Another mys­tery lump

EQUUS - - EQ Letters -

I read with in­ter­est your Case Re­port about the large lump on a mare’s face that turned out to be the re­sult of a cracked tooth (“Some­thing She Ate,” EQUUS 445). I have a 30-year-old Quar­ter Horse geld­ing who re­cently had an almost iden­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. His was on a bot­tom tooth that was far­ther down on his jaw line.

For about a month he had on-and-off swelling on that side of his face. He was never off his feed, he had no prob­lems with a bit in his mouth, and he acted nor­mal. Fi­nally, the swelling grew so large I could not get his hal­ter on. When our vet­eri­nar­ian came out, she was shocked to see a growth the size of a ten­nis ball on his bot­tom jaw. It smelled and looked hor­ri­ble, and I was told it most surely must be can­cer, although she took a biopsy just to be sure.

Of course, I was dev­as­tated and took a “fi­nal ride.” But I couldn’t un­der­stand how he could look and feel so good if it was can­cer. Thank good­ness, the biopsy came back can­cer free.

Next the vet­eri­nar­i­ans did a lengthy surgery to re­move the mass (which, of course, bled a ton), get­ting as much as they could. They did x-rays and dis­cov­ered that un­der the mass was a cracked tooth. They were able to take out two of the chunks of the tooth and planned to go back at a later date to get the fi­nal piece of tooth out---they were go­ing to need to or­der a spe­cial den­tal tool to ac­com­plish this. Sev­eral weeks after the last piece was fi­nally out, we went back and opened his mouth, and it looked like noth­ing had ever hap­pened.

My ad­vice to any­one who has a horse with a large, hor­ri­ble mass in his mouth would be first to check for a cracked tooth! Ter­rie Dies­bourg Eustis, Florida

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