Lumps on the neck
by Akcowboy, Jun 12, 2008
My horse is eating ok and looks good but just below his jaw bones on his neck are two large lumps on both sides, we had rubbed them and put on hot and cold packs to try and get them down, we have no real vet here in this part of Alaska so any help on this please
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Member Comments (12)
by lindasp62Blank, Jun 13, 2008
Does your horse have any other symptoms?  Nasal discharge? Temperature?  High heart rate? Is any other horse at your barn sick or with the same symptoms?  Or, has your horse been anywhere or exposed to other horses recently? Since the lumps are on both sides, it would rule out an insect bite or bee sting, so my incination is to say the the lymph nodes/guttural pouches are inflammed.  This would indicate some sort of systemic infection.  Just like the lymph nodes on our (human)necks  get big and sore when we are sick.  It could be something the horse will get over in a day or two, but depdending on the type of infection, it could be dangerous for the nodes/pouches to keep as they are....sometimes the pouches will fill up with pus (as in a bad case of strangles).  If you have a vet you can call, it would be best because if it is an infection, some infections warrant antibiotics, others (like strangles) NOT.  Do you have a vet you can call that lives somewhat nearby?  Please let us know what develops...
by Akcowboy, Jun 13, 2008
  We have no vets here, but on a good note my wife works at a feed store and they do have the meds and needles that I could try to releave the pus if that's what it takes and try any antibiotics as I'm sure it wouldn't harm him just in case
by lindasp62Blank, Jun 13, 2008
Have you taken vitals?  Temperature? Heart Rate?  Is there any nasal discharge?  Is any other horse at your barn sick or with the same symptoms?  Or, has your horse been anywhere or exposed to other horses recently? The reason I suggested that you at leaast phone a vet (maybe not near, but somewhere there in Alaska I am sure there is a horse vet to contact!).  I suggest that because actually, giving antibiotics to a horse that has Strangles can be BAD for the horse. Studies have shown that doing this can cause the abcesses in the lymph to spread to other parts of the horse’s body, such as the lungs, internal organs, or even the horse’s brain. This condition is called “bastard strangles.” It is uncommon and is usually fatal. Other vets have said that antibiotics will also kill the good bacteria that could be used by the body naturally to kill the Strangles.  

But, we don;t know what the horse has exactly, so to give the antibiotics randomly might be worse.  I had horses that had Strangles and the vet said to just let it run its course, but the horses were miserable, with temperature, and the guttural pouches never needed aspirated, but in some cases, they do.  However, another horse I had just had a sinus infection, and antibiotics WERE prescribed for that.   Perhaps there is someone through the feed store that has experiences with horse illnesses you could  ask to come have a look?  It is not a vet, but with your limited resources up there, perhaps someone could recognise something.

Thanks for the update...please keep us posted!
by Akcowboy, Jun 13, 2008
I just had shoes put on him today as well as the other two but there doing fine and I asked about it to him and he said the it looks like Strangles to him but no nasal drip and he look fine and as you said just let it run it's couse but if remains so how long before I should take him in for vet visit, it's a 500 mile round trip to see one
by lindasp62Blank, Jun 13, 2008
Hello again, I have previously asked for some more information about your horse....(Does your horse have any other symptoms?  Nasal discharge? Temperature?  High heart rate? Is any other horse at your barn sick or with the same symptoms?  Or, has your horse been anywhere off property  or exposed to other horses recently?)...and I asked because all this information will better help me understand your horses situation better, which I would be able to give you a clearer understanding on what might be going on.  Could you please let me know?

Please see this site on Strangles:

you may have to sign up to read the article in full.

Anyway, usually cultures are needed to confirm Strangles or not. It can be confused with other respiratory disorders, so since you aren't able to get to a vet, who knows what it really is...but if it is Strangles, it is best to let it run its course.  My horses had it for 3 weeks or so (even the ones who had been vaccinated against it)....some were worse off than others.  Please take the horses temperature a few times per day and keep a record of that.  Please keep a record of everything you notice everytime you visit your horse (frequently, to monitor the situation).l=...this will help you understand if running its course is working, or if the situation is getting worse.  This will then help you determine if a call to a vet is necessary.  

Also, you mentioned other horses....I would suggest separating them from the obviously sick one, although at this point it is most likely all have been exposed, but you could try the separation just in case to make sure the one horse clears this situation without infecting the others.

Please let me know how things go..........
by mrwjd, Jun 14, 2008
Please pay close attention to the posts from Linda, above.  Strangles is a serious matter--perhaps less so if vaccinated, but it is dangerous if you ignore it.

Thank you.
by Akcowboy, Jun 14, 2008
  Yes I did look up on strangles and I did put him in by him self from what my kid said he has had it for about a month now and the other show no signs of it, but yes we did bourd anouth horse over the winter but he too shows no signs of it

  no fast heart rate
  no nasal discharge
  no abnormal temp

  I did look at some of the pics on strangles but I'm sure they are the worst case ones and look nothing like his lumps but I'm calling the vet on monday and if need be I'm heading that way but no contact with any other horses
by lindasp62Blank, Jun 15, 2008
It is curious that this has been going on for a month or so.  Did this horse EVER have any nasal discharge?  It could be that it is at the end of things, and still with the swelling for w bit longer. Or, it could be something else all together.  Good that you are calling the vet on Monday.  In the meantime, it would help to get a chronological in order to discuss with the vet.  It will  help him be able to help your horse.  In any case, it is good that the others are not showing any symptoms.  Yes, the photos of Strangles can look pretty scary.  When my horses had Strangles, they didn't have all that oozing puss like in the photos, nor did they have to be lanced, but they were pretty addition to the nasal discharge, temperature and feeling generally miserable. Even aftrer they were symptom-free, they felt pretty whiped-out for a long time afterwards.  It can affect different horses different ways.

Let us know what the vet says !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)
by Alaskacowboy, Jun 04, 2010
  We did take the horse up state to the vet some time ago, and he thought it was one of his glands and wanted to remove it from his neck as it turned out it was a tumor the size of a baseball and was not cancerous thank God but he is doing great now and has no side effects from it, thank's y'all