed horses since the outbreak last year. So unfortuneately there isn't much point of isolating because it's already passed through the herd. The farm IS in quarentine though.

*headdesk* I hate strangles... such a pain in the arse!

mls 01-20-2012 11:34 AM


Originally Posted by PaintsPwn (Post 1316780)
It could be strangles. That stuff will live in the ground forever, which is why it's so hard to get rid of.


The bacteria needs a warm host.

Horses can be carriers and shed the bacteria. A stressed horse will become active and display clincial symptoms.

Yes, the mucous can be transported by a farrier, vet, trainer, bucket, etc. But has a short life.

natisha 01-20-2012 12:00 PM


Originally Posted by hillside farm (Post 1317333)
Didn't your vet tell you what it was when he checked the horse?

I think it was a phone consult.

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