Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Groin Swelling in Mare or Gelding

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If you feel the problem is severe or has come on suddenly.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) in the resting horse indicate fever (Temp >101F/38.3C) or heart rate greater than 48 BPM.

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If you consider this a chronic and relatively mild problem that is not changing rapidly.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.

In stallions swelling of the groin may relate to testicular conditions. Obviously, this is not a concern for mares or geldings.

As with any swelling, it is important to consider what anatomic structures exist in the area and which of them might be involved. In mares, this includes the mammary gland. Geldings occasionally develop sarcoids and other skin tumors in the groin area.

Abscesses occur in this area, but are difficult to diagnose without ultrasound. Puncture wounds to the area can cause infection and severe swelling and sometimes seal over quickly and thus might be hard to detect. Traumatic injury can result in hematoma or seroma formation here.

Complications from castration can persist chronically, or appear later. A hydrocele is a fluid accumulation within the remnants of the scrotal sac after castration.

WHAT TO DO

Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), and feel the area carefully. Look for swelling both higher up on the abdominal wall and down the leg because swelling in other areas can spread to this area.

Gently press on the swelling and look for a pain response, but be careful not to get kicked. Does the swelling seem hard or soft? Is there moisture or drainage in the area? Carefully look under the rest of the belly for signs of hair loss or swelling. Is the horse lame at the walk or does the swelling appear to affect the horse’s ability to move?

Contact your vet with your findings and concerns.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet will perform a physical exam and examine the affected area (often using ultrasound), in order to identify the underlying cause of the swelling.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending