Probe into mystery lumps, lesions found in horses’ mouths

Pinjarra veterinarian Michael Gibbs has seen 18 horses in the past two weeks with papules (solid bumps) and/or lesions in their mouths.

The horses were from different properties. There have also been reports of horses in Serpentine being affected.

Dr Gibbs said the lumps and lesions made the horses averse to using bits.

A department spokeswoman said testing had already ruled out the main virus of concern, vesicular stomatitis, and further testing was underway to determine the cause of the papules.

‘Preliminary testing suggests the lumps might be a response to a viral infection and testing is continuing,’ she said.

‘The horses reported have mild signs and it is likely people examining normal healthy horses’ mouths may see small lumps that are not necessarily of concern.

‘The department reminds horse owners if they do notice unusual signs in their horses to contact their local veterinarian.’

Dr Gibbs said the affected horses were improving.