Cartilage Injury To Nose?

QUESTION: My older, well trained gelding has this huge swelling on the top of his nose, higher up than the nostrils. It has been there for a couple of days. My trainer says it is not a sinus infection or anything as no runny nose or cough? There is a small scrape on his nose too, nothing serious but you can see it? What could this be? I have made a Vet appointment.

ANSWER: It sounds like he perhaps slammed his face into something? He may have got the little scrape at the same time. But a severe blow to the bridge of his nose can cause a lot of swelling. Sometimes Halter Pulling violently with a halter on to loose so that the nose band was across the cartilage and not up on the bone can cause this too. (You see this with stud chains over the nose sometimes when the handler got to rough or the stud/horse accidentally got hung up with the stud chain. (NEVER EVER TIE A HORSE WITH A STUD CHAIN OR A POORLY FITTED HALTER TO LOW ON THE NOSE).

Usually such swelling is above the nostrils but still before the bone starts, thus on the cartilage. On a horses skull, the bone ends and then there is just cartilage down to the nostrils.

I would definitely get the Vet out ASAP though in case the swelling gets to the point he cannot breath or if the cartilage is damaged. I am ruling out disease or infection if the horse does not have a snotty nose, runny eyes, no swollen Lymph Nodes, is eating fine and not acting lethargic. The Vet should do a thorough teeth/mouth exam also.

I would not tie this horse up until the Vet says it is safe to do so in case he injures his face/cartilage again.

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