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Discussion on Swollen Throat latch

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Kaye Lenius
New Member
Username: kaye

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, Jul 11, 2008 - 12:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was curious if anybody had any ideas. I guess I will start by telling my mares story. About 4 months ago my 5 yr old mares throat latch started to swell. At the time I had one horse on the property with a mild cold, so my vet assumed it was an immune reaction. Well it came and went about once a week. I have carefully documented it and it seems to be only when she spends allot of time with her head down (Ex. Grazing) It pits (pitting edema) She also has bog spavins that have gone up and down in her hocks twice since this and her front and back legs will mildly stock up once in awhile too. Now that she is in pasture her neck swells up quite often. In the middle of all this she has had a couple cases of mild tie ups (I believe her CKP(?) levels were about 700-800 which my vet says is mild) I have taken her off all alfalfa and she has not seemed to have had any problems since. We x-rayed her hocks they came back clean. My vet wants me just to use her but this swelling really bothers me. Has anybody else had this? Can anybody recommend some tests I could suggest my vet run? I guess I should say she looks very healthy.
Raven
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21013
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Jul 11, 2008 - 7:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Kaye,
Swelling in the head following a day of grazing is a common problem in horses. Often it does follow a inflammatory event in the head and the swelling is created by the combination of inflammation and the increase in hydrostatic pressure when the head is placed well below the heart. For more on this and other less likely causes see Diseases of Horses » Skin Diseases, Wounds, and Swellings » Swellings / Localized Infection / Abscesses » Diagnosing and Assessing Swellings in Horses.

If the symptoms have resolved it is unlikely to be some ongoing serious disease problem. I find the alfalfa connection interesting and would love to know if this was coincidence or if it returns when the alfalfa continued.
DrO
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Kaye
New Member
Username: kaye

Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, Jul 11, 2008 - 11:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Dr. O.
It still happens everyday now that she is grazing on pasture. It has been going on for 4 months now. I should say she has never had a fever the entire time. Her old owner fed her straight alfalfa and I was only feeding her an alfalfa mix hay (mind you she like to pick through and eat the alfalfa and trample the rest). To be honest I haven't ridden her enough to see if she will tie up again. It is so mild the one blood test I ran on her she wasn't showing any signs I just felt like something was wrong, my vet though I was wasting my money, but low and behold she had elevated levels. I feel like I have no help with this so I started to do some research on the internet and found they could have this (elevated CKP) with EPM. So I tested her and it came back low positive. So I phoned Bayer and talked to them about the side effects of Marquis. I then talked to my vet and he was fine with me just treating and not doing the spinal tap. He doesn't think these are related. She shows no neurological signs of EPM what so ever. She has been on Marquis for three weeks now and the only change I see in her is a her personality has gotten quite a bit better. She has a terrible personality. I am so frustrated that I almost hate walking out to the field to see her swollen throat latch. Are there any diseases that this can be linked too? Is there any tests that my vet can run on her? We have only done blood work to test her CKP, Electrolytes and EPM.
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Kaye
New Member
Username: kaye

Post Number: 3
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, Jul 11, 2008 - 2:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh and I should say I read the articles. I guess I am not sure where to go. If she had kidney or liver disease wouldn't she look unhealthy. Her hair coat is good, energy levels are up, she has no problems with weight lose. She looks really healthy. Her electrolytes were normal. My vet wanted me to ride her hard over the weekend (this was a couple months ago) to see if her levels would really rise (CKP) and after riding her hard for three days her levels were normal. I guess I am just wondering if there is any tests that can rule out anything major and ease my mind.
Raven 2
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 2371
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Friday, Jul 11, 2008 - 2:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Kaye One of the working students had a horse like this. She said it was like that for a couple years it would come and go, but mostly was very swollen. He was a very healthy horse otherwise. She had him tested for everything, Dentists looked at his teeth, which at that time I thought it would be awful odd for teeth to do that.

Finally she decided to have his jaw/lump x-rayed and it was a tooth way in the back, I can't remember if it was infected or what. Anyway the vet and dentist came out and cut the tooth out, once over that the swelling went away. He was not thin and had no problems eating. A tooth was the last thing I would have thought it was
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Kaye
New Member
Username: kaye

Post Number: 4
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, Jul 11, 2008 - 11:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Diane, I will have my vet look into this. I am open to anything at the moment. I really want to get to the bottom of this.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21019
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 - 7:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kaye with any disease you would most likely expect other symptoms, including tooth problems. But here you are postulating the possibility of something mild enough to result in swelling when grazing but not have any other symptoms. As described in the article there are many possibilities.

You always start with a good physical exam and if not found a lab work up. This will rule out many of the items on such a list. I think pharyngeal endoscopy and skull radiographs would be the next logical steps.
DrO
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Catherine McCourt
Member
Username: kstud

Post Number: 146
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, Jul 13, 2008 - 4:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Kaye,
I have posted pictures previously on this site of a very similar problem, which only happened after grazing too. A colleague of mine ( vet) mentioned that he saw this a lot with horses with ulcers so I had him scoped and sure enough he had ulcers. He was treated with Gastrogard and he has never had a single episode of glandular swelling in the throat region since and his temperament improved a lot too! He had no outward signs of ulcers in that he had a great coat, was if anything too fat and I had checked his teeth too but they were fine. So maybe it would be worth checking the stomach out too.
Catherine
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