Another mystery lump
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