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Discussion on Swollen Submandibular Lymph Node

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Alicia Larson
Member
Username: alarson

Post Number: 9
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 - 1:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O.,

Thankfully, it has been awhile since I've needed to look something up on HorseAdvice, but my time has come. I noticed my gelding had a tumor-like bump under his jaw that is tender to the touch/squeeze. After researching here, I am pretty sure it is a swollen submandibular lymph node. With his winter coat hiding the bump so well, I really don't know how long he's had it. I feed (and pet) twice daily and he's had no signs of illness. I rode him before I found the bump and he was just fine. I highly doubt it is strangles since he hasn't left our place or been exposed to other horses in over 4 months. My farrier was here about 14 days before I noticed the bump. His only stop before he came to my place was my sister's and I know her horses are all healthy with no exposure either. He has a history of coughing, runny nose and eyes and I treat him with antihistamine when he's at his worst, but that is generally in the dry, dusty summer months. Winter is his "good" season and occasionally he may have a clear runny nose. I read another post where you suggested dusty hay could have contributed to a swollen lymph node. My question, with what I've described, would it be advisable to watch and wait a bit before calling the vet? After our last vet visit (lots of dental work on the 27 year old mare = $$$$), my husband is a bit anxious about another vet visit. But if this is an issue that should be checked asap to rule out anything serious, that's what we will do.

Thank you,
Alicia
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Alicia Larson
Member
Username: alarson

Post Number: 10
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 - 12:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

From last night to this morning, I've managed to answer my own question. After checking my gelding's lump this morning, against his will, I've made an appointment to take him to the vet today. It seems the swelling has spread around the lump and is hard. He was excited to get his breakfast, has no symptoms of illness, but obviously there is something going on. Now I am the anxious one! I will hopefully have an answer later today.

Thanks anyway,
Alicia
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Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1028
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Jan 27, 2008 - 12:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Please, Alicia, let us know.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19952
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jan 27, 2008 - 10:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well Alicia,
Enlarged sm lymph nodes are a common event in horses and when not remarkably enlarged nor accompanied by other symptoms or fever can be watched.

Continued enlargement or involvement in surrounding tissues suggest it may be abscessing also a fairly common event in horses. Is there a fever present? I agree with your assessment that this may justify a discussion with your veterinarian and possibly a call.
DrO
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Alicia Larson
Member
Username: alarson

Post Number: 11
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, Jan 27, 2008 - 11:11 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr O,

Thanks for the response. He wasn't running a fever, but because it seemed to be spreading/enlarging, I took him in. It is an abcess but the Dr didn't think it was a lymph node. It was starting to crawl up toward his neck by the time of the appointment. His teeth/mouth looked good too. She did take pus samples and a nose swab to send in for the strep test even though neither of us felt that was it - better to error on the side of caution and rule it out. She didn't want to lance it until the test results come back, with the hope it will surface on its own this week with help of hot packs. Best guess is he had a puncture wound or splinter that healed over and it abcessed. On the bright side, my overly-social gelding seemed pleased as punch to be at the center of attention. He loves people!

I didn't think to ask the Dr yesterday, but can some horses be more prone to abcesses or is it that they are prone to the incidences that cause abcesses? The reason I ask, about 5 weeks ago, this same horse had an abcess in his hoof - same side as the current abcess. It took a couple days for it to surface and now there is a hole I'm treating with antiseptic. Sheesh! I'm starting to think he does things to guarantee the attention he so loves.

Thanks!
Alicia
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19960
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jan 27, 2008 - 9:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It is unlikely there is a relation between the foot abscess and what ever is going on under the jaw.
DrO
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RaNae Bangerter
New Member
Username: ladychev

Post Number: 1
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Sunday, Mar 1, 2009 - 11:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just got into this discussion as of March 01, 2009. Was searching for answers to an identical issue with my paint mare under her jaw. Had the vet come out over two weeks ago and he suggested it was a non viral kind of strep. Never heard of such a thing. However, today the lump has since drained, filled in, stayed large and has developed a smaller abscess, thumb size, next to the original lump under her jaw. I'm thinking there's a wound or splinter still agitating this area. Can't figure out why after the drainage the lump closed over it is still fairly large. Golf ball size. Concerned that the vet missed the diagnosis.
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