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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My gelding developed an odd swollen large lump right at the top of his scapula. This happened overnight after a non-riding day. This is not a bug bite and is not a saddle issue.
The swelling is not showing signs of heat and is not changing in size. It is very firm... seems more like a deep tissue swelling.
I have done bute and box rest and cold therapy for a week with no result. He is completely sound, however, he is bothered when I press on the swollen area.
I am getting ready to contact a vet, however was wondering if
anyone has experienced this with their horse??
Pictures are below, 3 of the swollen side and 1 picture of his regular non- swollen side. The swelling is to the right of myhand.
Any advice is greatly appreciated!!! :)




 

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I would call the vet ASAP. I had a rescue horse come in with a similar swelling and it was the fact he broke the tip of his scapula and it was slightly displaced.

Has he had any vaccines or shots there in the last few weeks?
 
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I'd certainly have the vet look asap. However if there is no lameness I would doubt there was a fracture. Have you trotted him up on a hard, level surface? If he's sound trotting up, lunge him on a hard surface on a small circle, known as 'the circle of death' to some haha, it puts a lot of pressure on the joints and will, in the majority of cases, show up any lameness. If he's not lame trotting on a small circle on hard ground, I would put my money on it that there is no fracture present.
Looks more to me like a haematoma IMO. Often if they get a knock/bite/kick or some kind of impact, even if he knocked against a fence or tree, or rolled on a rock, they can develop into a haematoma. A haemotoma is just a collection of blood which shows the same symptoms as a fracture, and is basically one of the ways the body can slow internal bleeding. Much like a bruise but it comes up as a lump so can be sensitive to the touch. They don't cause any problems and usually dissolve back into the body after some time, although some may continue to grow and will need to be drained. Either way, not a real big deal ;)


I'd get the vet to check it out anyway, just in case.
 

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I agree that it is time to get a vet out. I am thinking abscess or hematoma as well. I would hold off on further doses of bute, because if it is an abscess this will keep it from breaking out. Strangles abscesses are usually in the jaw/throat area but they can actually be anywhere on the body (not that I'm saying that's what it is, but it is on the list until proven otherwise.
 

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Do definitely rule out anything more serious first, but have you put any fly spray on him recently, or changed brands of anything that would have gone on his shoulder? Two summers ago I tried a new brand of fly spray, and my guys got giant welts just like that, but near their flanks, about at the bottom edge of the ribcage. I thought hematoma (I'd actually fallen off the afternoon I found them, and thought that the stirrup irons had swung back and clunked him...), bug bites, poison ivy, everything I could think of, but it finally turned out to be the new fly spray. Just a thought, hope that you figure out what's going on with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would call the vet ASAP. I had a rescue horse come in with a similar swelling and it was the fact he broke the tip of his scapula and it was slightly displaced.

Has he had any vaccines or shots there in the last few weeks?
No vaccines and no new medicatinos/flys sprays, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, Thank you!!! I have heard that its most likely a hematoma as well, specifically from a friend that runs a large boarding stable and comes across a lot of bumps, lumps and the like.

I'm going to take him to the vet next Mon if it is not dissolved on its own by then. I appreciate your thoughtful replies! :)
 

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My Doc O'lena reining stallion use to get knots like that on his neck right behind his pole. Was a muscle issue and I would get my Chiro/bioscan person out to work on him and by the next day or so it would be gone. Then over time depending on work load and what he was doing it would come back. He was never lame or really seemed sore with it. Never hot or anything. Just a big knot in his muscle.

Not saying that is what it is but I personally if he was mine I would get Jackie out and then if that did not work I would call the vet or take him to MSU for x rays. My vet could not x-ray that area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My Doc O'lena reining stallion use to get knots like that on his neck right behind his pole. Was a muscle issue and I would get my Chiro/bioscan person out to work on him and by the next day or so it would be gone. Then over time depending on work load and what he was doing it would come back. He was never lame or really seemed sore with it. Never hot or anything. Just a big knot in his muscle.

Not saying that is what it is but I personally if he was mine I would get Jackie out and then if that did not work I would call the vet or take him to MSU for x rays. My vet could not x-ray that area.

Thanks for the info, but who is Jackie?? We live in Las Vegas so MSU would be a long haul ;)
 

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Jackie is the lady who does my chiro/bioscan work. She does get out that way every few months though. Normally Arizona I think?? Would have to ask again. Not sure were else she goes. In between times I use my bioscan pads which really work well.

Ya MSU would be a haul. I would think there would be a vet collage around there that could do the work if needed. Maybe even a larger clinic if they have a larger x-ray machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again, I hope it will not be necessary to call in anyone or haul out of state. We have a full service equine hospital here in Las Vegas. We have an appointment there tomorrow.
I appreciate everyone's input for the mysterious swelling. I will post the diagnosis, hopefully it will serve as a learning opportunity for all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My gelding's diagnosis is far from complete, Nrharainer you are correct, this is a terrible anatomical spot for doing xrays. My vet opted for an utltrasound. It showed no blood clots or fluids so a hematoma was ruled out. The swelling is all muscle mass. The ultrasound is very difficult for determining exactly what is going on however he said its either a slight chip in his scapula and/or muscle/tendon pulling or tearing from the scapula bone.

Again, these are only speculations as we were unable to do an x-ray. The mystery in this situation lies in the fact that this type of injury had to be incurred from hard force or blunt trauma. The problem is he was not exposed to anything which would make succeptible to this kind of injury the day or night preceeding the swelling. It was a non-riding day and he was by himself in his stall without other horses to injure him.
Something must of happened in the night, that is the only feasible explanation, but again, he showed no marks on his body if he did fall, or perhaps got cast under the pipe corral. Now...all I can think is I really wish I had a night vision camera to monitor what goes on when I'm not around!!

He is sound for the most part so he will have 2 weeks off and then light walking for the following 2 weeks, I hope by then the mysterious mass dissapates on its own.
Thank you all for your interest and I wish the best of health for your equine partners! ** Please let me know if you have any additional advice for his re-hab!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Jt my gelding has this EXACT same thin on his shoulder right now.
Really?! Wow, what is the diagnosis that he has been given? (if you have seen a vet).
My gelding is still swollen, no change within 3 weeks, but he is sound and has been sound from the get go. how about your boy? Is it only on one side as well?
-I'm the "T" part of JT :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hmmm, no, I have not heard of arnica. Is it available at the feed store? DO you mix it with dmso?
Thanks for the input!
 

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I have my vet coming out this Friday. It has been 6 days since the swelling popped up. Yeah he is as sound as every but I have only been lounging him because i dont want the saddle rubbing on that if i dont know what it is. Yes it is only on his right side, his left side is completely normal. I will post what my vet says after my apt with him. But 3 weeks... yikes. thats no good. I am not keeping very hopeful.
 
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