Q. I have an older Tennessee Walking Horse with Cushing's disease. She has been on Cipro for some time. She foundered long before I got her, but it has become chronic. I have been able to maintain her to a point, but she is losing weight and I have a difficult time getting her to eat. She has a lump under her throatlatch that seems to change in size when I put her on Bactrim antibiotics. Is it possible she could have a systemic infection? What are the signs of goiter, and why does this seem to get smaller with the Bactrim? Is there a stronger antibiotic that I can give her that might help, something that will be OK to give with her other medications of Bute, B-12 supplements, and her Cipro?


A. You should have your veterinarian examine the "lump." Giving antibiotics without a veterinary prescription is not a good idea--especially if the "lump" is an abscess associated with strangles. You should always get a veterinary diagnosis before administering antibiotics!

About the Author

Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVN

Sarah L. Ralston, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVN, is a professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers' School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, specializing in equine nutrition. Her research has focused on the effects of diet on metabolism, behavior, and the development of orthopedic disease in young horses, and she has additional interests in nutritional modulation of stress, metabonomics (the study of metabolic responses to drugs, environmental changes, and diseases), and pasture management. Previous research highlights were the pioneering work she did in nutrition for geriatric horses and post-surgical colics while at Colorado State University in the 1980s and the discovery of the correlation of hyperinsulinemia with development of osteochondrosis in young Standardbreds.

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