My mare is 7 ish and I've just brought her in from the field. She has the normal grass glands which are fine they usually go down. But under her jawline are three lumps. Swollen glands. These were so bad a couple of days ago that I called a vet to check for strangles. Test came back clear. She has a large amount of insect bites on her but her vital signs seem ok.
We have recently moved to a new yard. I'm just worried incase there is something else and I don't know.
Tess, the swelling you're seeing is the submandibular salivary gland and/or the associated lymph nodes. The lymph nodes in particular will enlarge whenever there is a local or systemic infection.
The first thing you should do is have a competent equine dentist check the horse out. Smell the pony's breath; is it foul? A horse's breath should smell like sweet grass. Observe the nostrils; is there a green or yellow discharge? If so, is it only on one side? Open the lips and look at the pony's incisor teeth. Is the line across which the upper and lower teeth meet regular and even and horizontal? Or is it irregular, slanted, or "smiley"? If so, this is a sure signal of greater problems behind.
If the animal checks out OK as to having a damaged tooth/oral abscess, you then need to ask the dentist or veterinarian to look carefully for evidence of a "foxtail", which is the sharp awn of a grass that has drilled into the tongue, gums, cheeks, or somewhere in the throat/pharynx. You may need ultrasound or XRay to get a handle on this; the tract from the awn will leave a "black space" on an XRay, but only if you happen to get the shot from just the right angle.
You should also take the animal's temperature, twice per day for a week, in order to track for feverish or sub-feverish spikes that signal infection.
Let us know what your vet and equine dentist say. -- Dr. Deb
Last edited on Fri Aug 17th, 2012 06:46 pm by DrDeb