Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Harvey part II: The man-boobs

Harv has soft swellings on his chest, and they have been there about a week. What the heck are those??? Well, he came in with them not too long after night turnout started, so you might think bug-bites or ticks, but they aren't hot, or tender, and I can't see broken skin.  They're very squishy and fluid-filled. They may have shifted around a bit, moving further down his chest.He's had them about two weeks.

Harv has had bug bites on his belly before, but they didn't look like this and they were harder, all along his belly. Besides the bugs aren't that bad now, and his belly is flat and tight -- it's just the chest.

Oh, and he has a big lump on his throatlatch on the right side, in the lymph node area. He did have an eye inflammation weeks ago, right side. Maybe a coincidence. On the happy side, he is healthy-looking, eating well, in good weight, enjoying life generally.

What could it be? I talked about some options with the vet:

  • Bug bites. Which is what she thinks they are, and she suggested hosing and exercise. Personally, I'm not sure that's the right answer. It's want I want the answer to be!
  •  Heart failure, early stage, or renal failure. Not what we want. But also not too-too likely given his otherwise good condition.
  • Bute toxicity, ulcers.  He looks pretty good, eats well. I'm thinkin' no.
  • Hypoproteinemia. Usually caused by colitis, tumors, or another gastrointestinal disorder. Treatment is usually low doses of steroids are prescribed but the long term prognosis is not altogether good. Again, horses with this usually show other signs of ill health.

I don't like seeing this stuff, but Harv is fat and sleek and cute as ever, so i can't be too-too worried. I have a vet appointment in about a week, we'll do a blood test and check his vitals. Meanwhile I'm slathering his underside with SWAT.


18 comments:

  1. Maybe he was kicked higher up and the fluid is draining ....is he turned out with another horse? Hope it turns out to be nothing.

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  2. I used to own a thoroughbred mare and sometimes she had those bumps during the summer. I'd go with the insect bite theory ;-)

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  3. Do you have pigeon fever in your neck of the woods? I don't know the "formal" name.

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  4. Willie gets similar bumps every so often, too, but only in late spring-summer. I do think they're bug bites, or possibly some kind of skin condition, since my old man is most prone to those two things, and like Harv, isn't showing any other signs of distress. As long as he's otherwise healthy, I wouldn't be too concerned. :)

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  5. My horse has had lumpy issues before around his girth area - these started softer but became hard as they shrank in size. The vet had to inject each bump and they went away. This horse has a history of over active immune and lymph systems. I would DEF. ask you vet about allergies triggering something in the lymph system. My horse gets massive and spontaneous swelling and cellulitus due to his allergies, very easy to prevent but man, was I scared the first time it happened.

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  6. Ahhh...we had this issue earlier this year too...the vet said muscle tearing or a bug bite...he was off on stall rest anyways. It resolved in a couple of weeks on its own. Never really found out what it was! Here's my post, haha!
    http://eyeonthehorse.blogspot.com/2010/12/timeline.html

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  7. Dunno if this is any help, but a horse I used to lease developed an allergy to clover, and that's one of the way the allergy manifested itself (he also got weird doughnut shaped lumps (round with a depression in the centre) on his neck). His owner and I had a devil of a time trying to narrow down what was going on, but yep - clover allergy.

    Good luck with Harv - wishing him good health!

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  8. I'd go with bug bites as the first option and some kind of allergy to something he's lain in as another. Thing is, that area is where edema will settle so it well could have been something higher up and now the swelling has just ended up there. Cold hosing and massage is good.

    Sometimes when fluids settle in like that they take a while go go away as there's not much actual soft tissue there to absorb it.

    As for the throatlatch swelling, could be anything, but sometimes when a horse or person has an allergic reaction to one thing, the rest of the body becomes hypersensitive to everything. And with all the rain we've had, I do suspect there are some very determined and healthy bugs flying about just looking for something to bite.

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  9. Do you think he might be laying on something that's causing it, like an allergic reaction? Perhaps he lay down on an ant hill? That IS pretty odd, but the bad options the vet gave don't ring true to me. (but then again, what do I know?)

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  10. Is the swelling "pitting?" As in, if you your finger INTO it, does it pit and stay before slowly filling back out?

    At the hospital, I see lots of dependent ventral edema (meaning fluid pools in the lowest parts of the horse), along the pecs, chest, barrel, prepuce, scrotum, legs, etc. Like you said, these situations are associated with hypoproteinemia seen in pleuropneumonias, post-op colics and colitis cases, but, obv. your boy is doing well...

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  11. Doesn't strike me as bug bites, maybe an allergic reaction to the bug bites. Have you had an unusually dry or rainy summer? Sometimes different pasture plants thrive in seasons with 'odd' weather patterns and horses can have allergies in reaction to the new/different plants.

    Do you & the vet think these swellings are at all related to the potential eye sight issues?

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  12. Do you have pigeon fever in your area?

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  13. When I lived in NCal. had several horses that developed similiar looking lumps in the summer. They were diagnosed with Pigeon Fever. Never had any other symptoms but we hosed them and gave them meds.

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  14. Coincidentally on Equinesite.com:
    http://discus.equinesite.net/discus/messages/1/47196.html?1308831309

    about "goobs" (gelding boob-like swelling)

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  15. My horse had a lipoma diagnosed with a needle aspirate by the Vet. Just a fatty tumor, seemed to just show up one day and not go away. Of course, it didn't move around and I wouldn't have described it as "squishy" but in the same spot. There is nothing to do about it unless it starts to affect his movement.

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  16. Hope Harvey gets to feeling better soon. As a horse lover my self (as well as trainer), I hate to see our animals in any sort of discomfort or frustration. I really enjoy reading your blog and plan to follow you. We should surely keep in touch!

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  17. Maybe a little edema (sp?)? My old guy came in with these one time after he "yahooed" around in deep snow and strained himself.

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