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Swollen Throat Latch?


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#1 mistymorning

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 12:51 AM

This afternoon (Monday) I was about to turn my mare out and I noticed her throat latch/jaw area was swollen to the point where it was difficult to fit the halter on. Any clue what could cause that?

Here's what I assessed.
It did not appear to be tender and I could not find any broken skin or particular source of the swelling so I doubt it's from an injury.

I haven't made any changes to her diet, but if it is some sort of allergic reaction, it may have been caused by a field I had her grazing in (on a ride, for about 20 min) on Saturday. From what I could tell the forage in that field was predominately wild pea, wild radish and grass.

She had no respiratory depression, nasal or eye discharge. I took her temperature, though I'm not sure if I can trust the reading (wasn't my thermometer) because I got two different ones at 97.7 and 98.6. Both are low (99.8 is normal). But hopefully that would rule out a fever. I doubt it's strangles, but that's a possibility. She's eating, pooping, peeing, drinking normally. She did seem a bit dull-eyed though.

I tried looking in her mouth with no luck, but if it's tooth-related, the vet is scheduled for a dental next Tuesday anyway.

So there are the pieces to the puzzle. Any ideas of what could have caused this? Thanks folks. Appreciate the input.

#2 farm mom

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 01:16 AM

I had a horse that did the same thing recently. I was so worried it was strangles. He was swollen under the throatlatch, under the chin. I had the vet out to look at him and he said most likely just a type of cold. Their lymph nodes swell just like ours sometimes. It went away after a week or two and he hasn't had any problems since then. None of our other horses got it and they are pastured together 24/7.
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#3 farm mom

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 01:16 AM

I had a horse that did the same thing recently. I was so worried it was strangles. He was swollen under the throatlatch, under the chin. I had the vet out to look at him and he said most likely just a type of cold. Their lymph nodes swell just like ours sometimes. It went away after a week or two and he hasn't had any problems since then. None of our other horses got it and they are pastured together 24/7.
Tiffany
mom to six human kids and animal mom to:
Sonic, black Standardbred gelding
Prince,chocolate Rocky Mtn.gelding
Hawk,buckskin Mustang gelding
Scout, red leopard POA/mini pony gelding

#4 farm mom

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 01:16 AM

I had a horse that did the same thing recently. I was so worried it was strangles. He was swollen under the throatlatch, under the chin. I had the vet out to look at him and he said most likely just a type of cold. Their lymph nodes swell just like ours sometimes. It went away after a week or two and he hasn't had any problems since then. None of our other horses got it and they are pastured together 24/7.
Tiffany
mom to six human kids and animal mom to:
Sonic, black Standardbred gelding
Prince,chocolate Rocky Mtn.gelding
Hawk,buckskin Mustang gelding
Scout, red leopard POA/mini pony gelding

#5 farm mom

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 01:16 AM

I had a horse that did the same thing recently. I was so worried it was strangles. He was swollen under the throatlatch, under the chin. I had the vet out to look at him and he said most likely just a type of cold. Their lymph nodes swell just like ours sometimes. It went away after a week or two and he hasn't had any problems since then. None of our other horses got it and they are pastured together 24/7.
Tiffany
mom to six human kids and animal mom to:
Sonic, black Standardbred gelding
Prince,chocolate Rocky Mtn.gelding
Hawk,buckskin Mustang gelding
Scout, red leopard POA/mini pony gelding

#6 manesntails

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 05:41 AM

The low-grade fever does not sound good. Horses temps aren't normally that low.

The dullness in the eyes would also concern me. I've never heard of a horse having swollen glands from a "cold" as farm mom says.

Is the throatlatch firm at the lowest point?

Strangles swellings are not generally tender, you can poke and squeeze them without too much notice by the horse in most cases.

If it were me, I would certainly be calling my vet and NOT turning her out with other horses until I knew what this was for certain.








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#7 LWD

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 05:44 AM

Check your local pollen counts, I know down here in the south the past few months most of my horses look on and off like they have swollowed tennis balls. If it gets bad enough to impede their breathing in work, I either give them a day off or a dexmethasone injection *make sure you get a big injectable dose from your vet to start with and then follow up with oral or pills - they really need that initial big dose to get ahead of the game with the allergies.

I'm just glad it finally rained this weekend, hopefully they will get some relief!
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#8 Serah Rose

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 07:14 AM



was it like that? Could be a gutteral pouch issues...or strangles. Either way, I'd be calling a vet. Make sure the horse is quarantined for now, and was very thoroughly, just in case it *is* strangles.
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#9 GlowingTrickPony

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:14 AM

not to alarm you more, but we just had our shot clinic last friday and our vet said its(equine flue/strangles) going around(here in Ca.) an suggested any horses that are showing or trailering out to get the shot, even if they weren't due,So I did,as I just went to a show 2 weeks ago. So hope your horse is ok.

#10 mistymorning

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:30 AM

It wasn't anywhere near as swollen as the picture that was posted by Serah Rose. I was just at the barn a few minutes ago, and the swelling has almost completely abated.
I am a still skeptical that it could be strangles because that's mainly only transmitted via horse-to-horse contact. My two horses are in a paddock adjacent to one other horse, which has not been infected with it at all. There haven't been any new horses around the place to bring it in either. Of course, I haven't completely rules it out and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out to see if the swelling returns.
As far as the pollen count goes, it was rated as very high the last few days which were sunny and warm, but it's pouring rain today. Maybe that has something to do with the reduced swelling.

Thank you guys for you comments and suggestions. smileywavey.gif

#11 Cheadle Chick

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 10:06 AM

That sounds really odd. If it happens again, I'd a) have a vet check her out and B) take some pics to post so we've got a better idea of what's happening.

My mare has a "goiter" and I've had a bunch of people give her really concerned looks when they notice it (ie they think it's strangles). She's always always had it though, so it's no big deal. I've just gotten used to recognizing "the look" and telling them it's not what they're thinking.
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#12 Zakima

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 10:23 AM

Call your vet's office and ask if there are strangles in the area. Strangles that do not break open and drain can become a systemic virus.

We had small out breaks in the Los Angeles area about a month ago.
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#13 GlowingTrickPony

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 04:29 PM

I'm up in Sacto area and our vet says its going around and gave another older horse shots today,just in case cause we've had a few new horses come in with no records!!(I don't take a chance) and I got mine just in case...can't be too careful! especially if your horse is out socializing,or a place where strange horses are come'n in and you don't know there history. Sound like you might be safe as long as you KNOW for sure that your horses has not been exposed to unknown horses?

#14 Crazy-appy_eventer

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 10:31 AM

QUOTE (Zakima @ Apr 28 2010, 03:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Call your vet's office and ask if there are strangles in the area. Strangles that do not break open and drain can become a systemic virus.

We had small out breaks in the Los Angeles area about a month ago.


Strangles is a bacteria, not a virus :)
Yes it can go systemic, but that is not related to whether or not the lesions break open.
Horses have lymphatic tissue that is not in a discrete node like most other species. It is very small and diffusely distributed behind and below the lower jaw. It can become enlarged due to chronic antigen exposure such as an allergen of infection. Strangles of course loves this tissue so that too can cause enlargement. Other then that you are looking at a gutteral pouch issue. Could be air, infection, etc.
Are your horses vaccinated?? Vaccines do not prevent a horse from acquiring a pathogen, they just limit the severity of the infection.

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#15 mistymorning

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 10:42 AM

Yeah, all's back to normal now. Thanks for your input.