Horse & Rider - - Ride & Train -

The submandibular lymph nodes sit be­tween your horse’s lower jaw­bones. What it is: Pus (made of bac­te­ria and white blood cells) ac­cu­mu­lates in a pocket within the lymph node. Look and feel: Nor­mally the lymph nodes will feel like a patch of small lumps and bumps—fa­mil­iar­ize your­self with how this area feels on your horse on a nor­mal day. When a lymph node ab­scesses, you’ll feel a round, hard lump—kind of like a golf ball or ping-pong ball sit­ting un­der the skin. In some cases, the abscessed node en­larges and you may see soft swelling in the sur­round­ing tis­sues. In oth­ers, it can be painful to the touch, or come to a head (much like a pim­ple) as it pre­pares to burst and drain. Should you worry: If you de­tect this type of ab­scess, call your vet­eri­nar­ian for ad­vice. Many abscessed lymph nodes are be­nign and in­volve a bac­terium that isn’t likely to cause sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems. The ab­scess drains and re­solves on its own, or your vet will lance it open to speed the process. But there’s al­ways a con­cern that the bac­te­ria in­volved could be some­thing more sig­nif­i­cant, such as strep­to­coc­cus equi, which causes stran­gles. It’s bet­ter to be safe than sorry in this case; call your vet. PRES­SURE BUMP Lo­ca­tion: These bumps most com­monly ap­pear on your horse’s back, un­der the sad­dle area. They can also show up un­der the cinch or in any other lo­ca­tion where tack and gear con­tacts his skin. What it is: Pres­sure and fric­tion dam­age tis­sue lay­ers deep be­neath your horse’s skin. The re­sult­ing dead and dam­aged tis­sues co­a­lesce to cre­ate a pres­sure bump. Look and feel: Pres­sure bumps are firm and typ­i­cally range in size, though rarely get big­ger than an al­mond. You’ll iden­tify them most eas­ily when they’re in an area where sad­dle pres­sure is likely to be con­cen­trated, such as on ei­ther side of the with­ers or un­der­neath the seat. These bumps don’t typ­i­cally cause your horse any pain. Should you worry: These bumps can in­di­cate that your tack doesn’t fit prop­erly. It might be time to check sad­dle fit or out­fit your horse with a pres­sure-dis­tribut­ing sad­dle pad. If these bumps be­come large or be­gin to lose hair, they can cause dis­com­fort for your horse.

SEROMA Lo­ca­tion: A seroma can ap­pear any­where on your horse’s body, al­though the most com­mon lo­ca­tions are in the mid­dle of his chest or some­where on an up­per hind leg on ei­ther side of his tail. What it is: A seroma is a fluid-filled sac that oc­curs se­condary to di­rect trauma, such as a kick from an­other horse. It can start as a hematoma or bruise that re­or­ga­nizes into a seroma over a pe­riod of sev­eral days. Look and feel: A seroma feels like a wa­ter bal­loon. It won’t bother your horse much if you push on it. If you no­tice it dur­ing the hematoma phase it may be hard, hot, and painful. Should you worry: Most sero­mas will re­solve on their own, given time and pa­tience. Your vet may lance and drain a large seroma, al­though this can lead to fur­ther prob­lems, such as an in­fec­tion. →

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