Dr Witwer- feb tip-w500-h500Dr. Witwer
SC Equine Associates

Why does my horse have a lump in his throat? That is one of the most commonly asked questions I get. The client’s horse has a moveable mass at its throat latch and they are concerned that it is a tumor or, for those that know it is the thyroid gland, think is becoming enlarged. In fact it is the thyroid gland but most instances it is normal. As horses age the upper attachments of the thyroid weaken allowing the gland to drop down and become more noticeable. The normal thyroid gland is smooth, elliptical and, when dropped down, can easily be moved under the skin. For reasons unknown this usually occurs unilaterally (only on one side) even though they have a gland on each side of the neck. If you notice this in your horse periodically monitor the size of the mass. If it is becoming enlarged or gets painful contact your veterinarian immediately.