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Discussion on Swelling under the jaw (submandibular)

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Melanie Wilson
New Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 4
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 21, 2007 - 11:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr. O
I have a molly mule (coming yearling in april) that has a large amount of swelling under her jaw. I call it the V area, believe maybe submandibular is correct but not sure, it appeared overnight. The swelling is rock hard and large enough that it is actually visible. She has no other symptoms, no runny nose or cough and no fever. Under instructions from our vet, we have isolated her. She is still eating and drinking but tonight (2nd day of swelling) it appears to be spreading somewhat to her throat/neck area. Do you have any ideas what the cause could be, also I was instructed not to administer meds at this time, only to observe...do you agree? She is 1st Place futurity weanling mule in our state and 4th in the world so I am a little on edge about this. Please any help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
MoMule
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 17844
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Feb 22, 2007 - 7:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Melanie,
The cause is antigenic stimulation to the lymph node and in young horses enlarged lymph nodes are usually viral diseases that have been spread through the respiratory system. Sometimes there are no other signs. I agree from the current description and without other symptoms medications are not indicated. The question will be are they going to break open and drain under the jaw? But they will heal in either case.
DrO
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Melanie Wilson
New Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 5
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, Feb 22, 2007 - 7:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
Thank You so much for your response, I feel better now. Should I have concerns as to when, where and how they break open?
Thanks,
Mel
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Melanie Wilson
Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 6
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, Feb 22, 2007 - 7:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr. O
Now I am worried, tonight I noticed that the hair underneath her jaw was moist and somewhat matted. I ran my fingers over the area and had a, what appeared to be clear, fluid on my fingers. My vet is now saying that it does sound like strangles, she still is showing no other symptoms. She has also had nose to nose contact with another weanling. I have been instructed to move her off the property as I have mares due to foal within the next 3 weeks that are in the next stalls to her. Still no meds. Do you agree, please tell me your feelings on this.
Thanks,
Mel
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Melanie Wilson
Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 7
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, Feb 22, 2007 - 9:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr.O
Problem with moving away from here, no place to go...would it be sufficient to place her in a round pen approx. 20 feet away from all others, also in addition to above post, fluid seemed clear not yellow. Sorry to act so worried but I just lost my world champion weanling donkey in November to Rhino, not sure I can handle loosing another. Is there anything I need to be doing to the abscesses, also anything preventative for the babies arriving in two weeks?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 17851
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Feb 23, 2007 - 7:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well that answers the question of is it going to open and drain. Yes I agree with no meds Melanie, this is a common event in your horses and the quickest way to get this healed is to let the lymph node rupture open. I would be applying either hot packs with a mild antiseptic (chlorhexidine) or ichthammol which will aid in bringing it to a head and getting it to complete this is one easy cycle.

Sometimes these can become a nuisance and have to blow open several times before healing but antibiotics do not usually help, in fact they may delay rupture and healing.

I cannot answer if that is enough space but if it is the best you can do. it will be the best you can do. Pardon me for asking but how did you loose a horse to rhinopneumonitis, despite seeing hundreds of cases I have never seen a horse die from this disease?
DrO
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Melanie Wilson
Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 8
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, Feb 23, 2007 - 9:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr.O
Thank you for your response, I will keep you posted as to her progress. As for the rhino case, it was my weanling donkey, all the mule babies about 3-5 days after we got home from the show started coughing and had runny nose ect, my vet immediately started medicating, especially after we found out there was a sick mule 4 stalls down at the show that was scratched by the show vet due to illness. My little donkey just wasn't showing symptoms like the others (all had fever, cough ect.); it was almost 10 days I think, everything else was doing great and responding good, this had also jumped to pasture but even the older mares and mules were getting over the cough, I noticed that he (weanling donkey) was breathing labored, called the vet and he immediately gave him (i think it was a steroid) an injection into the vein and left me several other injections to administer, at this point we went from no fever to 103, the next morning at 4 am his fever had broke but breathing was still very labored, 3 hrs later he died. I have been told that the donkeys are just so tough that by the time they do show symptoms they are so bad sick that it can be really hard to bring them out of it. Our friend that was also at the same show and stalled down the same hallway, 5 days after he got home one of his donkeys turned up sick and was in the hospital for 22 days. I was medicating my little donkey at first as a precaution but when he showed no symptoms, I stopped. If you would like, you can see his world champion pic on our website.
Thanks,
Mel
P>S Hopefully my other two babies will be fine.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 17858
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Feb 24, 2007 - 7:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sounds like a secondary pleuropneumonia Melanie which is often associated with recent trailer travel. That was a bit of bad luck.
DrO
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Melanie Wilson
Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 9
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, Feb 24, 2007 - 11:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr.O
The weanling/yearling molly continues to have drainage at the abscess site, I have been cleaning it with betadine. Question, how can this affect my brood mares if they were exposed to strangles, both mares are due to foal in 2 - 3 weeks, also what concerns do I need to have for the babies when they are born?
Thanks,
Mel
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Melanie Wilson
Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 10
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, Feb 24, 2007 - 11:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Note for above post, one brood mare looks like she could actually go any day.
Mel
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 17863
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Feb 25, 2007 - 9:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Melanie,
To read about the diagnosis, clinical signs, and treatment of Strangles see Diseases of Horses » Respiratory System » Strangles & Streptococcus equi. Though not common abortion has been reported in association with Strangles. Note one advantage to not having given antibiotics at this time is you can still accurately culture, or better do the PCR, for strangles. These are described in the article.
DrO
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Melanie Wilson
Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 11
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, Feb 25, 2007 - 9:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr. O
I read the article and it gave me some insight, Thank You, I was unable to find a specific answer to the question as to how it can affect a new born foal, can this also cause abortion in a mare that is two weeks from her due date? Also in your opinion of course, does this really sound like strangles since there is never been fever, cough or runny nose?
Thanks,
Mel
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Melanie Wilson
Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 13
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, Feb 25, 2007 - 10:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Here is a pic of Tinkerbell, still has drainage on one side, the other side doesn't appeared to have ruptured open yet.
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Julie Masner
Member
Username: juliem

Post Number: 147
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Feb 25, 2007 - 10:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gorgeous girl! I had a paint colt develope strangles as a late yearling. He had no fever, runny nose, cough, etc. Never went off his feed or acted sick at all. He had been vaccinated with the intra nasal, so that may have been why his case was so mild. He seemed to enjoy the hot packs on his jaw and it did get the abcesses open and draining well. No after effects. I put hot compresses on his jaw once a day for about 20 minutes, exchanging the towel for a hotter one, as soon as it cooled even a little. I had them as hot as my hands could stand. After a few days, he didn't even need to be haltered for the procedure. No meds at all were administered and neither of my two other geldings contracted it, though they shared everything. They also had been vaccinated and in my vets experience, older horses seem less likely to contract it. Good luck with your mares and foals!
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 17872
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Feb 26, 2007 - 7:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have never seen a new born with Strangles nor have any case history Melanie. If a mare was sick enough, yes I suspect abortion could happen at any time.
DrO
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Melanie Wilson
Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 14
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, Feb 26, 2007 - 9:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank You Julie and Dr.O
The other side of the swelling under Tinkerbell's jaw busted open last nite and started to drain. Still no symptoms with the other weanling / yearling nor with the brood mares. Dr.O I read somewhere that foals can or should be vaccinated for strangles at 4 - 5 months, do you agree and is this something you think I should do?
Thanks,
Mel
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 17878
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007 - 5:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Melanie, we discuss the indications (pros and cons), products, and recommended schedule including when to first vaccinate young horses at Diseases of Horses » Respiratory System » Strangles & Streptococcus equi.
DrO
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Melanie Wilson
Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 16
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 28, 2007 - 11:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr. O,
One of the brood mares that was stalled in the same barn as the yearling that has strangles, has developed 2 knots?? I is located on her left jaw and the other is at the top of her neck on the right side. Both knots appear to be soft. No other symptoms. She is approx. 15 days from foaling. Does this sound like she has strangles now too?????? Please help....this has be scared to death.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 17907
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Mar 1, 2007 - 10:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Easy Melanie, there is no reason to be afraid at all. These are common events in horses and the lack of fever suggests this is a mild problem. Your past experience with respiratory diseases is not typical and it is not clear any of your horses have strangles. But with this notion and your concern I don't know why you have not had the drainage cultured as described in the article on Strangles.
DrO
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Melanie Wilson
Member
Username: momule

Post Number: 17
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, Mar 1, 2007 - 11:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr. O
Contacted my vet on tuesday to test the drainage but...I know this is hard to believe...when he called wednesday afternoon to let me know he was coming out the next morning, there wasn't any drainage left, the entire site under her jaw is dry as a bone, the only thing that is left is a little sore, like you find when you peel of a scab, but absolutely no moisture.
Thanks,
Mel
P.S I am gonna retake mare's temp this afternoon and will post results.
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