Suspicious Lump

We have a 3 year old Mustang gelding that is growing like a weed! He is about 16.1-2 hands tall now. In his lower jaw, on the jawbone, he has a lump on either side,...We have a 3 year old Mustang gelding that is growing like a weed! He is about 16.1-2 hands tall now. In his lower jaw, on the jawbone, he has a lump on either side,...

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS

Dr. Lowder,

We have a 3 year old Mustang gelding that is growing like a weed! He is about 16.1-2 hands tall now. In his lower jaw, on the jawbone, he has a lump on either side, like they get when their teeth are coming in. However Beau has had these lumps for at least 8-10 months or so. He still has some of his baby teeth and is shedding some caps again now.

The lumps are hard, and one is about the size of a walnut and the other about the size of an acorn maybe. They don’t seem to cause him any pain but we are wondering if it is normal for them to be there this long. We don’t have a local equine dentist and our local Vet leaves a lot to be desired. The next nearest Vet is about 75 miles away, one way. So before we drag him up 2 passes and over a fairly windy road, I thought I would ask someone else if it is something to be concerned about. Like I said, he doesn’t seem to be in any pain from the lumps but they have been there a long time and don’t seem to change in size from what we can tell.

Thank you,

Andi Burns,
Oregon

Andi,

These lumps, called eruption cyst, are normal in three and four year olds. However, the one that you say is the size of a walnut concerns me. The trouble is that it may just be normal, but without seeing it or the inside of his mouth it is hard to say for sure.

If you wait and the mustang has a retained deciduous tooth (cap) then you may end up with a periradicular abscess (tooth root abscess). I would go ahead and take him to the equine vet and have his teeth examined with the full mouth speculum.

Thanks,
Dr. Lowder