Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Atheroma

Synonyms: False Nostril Cyst

This is a soft to firm, non-painful swelling localized in the false nostril, a blind pouch in the outer wall of the nostril. It ranges in size from 1-3 centimeters in diameter. It is filled with sebaceous (oily) material. It is actually a congenital problem, and is present at birth but only becomes noticeable in adulthood.

Treatment is not necessary for health reasons. It is usually only a cosmetic problem and is removed for this reason.

Treatment involves surgical removal of the cyst in its entirety. Other treatments include drainage and treatment with chemicals that destroy the lining of the cyst. I have used formalin in several and had acceptable cosmetic results.

Prognosis & Relevant Factors

Good with total excision. It is also fine to do nothing. The cyst will not go away, but likely does not hurt the horse.

QUESTIONS TO ASK MY VET

  • Why should I choose to have this cyst removed?
  • Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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