25 August 2007

Cysts or tumours in goats, sheep, dogs and horses

Our goats get cysts sometimes from thorns or on injection sites. I normally lance the cyst just before it's ready to burst, clean it up and a spray of Duphacyline and it's fine. We've never had them on a regular basis.

I've been keeping my eye on one goat who had what looked like a cyst under her chin. Today, she had blood all over her chest and front legs and when I had a closer look and squeezed the site of the wound this came out.

The blood was clean, there was no smell, the grizzly bit of matter was complete. I've never seen anything like it before so I posted the photograph in a few forums.

Susie, in the Total France Forum mentioned that one of her goats had died recently and had contracted CS caseous lymphadenitis I don't think it was CS, because we have the goats blood tested regularly - in fact the results came back clear just a fortnight ago and although you can never be too sure, the cysts are normally around the lymph nodes and this was under the jaw and not on the neck. Also CS cysts usually contain a thick yellowy green pus. So we established that it wasn't CS - thank goodness!

Then Jo, one of my best internet friends said that it might be a benign histiocytoma. (Jo's one of those people who knows everything !)

At least now I had something to go on, and I Googled for photographs to see if I could find anything similar. (Did you know that there is a tumour library on the net ?) I came up with three good matches and lots of information to go with it. A cyst or tumour, is a way the body has of protecting itself from sharp foreign bodies by surrounding them in tissue....

So, having established that this cyst is probably not too dangerous. I wanted to know how it developed and I kept thinking back to the vet's visit and yet the cyst wasn't at an injection site but under the jaw. Then I remembered this photograph.

Taking goat's blood samples for the lab

All of our goats were blood tested a few weeks ago, and it's true the injection site was in the throat, but we held each goat under the jaw to raise it's head for the vet so that he could see what he was doing. If a goat had been eating hay with hard splinters in it, then the grabbing action could have caused the splinter to pierce her mouth and it's probable that that's the cause of this cyst.

The goat's comfortable, she's been cleaned up and the site of her wound sprayed with Duphacycline - that lovely indelible purple spray - just a week or so before she's due to be sheared. Next time the vet comes, we have to find a way of making sure the goats come in straight off grass, or have finished all the hay in their mouths before we take blood tests !

There are more details and excellent photographs of cysts and tumours like this in THIS link, where it mentions that the same kind of cyst can develop in goats and sheep too. The next link shows only photographs of dogs, HERE and there's yet another good article in HERE

A few days later, the goat's doing fine. The site of the tumour is clean and dry and there's a nice scab forming which should come off in a few days.

The goat who had the tumour is doing fine, the site is dry and clean


detroitdog said...

Is it possible to have the vet check it out before then?

I guess I worry. I hope the sheep is well.

Irene said...

Yes, I could of course take her to the vet at any time, and he'd diagnose and treat her and I wouldn't hesitate to do that if I couldn't find out what was wrong or if she seemed to be suffering.

She's eating normally, the tumour came away in one piece, there's no bad smell and it seems that all's well, so I don't really feel it's necessary to spend time and money going to the vet.

I'll talk to him on Monday to give him all the details and he'll tell me if I should do anything else.

She's fine today, out with the herd and eating well and I'm sure there's nothing to worry about - these things happen.


Carole said...

Reminded me of Sarcoids in horses, which was particularly nasty when I first encountered. But, now seems pretty normal. They pop out like a small and sometimes not so small plum. (Tumour again). Will watch to see progress.

Mousie/Paisible said...

very impressive...you know so many things...great, you are great...I'm happy to know you...

Irene said...

Mousie my dear, I know nothing !

Every time something new happens I have to look it up !

Anonymous said...


Not on subject this but I didn't know how else to contact you! I'd like to use your Flickr photo Dowsing Using Copper Rods 11 on a webpage I'm creating to teach kids dowsing. Could I have your permission to do this?


Irene said...

Of course Joe,

I don't mind anyone using my photographs as long as they credit me with the photo.

If you copy the Flickr code for websites, using the "all sizes" page the credit will be added automatically.

Good luck with the project and let me know how it goes.

Carolyn said...

This was a really useful post, and thanks for posting the links to sites dealing with this subject.

Having exported our angora goats and Jacob sheep to the Gers two days before the foot & mouth outbreak in the UK, we were put under restrictions and blood samples were taken from them all to test for F&M. I've been keeping a close eye on them since for signs of any abcesses or cysts but so far, touch wood, they've all been fine.

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