My OTTB has a swollen hind leg and I'm going to start him on SMZs. (He's totally sound and has a normal temperature and I'm going to sweat it and cold hose today.) I have a competition on Saturday and I was trying to make sense of the USEF rules to find out if it's legal to compete him on SMZs. Of course if he spikes a fever or the swelling doesn't go down, I won't compete.
Does anyone know the guidelines or could point me in the right direction? Do I need to fill out a drug form?
I have to say it because it's a peeve of mine, but I hope you have the"blessing" of your vet to start antibiotics. Far too many people start a horse on them simply because they have them on hand and the horse has some odd swelling, not diagnosed as anything, certainly not diagnosed as needing antibiotics, "just in case", and it's killing us in terms of creating resistant bacteria.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
I emphatically and wholeheartedly agree with JB. My mare Bonnie almost died of a systemic allergic reaction to sulfa when she was a weanling. It was given appropriately, but still she wound up much worse off "with" them than she would have been "without".
FIRST you make a diagnosis, THEN you treat. A random, swollen leg with no fever, no wound, no lameness does NOT mandate antibiotics, IMO. But my opinion is next to worthless--ask your vet!
I did consult with the emergency vet on call last night and this morning. She said because his temp was normal, he was sound and had an appetite, that I should sweat it and keep it wrapped. If any changes in temp or temperament occur, I should call.
She recommended SMZS and bute if I wanted and to check it tomorrow morning and possibly have them come out. She was just trying to save me the emergency call if necessary and I appreciate that.
He has never really had a large swelling like this and I'm concerned it might be cellulitis, but I have never dealt with it before. I was googling last night to find out what I could, but after talking with the vet, she thinks because he has no fever, we're not there yet. It's in his right hind leg and now his right front ankle is puffing a bit down the pastern. He's still sound and doesn't seem too bothered. I wrapped him all the way around just in case. I can't find any cuts, but maybe they were running around because of the fireworks noise? My gut feeling says it's a cut somewhere, but he's had slight swelling before because of a cut and it usually goes down after turnout (which it didn't do last night. Maybe about 10% down).
I had not tried calling the USEF office yet because I'm guessing they're closed for the holiday, but if it comes down to it, I will definitely call the hotline if any other antibiotics are prescribed.
Thanks for the info everyone! Hopefully it's nothing serious.
Pardon ignorance - but I've heard this before. what is the logic behind using sulfamethoxazole (SMZ) for leg swelling in horses? I don't understand why you would use an antibiotic for swelling in a non-infected animal? Those of you that use it - how long do you use it for? A full "treatment" course of antibiotics (10-14 days?). Is your vet assuming infection is the cause of the swelling?
I tried to look on vet forums and couldn't find any rationale behind the recommendation for it but clearly there are some prescribing it since I hear of trainers using it for that purpose fairly often. Oddly enough in humans Bactrim can cause decreased kidney function and - in rare cases - can actually lead to edema/swelling if it alters kidney function enough to decrease urine output....http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000401/2077.html. Also since it's a sulfa type drug - allergic reactions (including swelling of the airway, etc.) can occur.
"SMZs" are sort of like a general tonic in a lot of barns. Much like moms insisting on antibiotics for every little sniffle their kids get, many horse people are the same with random swellings, lumps, even the odd cough.
huh...well i assume it's vets that are prescribing it since it's not OTC. maybe they are just caving into trainer pressure to do *something* (anything - even if it makes no sense?) i'd love to hear vet perspective. maybe there is more to it than meets my (non-vet) eye...
Well, veterinary medicine being somewhat less user-friendly (no walk-in clinics or ERs), a lot of people, myself included, keep things like basic antibiotics, banamine, bute, Ace, and other drugs on hand. My vet is wonderful, but I'm quite sure he'd rather not drive 45 miles to bring me a vial of banamine, and I would also rather not drive to the pharmacy for 300 tabs of Bactrim at 7am if I can avoid it.
Having it on hand makes sense. Using it indiscriminately does not.