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DrMelJ, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 825
Experience:  experience in racetrack medicine and general practice; owned and ridden horses throughout life.
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I have a 6 month Paint filly that has an unusual swelling

Customer Question

I have a 6 month Paint filly that has an unusual swelling between the base of the ear and the outside corner of the eye on both sides, my vet put her on an anti inflamitory and smz's, the swelling is still there and she is very sensitive around the ears. I can hardly halter this filly that has always been very sweet and didn't have a problem before this swelling. No temp, not strangles, not in glands, not in socket above eye but to the outside of it. He's coming out for x-rays on Friday, any suggestions? I've been a vet tech at 2 great equine facilities for a total of 10 years, my vet has practiced 25 years and is all equine, I've shown, bred and had horses for over 50 years, I usually have 25 head I take care of annually, my own and boarders. She cast herself about a week before swelling and head pain or sensitivity was shown, a possibility of head injury?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  DrMelJ replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. Thanks for the question. Im sorry to hear your filly is hurt. I think the xrays are an excellent idea. Definitely look closely at the TMJ joints and the point of the mandible as well as the zygomatic arch. These areas can get crushed or fractured with high impact flailing when cast or getting the halter caught on something and wrenching back. If the xray doesnt clearly identify shouldnt be too hard to ultrasound that area and see if the vet can identify a small fracture or step in the bone or chips of bone broken off. Or even a rupture of some of the soft tissue off of the TMJ or zygomatic arch. Treatment for fractures would depend on the type and location- from surgery to rest and soft food etc. And it may mean 6 months for healing since its not an area you can stabilize just has to heal on its own. Your vet may need to send the xrays to a specialist for further options depending on what is found. I hope this helps and you are able to get some answers soon.