Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Lump, Bump, Growth, on Mouth, Lips, or Chin

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 this problem seems severe and has come on suddenly.

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

  • If this seems to be a slowly changing problem not seeming to cause the horse much difficulty.

Lumps, bumps and swellings around a horse’s lips or mouth are common, and can result from a variety of causes. Abscesses and swellings can develop from an infected wound, traumatic injury. Sharp seed heads grass awns and other foreign bodies can embed themselves in the lips, causing hard swellings or abscesses.

A bit can cause trauma to the corners of the mouth, which can become cracked, painful and swollen. In gray horses, the most common thickening of the lips and corner of the mouth is melanoma, which appears as non-painful thickening of the lips. The lips and muzzle are also a common area for snake bite.

WHAT TO DO

Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), and assess the mouth (always wear gloves). Press the swelling. Is it soft or hard, painful or not? Take a photo of the swelling to share with your vet and look for swellings elsewhere on the body. Contact your vet with your findings and concerns.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet can usually narrow down or determine the cause from an initial exam. However, they may suggest diagnostics such as a biopsy or needle aspirate if needed.

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