About 6 weeks ago, my gelding came in on 3 legs, which appeared to be an abscess in his heel. His leg then stocked up pretty badly. After treating it for several days with no improvement, vet came out and determined it was celluitis. X-rays showed no injury. He was on IV antibiotics for a week, then oral antibiotics and dex. Leg swelling decreased, but fetlock remained swollen. After several weeks, vet put him on Equioxx. He seemed to improve and was walking sound, so turnout time was started again. Now after 6 weeks, he is much better but still NQR. He walks and jogs sound on a straight line, but when he turns or swings his hindquarters around, I notice him wincing as he puts pressure on his heel. He tends to stand with that foot cocked when he is in his stall. Some swelling is still present in his fetlock. Strangest of all, he has developed huge bald patches all over his body. He appears to be shedding out but not growing back the hair. I have seen this before in other horses, but never to this extent. My vet is not yet worried about the hair loss and wants to continue with the Equioxx, but I don't notice much difference when he is on it. I am wondering if there is something else going on besides celluitis? I've never dealt with a case that lasted more than a few days.This is the first health issue I have had with a horse since moving here, so I don't have a lot of experience with this vet. Probably the reason I am second guessing him! Anyway, I would love to hear some other opinions...should I get a second opinion? Continue with the equioxx? Call in my osteopath or chiropractor? Do more diagnostics? Help!!
Have you had bloodwork done? I would at least run a CBC to look for signs of infection, vet may recommend more bloodwork to rule out metabolic disorders, etc. Alopecia (hair loss) can occur up to 4 weeks after a serious fever, so while unlikely, that's something to consider.
If bloodwork comes back clean, I would think about an MRI or bone scan of the affected joint, which can show more subtle joint issues that aren't captured on rads.
If your vet doesn't seem to be doing all he can, I would suggest a second opinion as well. It can't hurt, and they may have additional ideas. Good luck, keep us posted.
If it were me:
frst Blood work ... if nothing then
xrays ..if nothing
then chiro...my horse had a similiar situation (but no balding). after he healed up , i had him chiroed because he threw him self out of whack from the sore foot and standing funny.
bigbaytb--I am thinking he is out of whack; he stood on three legs for so long that his muscles atrophied. The balding is what is throwing me off right now; maybe it is unrelated, but considering it started after the injury, I think they are related.
Purplnurpl-- Vet never blocked the joint; we had talked about it but he is pretty convinced this is celluitis. He is sound on a straight line, but on a circle or certain movements still cause him pain. Unfortunately, no insurance on this guy as he was supposed to be a short term sale project.