July 6, 2010

Lumps and bumps on Isis’ skin

Isis has always had skin issues: rain rot, fly bite allergies, scratches, etc. For the most part, these things last a little while, are treated, and then resolve. For the past two months or more, Isis has had lumps under her legs, right where the girth goes. Initially, the lumps did not interfere with the position of the girth. The lumps were slightly in front. However, wearing the girth irritated the lumps.

The lumps are behind Isis’ front legs right in front of the girth. The lumps appear to be only in the skin: I can move the lumps easily around. They feel mostly hard and small. The lumps are not uniform in shape. The one on Isis’ right side is long and tube-shaped, while the ones on the left side are like clustered pearls.

The lumps have gotten worse in the last week (see pictures).

Attempted treatments

I’ve tried a variety of things to deal with these lumps and so far, nothing has worked.

  • Early May: Clipped the hair around the lumps to try and help keep the area cool in case the lumps were related to the increasing heat. Made sure we had fly spray in case the lumps were fly bites. I tried using Sore No More Sports Salve on the lumps to help prevent chafing.
  • Early June: As the weeks passed, the lumps became larger. My vet suggested trying antihistamines, so we started Isis on Histall (which has helped for other conditions). After about a week, the lumps seemed to be softer and slightly smaller but did not go away.
  • Early July: Isis has been off of Histall for about a week and she continues to have more trouble with the lumps. They have gotten larger and are harder again. She is having trouble with the heat so she is also on electrolytes. Her IR has flared up (fat pads above her eyes and on her rump even though she doesn’t look fat), most likely due to lack of exercise. It has been too hot to ride most evenings.

My next step will be to call the vet and see what she recommends. Maybe a biopsy? Maybe this is caused by clogged sweat glands. Who knows?

8 Comments

  • Wow, bless her heart! I wish I had something helpful, but I have not seen this. It doesn’t look to me like lymph nodes, but sweat glands?….that’s a good guess in my opinion. The closest thing that I can think of that I have seen was on a friend’s mare….she had a couple of lumps under the skin, one on her nose and one on her leg & they are still there to this day….they don’t change a lot, but they are also not in places that interfere with saddling, etc.

    How old is Isis? All the different issues that she is having makes me wonder if she could possibly be in the beginning stages of Cushings? It almost seems that her immune system is just struggling, doesn’t it? I would probably start this horse on APF (or something similar) to boost her immune system if at all possible.

    If you have the vet out I hope you’ll post more. I am curious to see what is going on with your girl!

    • I’ve had horses get lumps that are from fly bites. Isis has gotten things like that before, except they go away after a while.

      Isis is 17. I really hope she isn’t getting Cushings, but I’ve wondered about that. She shed out okay this year without any trouble. Her coat has looked great, in fact.

      Did you get APF from SmartPak? I order most of her supplements there. The APF is $60 for a 4 ounce bottle. I’ve seen people mention Smart Wafers, but don’t see them for sale on Smart Pak’s site. How did you administer APF to Duke and how much did you give him? The info I’m finding says to feed 2 ml, but not whether that is 1 ml AM/PM or 2ml AM and PM… What did you do?

      I’ll keep posting whenever I find any changes in how she looks. I’m going to call the vet this afternoon. I’ll post an update with what she says.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      • The cheapest source I’ve found for APF is from thrivingpets.com or vetamerica.com. Used to get it autoshipped straight from Auburn Laboratories but found I could get it cheaper from either of these 2 sources.

        I would give her at least 4ml once per day. Seems like I’ve seen Dr. kellon mention that it’s best not to split the dose in half. I put it right on Duke’s food and he eats it right up. I even mix feed up ahead of time & put into ziplock baggies. The APF has alcohol in it, so as long as you have it sealed so that it doesn’t evaporate, you can pre-mix it. If you’re right there on the farm at feeding time most days though, I would put it on her feed right before serving it.

        Good luck!!

        • Thanks for the suggested places to get APF! Much cheaper than other places I found APF. I’ll try the 4 ml per day and let you know how she does. The people where I board are awesome about adding supplements, so I don’t think they would mind adding in yet another supplement for Isis. She’s already getting three (D-Carb, MSM, and Bio-flax). What’s one more?

          Thank you for all of your suggestions! I really appreciate it.

    • Update 2: The vet is coming out next week on Wednesday. She thinks the lumps are probably allergic reactions that have hardened (calcified?). They can be treated with small injections of steroids into the lumps. There might also be a chance of the lumps being sarcoids. We will see…

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