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  1. #1
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    Default Swollen lymph nodes between jaws

    Horse had slightly swollen lymph nodes starting about 4-5 weeks ago. She wasn't tender, still had a great appetite, etc. So, I didn't think too much about it. Last week they began swelling quite a bit. Put her on antihistamines for several days (5 days) thinking it might be allergies. No improvement at all. Did hot compresses and started her on antibiotics Monday (since we were well past the range for strangles and she hasn't been anywhere and no new horses have been there). Tuesday they were a little bit more swollen. Called the vet back and he said keep her on the antibiotics and rub DMSO on the lymph nodes. Well, today was day 5 on antibiotics with maybe 5% improvement. So I had the vet out to pull CBC and do an FNA on the lymph nodes (fine need aspiration biopsy). She had no fever and again, great appetite, no runny nose, no nothing weird except these giant lymph nodes. These isn't normal for her and at this point the lymph nodes are swollen to where they stick out below the cheeks (where you can see them just by looking at her).

    The vet said it would be a week before we get results from the FNA and to stop the antibiotics but keep DMSO on the lymph nodes.

    Does this sound like ANYTHING remotely familiar to anyone? Anybody have anything maybe the vet didn't think of or that I should ask him about? The mare's teeth were checked last month and I was told she was smooth and didn't need floating (was floated last year and on pasture, no grain). I'm not sure if he checked her teeth closely today or not.



  2. #2
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    Where exactly between jaws? Is this a young horse? Could this be molars errupting??!



  3. #3
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    Could be teeth. I've seen/heard about it...the teeth grown DOWN instead of UP.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleblackMorgan View Post
    Could be teeth. I've seen/heard about it...the teeth grown DOWN instead of UP.
    But, she's a 17 year old mare. I would think that would have been an issue before now I'm waiting for him to call with test results so I can ask if he checked her teeth (I told him too but was talking to his assistant).



  5. #5
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    That's really odd that you posted this, because my horse has been slightly swollen in the same area lately.

    He did cut open part of his throat at the beginning of June. The vet told me to leave it open to drain it, and just keep it really clean and do hot compresses. We also did 5 days of antibiotics. Initially he swelled up around the cut (like where a horse with strangles would), but that went away after a day. The cut was kept very clean, horse finished antibiotics, never spiked a temp or reswelled, had a great appetite the entire time, and the cut closed nicely. There's a small bump of scar tissue, but that's it.

    About a week after cut closes, I notice he's swollen between his cheeks and under his chin...I assume these are lymph nodes and call the vet. The area where he cut himself still feels the same, not boggy and it doesn't bother him to touch it, squeeze it, etc. He still has plenty of energy and a great appetite, again never spikes a temperature. Vet told me to do 10 more days of antibiotics just in case. After the antibiotics, no change. My vet said just to keep a close eye on him. So, I'm pretty puzzled, and watching him closely...but it's been forever and no change.

    This is a 15 year-old horse and his teeth were done at the end of May.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley0522 View Post
    That's really odd that you posted this, because my horse has been slightly swollen in the same area lately.

    He did cut open part of his throat at the beginning of June. The vet told me to leave it open to drain it, and just keep it really clean and do hot compresses. We also did 5 days of antibiotics. Initially he swelled up around the cut (like where a horse with strangles would), but that went away after a day. The cut was kept very clean, horse finished antibiotics, never spiked a temp or reswelled, had a great appetite the entire time, and the cut closed nicely. There's a small bump of scar tissue, but that's it.

    About a week after cut closes, I notice he's swollen between his cheeks and under his chin...I assume these are lymph nodes and call the vet. The area where he cut himself still feels the same, not boggy and it doesn't bother him to touch it, squeeze it, etc. He still has plenty of energy and a great appetite, again never spikes a temperature. Vet told me to do 10 more days of antibiotics just in case. After the antibiotics, no change. My vet said just to keep a close eye on him. So, I'm pretty puzzled, and watching him closely...but it's been forever and no change.

    This is a 15 year-old horse and his teeth were done at the end of May.
    Yep, this mare is swollen behind the chin as well (basically, from lymph nodes all the way to the lower lip/chin, in between the jaw bones).

    Oddly enough, my vet said he had a horse go through the same thing a few weeks ago and they never figured out what it was. Did Tucoprim and DMSO on the lymph nodes and said they shrunk a little but still swollen. Same thing, no fever, great appetitie, horse is otherwise 'normal' except for these massive lymph nodes.

    My horses don't travel and the nearest horse to us is at lest 3 miles so I don't know what it could be.
    Last edited by jaimebaker; Jul. 24, 2009 at 06:35 PM.



  7. #7
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    My 4 year old mare has had this twice...most recently (about 1.5 months ago) the swelling was the size of a peach. It/they finally blew out/abscessed. We had her on SMZ for one month and it gradually went away. Vet said lymph glands filter and it couldn't filter something and it became infected. It did not affect her in any way...was just unsightly for me!



  8. #8
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    May. 27, 2008
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    Oh yeah, been dealing w/ swollen nodes in the jaw area for about 2 yrs in the spring/ summer seasons. Vet seems to think it's an allergy. Just keeping a check, as it "waxes and wanes." Does not feel poorly or lose appetite. Teeth checked regularly. This is a 12 yr old horse w/ no other issues. It really is baffling.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by C*A*S*I*N*O View Post
    My 4 year old mare has had this twice...most recently (about 1.5 months ago) the swelling was the size of a peach. It/they finally blew out/abscessed. We had her on SMZ for one month and it gradually went away. Vet said lymph glands filter and it couldn't filter something and it became infected. It did not affect her in any way...was just unsightly for me!
    Were you doing warm compresses or anything or did they just blow out on their own??



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2horseowner View Post
    Oh yeah, been dealing w/ swollen nodes in the jaw area for about 2 yrs in the spring/ summer seasons. Vet seems to think it's an allergy. Just keeping a check, as it "waxes and wanes." Does not feel poorly or lose appetite. Teeth checked regularly. This is a 12 yr old horse w/ no other issues. It really is baffling.
    That's what I thought it might be as well but she didn't respond to Anihist. Granted, it's not as strong as something from the vet would be like Trihist but it made NO difference at all. Might not have been strong enough to do anything though or maybe I should have had her on it longer. I've had this mare the majority of her life and this is the first time I've seen her go through this. Really odd. I find it somewhat comforting though that others are going through it and don't know what it is either. I'll report back with the findings from the biopsy if there's anything interesting about it. Doesn't bother her, but it sure bothers me!



  11. #11
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    Wow. What at timely thread. Just had this happen. They "blew out" 3x.

    That was enough for us to determine they were never going to STOP "blowing out (pussy, like an abscess).

    We surgically removed the lumph node 4 weeks ago (required the horse to be up on his back, as these lymph nodes run near the Carotid, a nerve that controls the flap which related to roaring, and also some strong muscles/ tongue). It got to the point it was becoming too disruptive to our schooling, as he did get a bit feverish and sluggish every time they "blew up" ... then "blew out."

    Previous biopsy kept showing hair follicles up inside the lymph area and the capsule that kept holding infection, then blowing out.

    I could even SEE one big hair growing out of the growth after it was removed.

    Finaly biopsy of the growth revealed nothing terribly helpful: "Overreactive lymph node." They thought maybe cancer by the way it kept exploding and the hair follicles were in the wrong place ..... I was never concerned about cancer, as I know the horse too well and the pus didn't suggest cancer, nor did the slight fever.

    I am glad we got it removed, even if it really flubbed up my show season. It was NOT going to go away on it's own (if yours will, then kudos to your horse!). Ultimately, I feel that it HAD to be a puncture wound initially, likely with a wood splinter, as my youngsters play some pretty competitive games of "face tag" over the wooden fence (w/wooden poles). It healed really well. I was required to massage it to ensure proper blood flow once the wound healed over (about 14 days for that). I think that really helped, as their was a knot there (inflamed tissue), but it's gone down quite a bit now.

    Magnum
    "If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up somewhere else."



  12. #12
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    Well...no answers from the bloodwork. No sign of infection or allergies, completely normal. Won't get the results back from the biopsy until mid to late next week. I really hope I get some answers then. I hate not knowing what the heck is causing this.



  13. #13
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    Thats strange, if it was a dog, or cat, you would immediately be thinking lymphoma. But..not so sure about horses!! Hopefully its nothing serious and your horse is just battling some type of allergy....keep us updated!!



  14. #14
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    Dec. 22, 2008
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    This is a rather interesting thread. I noticed swollen glands on my mare after she had her teeth floated in May. I do not know if they were there before I got her teeth floated or not.
    They are not tender and have not changed.
    http://equineeyephotography.smugmug....01671806_qPfRo
    You can see the bump behind her cheek bones on the lower part of her neck

    Should I have taken her back to the vet's the first time I noticed it? (I feel rather stupid asking that!)



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazypaintrider View Post
    This is a rather interesting thread. I noticed swollen glands on my mare after she had her teeth floated in May. I do not know if they were there before I got her teeth floated or not.
    They are not tender and have not changed.
    http://equineeyephotography.smugmug....01671806_qPfRo
    You can see the bump behind her cheek bones on the lower part of her neck

    Should I have taken her back to the vet's the first time I noticed it? (I feel rather stupid asking that!)
    Not sure what that is myself but if it wasn't there before I would definitely call. It's something so noticeable, surely you would have noticed it before, right?

    That's not the same location I'm talking though. Here's what I'm talking about. The two arrows in between her cheeks are the lymph nodes I'm talking about. The third arrow closer to the muzzle shows the swelling in between the jaw bones there (or points it out rather)

    http://www.tristanbaker.net/eBay/lymph.jpg



  16. #16
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    Dec. 22, 2008
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    I knew it wasn't exactly the same thing you were talking about, but I was hoping someone would know something about it.

    You'd think I would have noticed it. Or the vet would have noticed it when he did her teeth and gave her her shots. But at the same time I think I found of photo of her before her teeth were floated that shows them. So I'm not sure!



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazypaintrider View Post
    I knew it wasn't exactly the same thing you were talking about, but I was hoping someone would know something about it.

    You'd think I would have noticed it. Or the vet would have noticed it when he did her teeth and gave her her shots. But at the same time I think I found of photo of her before her teeth were floated that shows them. So I'm not sure!
    I had to do the same thing and look up pics I had of this mare and make sure I wasn't just making it up in my head (since some horses just have bigger lymph nodes).

    Maybe somebody will chime in and recognize what that is on your horse. Might not be anything but I can see what you are talking about.



  18. #18
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    Wanted to post an update. The FNA results just came back and just showed fluid. No bad cells, no cancer, nothing abnormal, just 'fluid'. So my vet said to stop worrying about it. I've been rubbing DMSO on the lymph nodes for over a week with no change so I quit yesterday. So yeah...there ya go. The lymph nodes are still swollen like crazy but other than that the mare is normal.

    I wonder just how many folks are going through this crap right now. Even one of my vets said he had a colt that did the same thing with no known cause. So frustrating. It's definitely bothering me more than her though.



  19. #19
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    Default Environmental Cause?

    I'm not one for the 'softer' ideas about equine sickness, but I did spend some time working around chemical issues for the EPA. When you mention lymph node inflamation with no obvious cause, it does make me wonder about environmental causes, such as very high nitrate levels in the water, exposure to some unusual chemicals close to the farm/barn? What is the neighborhood like? Where does the water come from? Drawing on a really old event, what do you use to keep the dust down in the ring? Ask your self these kinds of questions and don't hesitate to examine everything. I hope your horse gets well soon.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimplyTraining View Post
    I'm not one for the 'softer' ideas about equine sickness, but I did spend some time working around chemical issues for the EPA. When you mention lymph node inflamation with no obvious cause, it does make me wonder about environmental causes, such as very high nitrate levels in the water, exposure to some unusual chemicals close to the farm/barn? What is the neighborhood like? Where does the water come from? Drawing on a really old event, what do you use to keep the dust down in the ring? Ask your self these kinds of questions and don't hesitate to examine everything. I hope your horse gets well soon.
    My horses are not ridden. They are on pasture 24/7 and well water. Out of 6 horses she's the only one with this symptom. I have thought she could be eating something that she may be sensitive to in the pasture but haven't found anything that gives swollen glands as a symptom of toxicity.

    As far as 'neighborhood' it's 140 acres in the middle of nowhere. Not a neighborhood per se. The driveway is over a mile long. No chemicals are used around the horses but fly spray. No herbicides, no fertilizers.

    I have tried to figure out anything that changed in her life. The only thing that is different is that we have had a surplus of rain this year. Lots of weird crap growing I've never even seen up there. I had a couple of horses with some redness to their sclera from allergies, so I thought it would make total sense this could be some sort of allergy to something bizarre growing from all the wet we've been having. However, the bloodwork showed no signs this was an allergy. So yeah, I'm stumped and so is the vet.
    Last edited by jaimebaker; Jul. 31, 2009 at 10:58 PM.



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