My 32yr old has thrown a new one at me Water-bag-like swelling on one side of his sheath. It comes and goes. I originally thought it was a bug bite or sting, but it has started to linger recently. Horse is blissfully unaffected by it, and is otherwise pasture sound and happy as a clam.
Phone chat with vet suggests its a blocked lymph node. An exam is being arranged. In the meanwhile, was curious if anyone else has had experience with this? A cursory google isn't turning up much. Thanks.
From what I understand, and people who know the exact cause please chime in is that the drain out of the lymph node stops working correctly, and the whole area backs up with fluid.
What happened with my horse, who is a 27 yr old TB, and at the time, was recently diagnosed Cushings (problem seems to be more common in Cushings horses) is I went to get him out of the pasture, and he could barely walk. The old coot is retired, and prior to him getting lymphangitis, I'd only mess around with him 2 or 3 times a week (brushing, cookies, etc..) This is relevant because I think the sheath swelling had been going on for a day or 2 before hand.
Anyway- I finally get him down to the barn, call the vet, horse is non weight bearing on his left hind, and his sheath and his gaskin are SUPER swollen, his gaskin was hot and painful to the touch. Vet comes, takes Xrays, rules out fractures, diagnosed with lymphangitis.
Treatment involved Injectable banamine, gentomiacin, a long lasting antibiotic - exceed maybe? , a diuretic gel that had to get overnighted to the barn, and daily cold hosing, compression wraps, and smearing his leg with a DMSO/ dexamethasone mixture, and hand walking once he could walk.
Nothing says true love like cold hosing an entire leg ( would take 40 mins) in February in New England with no wash stall. I also bought a bunch of those flexible ice packs and figured out a way to duct tape them to his leg so he'd get more cold therapy. Couldn't afford a Game Ready sadly.
It took a few weeks for him to come around enough to get turned out, and he was on oral antibiotics for about 2 months after.
Now, all I do is wrap his leg at night. It was a really, really big ordeal to get him through this.
That said, I think most horses who get lymphangitis don't get such a severe case!!!! Sorry for the novel Good luck with your guy!