The Horse Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,910 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Start of this week, my mare had swelling under her jaw, which erupted in an abscess.

Started out last weekend I noticed 3 soft lumps close together under her lower jaw, thought they looked a bit big but wasn't sure if maybe just her & hadn't noticed before.

Monday tho, she had a hard big swollen 'pad' under her whole jaw, more to one side. Thought maybe spider bite. She was bright & happy tho didn't want me touching it. That arvo, Darcy looked at her & said abscess burst under jaw. Had a look, swelling had softened & gone down but there was a smaller hard abscess on one of those original lumps.

Of course, I immediately thought strangles, but she's not snotty or I'll, none of the other horses are snotty or ill & no new horses for 6 weeks. Thought then maybe grass seed. But was taking her to vet following day for preg test, so didn't get too excited.

Vet said yes, strangles or such unlikely, given she's otherwise we'll, all others well, including young foal. Said infected lymph node & not uncommon & no real worry. Never heard of this before so meant to run it by you guys then.

So it's been another 5 days, her jaw looks normal from the side now, only one lump oozing a bit, in the 'hole between lower jaw. Hard & bald & about half ping pong ball size. what say you all? ok & keep eye on it if it gets worse or still there in another few days or second vets opinion now?

And btw my other mares neck abscess completely resolved & hair is growing back now, but had time for some float loading practice, she & her foals first trip yesterday, so will take them to vets this week for health check.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,043 Posts
There are other bacteria besides streptococcus equi than can cause the swollen lymph glands. But they all get called "strangles" if the lymph glands become swollen. That might be why you aren't seeing the nasal discharge that is common with the strep.

If you need to know specifically what your horses are dealing with, then I'd get a culture. If they aren't losing weight, lethargic, and you don't take yours off the place or have others coming in, I'd be tempted to keep watching them for secondary infections and let it run its' course.

If you are breeding the mares, I'd get a culture. There are variations of strep that can affect the uterine lining.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,910 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
^Oh so it IS technically strangles, just a different strain to common?! Stars! Wonder why the vet would say it was unlikely to be then - & she knew she was preggers - did the test & all. OK, I will talk to another vet & see what she says.

Walkin, yes, did cross my mind, but the other girl's abscess was high on her neck, a few inches back from her poll. Figured grass seed stuck in roots of mane or such.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,043 Posts
Walkin, yes, did cross my mind, but the other girl's abscess was high on her neck, a few inches back from her poll. Figured grass seed stuck in roots of mane or such.
There is a cluster of lymph glands in that area, too. I couldn't find a good site online that wasn't behind a paywall. A library should have text books that show the amazing network of lymph glands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,752 Posts
Doesn't strangles usually make horse not feel good an go off feed. Cause fever snotty nose and cough.?? Strangles would be my thoughts though.

Did she ever seem to not feel good prior to abscess popping? Very well could be just an infection of different origin then strangles.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,910 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^Rambo that's how I understood strangles - as like a bad cold or flu in humans, but with that swelling too. But never seen it first hand. So, neither mare (or any of the others) seemed at all under the weather, altho I got Raven when she already had the big 'cyst'. And that, and the fact that all other horses were fine is what caused the vet to say no stress too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,752 Posts
@loosie if other horses didn't get sick my guess is wasn't strangles.

Friends horses, had strangles and every horse on place got sick. All had snotty noses coughing and fever.

Some of the horses were sicker than others. I've personally never had any horses get sick with strangles,hope I never do.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,877 Posts
Could it not be on the lymph node and actually closer to the jaw? I'm wondering if it's a bad tooth?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,333 Posts
I really hate to be a doomsayer but ....... having been down the Strangles road with EVERY animal on the place.......gah! I hate Strangles. Yes, abscesses on lymph nodes are likely some variation of strangles. No new horses for 6 weeks? Well, I kept Doll Face in QT for 2 months (8 weeks) and she still infected every horse on the place. She didn't get her abscesses until AFTER she was released and put out with everyone but the 2 that were about to foal.

I would use a warm compress on those swellings and on the ones that are open, I would do a warm saline or salt water & betadine flush. On the ones that aren't open yet, I'd warm compress with Epsom salts and wait til they open up and then flush.

Watch for [email protected] Strangles, the ones that go internal and don't come up and break open. That's how Skippy ended up in Isolation ICU for 30 days. Scary stuff, that one.

Otherwise, if everyone is feeling ok, not off feed & water, take their temps morning & night and if not over 38 or 39 C, then I wouldn't worry about it. Keep an extra close eye on the pregnant or bred mares, the foals will likely need some nursing if they're not over it before they foal.

Unless your vet is treating for internal strangles or another infection, don't give antibiotics, for some reason that seems to cause the abscesses to go internal rather than to break externally.

No horses allowed on or off the property, everyone who comes on does a disinfectant boot bath, washes hands and hand sanitizer. Full QT until the last sick horse is well. Took us close to 9 mos. before the last horse cultured clean and QT was lifted here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,584 Posts
FWIW, years Ago my Arab/Saddlebred came down with a horrible case of strangles, picked up on a big trail ride. I had to have the vet for him.

My Arab/Morgan was also on that ride and they shared a pasture. The Arab/Morgan never got sick.

The Horses were only two years apart in age and in their mid-20’s. Meaning, if what your two mares have is contagious, it does not necessarily mean the rest of the herd will be sick:)

edited to add: Oh dear, @Dreamcatcher Arabians story is the polar opposite of mine, lollol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,333 Posts
FWIW, years Ago my Arab/Saddlebred came down with a horrible case of strangles, picked up on a big trail ride. I had to have the vet for him.

My Arab/Morgan was also on that ride and they shared a pasture. The Arab/Morgan never got sick.

The Horses were only two years apart in age and in their mid-20’s. Meaning, if what your two mares have is contagious, it does not necessarily mean the rest of the herd will be sick:)

edited to add: Oh dear, @Dreamcatcher Arabians story is the polar opposite of mine, lollol
Walkin, I have never had as horrible a mess with anything as we had with that blasted Strangles. Dolly looked to be in the absolute best health, nice and plump, shiny, no snot, yakyakyak, for the entire 60 day QT. She wasn't out there 3 days when she popped all those lumps under her jaw. My hubby came in from turning everyone out for the day and said, "You better have a look at Doll Face, she's got funny bumps under her chin.". You can imagine the string of curse words that came out of my mouth. So I yanked her back into QT and prayed. Well, naturally, if I didn't have bad luck I'd have had no luck at all that year. Goldie pop up next, then Cloney, then the next and the next and the next. I loaded them up, 3 at a time, and took them to OSU for cultures. All of them, thank God no boarders at that time, mine. So I turned the big barn into the Sick Barn and, again thank God, had moved the 2 who were about ready to deliver to the foaling barn before Dolly got turned out. They had their own pasture so we were able to keep them "clean". I went over to the sick barn one day to say something to the barn girl and heard Skippy trying to breathe from half way between the foaling barn and the sick barn.

I would not wish the hassle, the fright, the work, and the VET BILLS on anybody.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,584 Posts
I can only imagine what you went thru — I had my hands full with one horse:(

Sonny was 27 when he got them. For as cast iron strong & healthy as he had always been (I had raised him from birth), he never came back 100%.

I laid him to rest two years later with what the vet concluded was cancer. In retrospect, I had figured Sonny may have been in the early stages of cancer when he contracted the strangles and they really pulled him down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,333 Posts
I can only imagine what you went thru — I had my hands full with one horse:(

Sonny was 27 when he got them. For as cast iron strong & healthy as he had always been (I had raised him from birth), he never came back 100%.

I laid him to rest two years later with what the vet concluded was cancer. In retrospect, I had figured Sonny may have been in the early stages of cancer when he contracted the strangles and they really pulled him down.
That's really sad 😢about Sonny, but it's logical. The cancer pulled down his immune system so he got Strangles and he was never able to get his immune system back up to snuff so it made him more susceptible to the cancer. Vicious circle.

I nearly stroked when I heard Skippy. Loaded him up and ran to OSU as fast as I could get there. To see that lovely, big stallion with a trach in his throat so he could breathe, and to watch him dropping all that weight, it just killed me. He's a typical QH, has a padded forehead and when he came out of ICU not only was he thin, he'd lost all his forehead padding. I just cried. Here's a pic of Colonel's Smoking Gun, you can see what I mean. 1606617802272.png
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,910 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh bottom dwellers Dreamcatcher! I didn't realise it could last so long either! And that she is in early pregnancy(only one in foal)... But the very experienced equine vet, who specialises in breeding was not at all concerned... I will be taking her to get the cultures done tomorrow. Fingers x'd!

So, I'll ask vet of course, but would it be worth anything me giving them all strangles shots now, while waiting for the culture, or no point, too late she cried? Whinny(the mare with the current prob) has had a few vaccs for it in the 3 years I've had her - thought I should do yearly, but the vet said many do 6-monthly - and the 13yo gelding has also had shots regularly, def before we got him too as he was owned by a nurse who was on the ball with all that. Dunno if Raven the mumma mare with the neck abscess has had any shots in recent years - I'd guess not. And of course baby Bee hasn't. I'd planned to take those 2 for a check up & to have shots etc this week - they had their first trailer ride yesterday(just 5 mins to the local lake & back) & all went well, so they're up for it now. Been slack(& busy), kicking myself I've left it this long...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,137 Posts
When we kept our horses on a Livery/dealing/breeding/competition yard, the owners bought Strangles in with group of young Irish horses.
Those horses were never near any other horses on the facility but the Strangles still spread to the yard - probably via human contact.
Only three horses got abscesses on their jawline, one was ours and she was in foal. The foal was born OK but a month late.
Of the three that got abscesses one died.
They were all under six years old
A lot of the other horses suffered mild flu type symptoms.
One of the infected Irish horses died of b.astard strangles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,333 Posts
Oh bottom dwellers Dreamcatcher! I didn't realise it could last so long either! And that she is in early pregnancy(only one in foal)... But the very experienced equine vet, who specialises in breeding was not at all concerned... I will be taking her to get the cultures done tomorrow. Fingers x'd!

So, I'll ask vet of course, but would it be worth anything me giving them all strangles shots now, while waiting for the culture, or no point, too late she cried? Whinny(the mare with the current prob) has had a few vaccs for it in the 3 years I've had her - thought I should do yearly, but the vet said many do 6-monthly - and the 13yo gelding has also had shots regularly, def before we got him too as he was owned by a nurse who was on the ball with all that. Dunno if Raven the mumma mare with the neck abscess has had any shots in recent years - I'd guess not. And of course baby Bee hasn't. I'd planned to take those 2 for a check up & to have shots etc this week - they had their first trailer ride yesterday(just 5 mins to the local lake & back) & all went well, so they're up for it now. Been slack(& busy), kicking myself I've left it this long...
Loosie, since I take boarders in on occasion, we did the gold standard of diagnostics/treatment which meant every single horse in the barn was cultured clean 3 times once things appeared to have passed. So they pretty much all got at least 5 cultures done. Most people who only have a single horse or it's only their horses, don't do as much. Maybe 2-3 cultures, until they get one clean one.

Things lasted so long here because they didn't all come down with it at the same time. It pretty much went, Dolly came down with it, got cultured to confirm strangles. The about 1 week later the next on became symptomatic and got cultured, then 2 weeks later the next 2 or 3 started showing symptoms, got cultured and on and on until finally Skippy got the [email protected] strangles and was the final one infected. I'm trying to remember if it was 2 months or 3 that it took for everyone to start being symptomatic, it was a long time anyhow. Then had to nurse them along for another 2 or 3, then start with the cultures so that each one got 3 clean ones and Skippy did the same in ICU. I do remember buying Dolly in March/2016, so she was in QT for 60 days, so there goes 2 months, add another 2-3 and then add another 3-4 to get all the cultures done. I remember it finally seeming to all clear up by Christmas, so 9 months give or take a bit.

If your mare is the only one who gets sick, then it won't take you nearly that long to get her cleared up and back to her old self. I would definitely have the vet check to see if the foal is still viable and I'd check a couple of times through the pregnancy, just to be on the safe side. I think I mentioned before that I'd be keeping an eagle eye on the foal once it's born to make sure there are no problems there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,333 Posts
Loosie, since I take boarders in on occasion, we did the gold standard of diagnostics/treatment which meant every single horse in the barn was cultured clean 3 times once things appeared to have passed. So they pretty much all got at least 5 cultures done. Most people who only have a single horse or it's only their horses, don't do as much. Maybe 2-3 cultures, until they get one clean one.

Things lasted so long here because they didn't all come down with it at the same time. It pretty much went, Dolly came down with it, got cultured to confirm strangles. The about 1 week later the next on became symptomatic and got cultured, then 2 weeks later the next 2 or 3 started showing symptoms, got cultured and on and on until finally Skippy got the [email protected] strangles and was the final one infected. I'm trying to remember if it was 2 months or 3 that it took for everyone to start being symptomatic, it was a long time anyhow. Then had to nurse them along for another 2 or 3, then start with the cultures so that each one got 3 clean ones and Skippy did the same in ICU. I do remember buying Dolly in March/2016, so she was in QT for 60 days, so there goes 2 months, add another 2-3 and then add another 3-4 to get all the cultures done. I remember it finally seeming to all clear up by Christmas, so 9 months give or take a bit.

If your mare is the only one who gets sick, then it won't take you nearly that long to get her cleared up and back to her old self. I would definitely have the vet check to see if the foal is still viable and I'd check a couple of times through the pregnancy, just to be on the safe side. I think I mentioned before that I'd be keeping an eagle eye on the foal once it's born to make sure there are no problems there.
Oh and re: the vaccine, I was told definitely not for the ones who were sick, and to wait until it had been given the all clear for any who didn't come down with it. Of course, we never got that far. Once everyone had gotten over it, I was told not to bother for 5 years, they should have immunity that long. The 2 pregnant mares finally got vaccinated when the foals were weaned and we gave the foals the vaccine after being weaned. It was a hoot trying to get nasal vaccs up their noses. Their faces were pure comedy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,910 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Vet couldn't fit me in today, as it wasn't an emergency. Showed her pics & she thinks an 'atypical' strangles is likely, so I'm to go on Wed to get cultures done & discuss further. She also said don't bother with the vaccine & don't bother doing the others at present either - as they're likely to already have the bugs if they're going to get them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,333 Posts
Vet couldn't fit me in today, as it wasn't an emergency. Showed her pics & she thinks an 'atypical' strangles is likely, so I'm to go on Wed to get cultures done & discuss further. She also said don't bother with the vaccine & don't bother doing the others at present either - as they're likely to already have the bugs if they're going to get them.
Sorry she couldn't get you in o_O. Not an emergency......yeah, let's see how much of an emergency it is when SHE'S got to take care of 10-15-20 horses all by herself when you're trying to deal with pregnant mares, brand new foals, soon to foal mares, and just sheer weight of numbers :mad:. I'd have lit her right up. They may not be in imminent danger of dying, though that can be very debatable with strangles, it's really overwhelming to care for a bunch of sick, contaminated horses all at once.

I agree with no need to vaccinate and no need to do the others until everyone is either through with it, or doesn't come down with it. Then you can, just make sure you use the nasal, not the injection. The nasal is a total pain and probably not as effective but the injection is a modified live vaccine and it's notorious for huge site reactions and site abscesses.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top