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Possible causes of equine/horse swelling

File photo source:horse-Canada.com

In horses, swelling can be caused by a variety of factors, and it is not uncommon for horses to experience swelling on a regular basis. There are many types of skin rashes including hives and eczema. There are also nodules and tumors on the skin as well as localized swellings that may or may not be accompanied by pain or heat. Various types can be attributed to numerous causes. Furthermore, the location of the swelling is not as critical as figuring out why it’s there.

First and foremost, you must ascertain what you’re up against. The following are some of the most common swellings and the conditions that lead to them:

Swelling of tissues or joint capsules: That is cool, non-painful, soft to firm, but pits when pressed, then slowly refills (except if it is over a joint) is usually caused by poor circulation, vein or lymph problems, heart disease, kidney failure or liver problems.

A warm, painful, firm swelling of the tissue or joint capsules: Almost never symmetrical, these objects tend to fall downward when faced with the force of gravity. A traumatic event or infection is usually to blame.

Hemorrhage and bleeding: These are usually warm or even hot and can grow very quickly in size.Hemorrhage and bleeding Blood vessel rupture or clotting disorder are two possibilities.
If you press on tumors, they will not pit.

Tumours: They can be quite painful at times, unfortunately. Lymph node swelling, thyroid problems, salivary gland problems, and even cancer are all possible outcomes.

Bone swelling that is hard to the touch: If the swelling is due to trauma, it is usually warm and soft. You should consult your dentist about any of these possibilities as well as osteoarthritis and an enlarged growth plate.

Swelling in the abdomen

To describe the swelling under your horse’s belly, you would use the term “ventral midline”. As its size and gravitational pull make it appear larger than it really is, it’s common in pregnant horses. Swelling of the stomach is another symptom of fly bites. If activity does not reduce the swelling, a lymphatic blockage may be to blame for it.

Pigeons fever

‘Pigeon fever’ is another possibility; the name comes from a pronounced swelling on the horse’s chest, which resembles the puffing out of the chest of a pigeon. A long-living bacterium is responsible for spreading this disease. According to popular belief, it is spread to horses by flies that feed on open wounds. An abscess can form in the chest, sheath, mammary glands, or in the lymph channel in the leg when bacteria get into the warm area of the wound.

In most cases, an abscess will develop over the course of a few weeks. Fever, weight loss, and depression are all symptoms. If it’s present, a simple blood test will reveal it. Don’t forget to fly-treat your stables and to spray your horse twice a day with fly spray.

Treatment with ‘hot and cold’ usually works wonders on swellings. Never leave without applying a cold compress. A pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medication are both recommended if the area is hot and inflamed. However, you should first speak to your veterinarian.

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