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4 swollen legs - possible allergic reaction?

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    4 swollen legs - possible allergic reaction?

    I will start with the disclaimer that if my horse doesn't look better in the morning I will be calling the vet, but in the mean time what do you think.

    When I showed up for the pm feeding my mare had 4 swollen legs. They look stocked up from the knee/hock down. However, she is out 24/7. There is no heat and she does not seem to be stiff or lame. She is acting normal and has a good appetite and is drinking. I did get her a round bale a week ago (tonight was the first day she has been swollen). Could it be an allergic reaction? The hay is just 1st cutting grass hay that in my opinion is of better quality that the bales I have been feeding. Would it take a week for a reaction to the hay change to show up?

    I guess I also changed brands of msm because the feed store was out of what I normally buy. I highly doubt this is related but it is the only other thing (besides the hay) that has changed recently.

    where are you located?
    Stocking up all around always makes me suspicious of Anaplasma phagocytophylium.
    Last edited by Ghazzu; Dec. 22, 2010, 08:43 PM. Reason: only one "l"
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


      I had this happen to my most valuable mare the morning I was leaving to go 3000 miles away to my brother's wedding!!! When I brought her in for breakfast her hind legs were swollen. A couple hours later I get a call from my DH while in an airport that the front ones were too. I called the vet right then and sent him out. It was some sort of allergic reaction, to what, have no idea, and he gave DH some pills to give her and within 48 hours all swelling was gone.

      Like you said, call the vet out. You never know with these crazy animals what they do to themselves!
      Check us out on Facebook at EVER AFTER FARM


        Original Poster

        Ghazzu, I have no idea what Anaplasma phagocytophyllium is! Sounds serious so I am hoping it is not that. I am in MI though.

        Everafter, you are probably right. A call to the vet first thing will have to be done. There is no saying what she got into. You try to keep them healthy and they find very creative ways to defeat you.


          Equine Ehrlichia (a tick borne disease) usually manifests itself first with swelling in the limbs.
          It is very serious ,can be fatal, and MUST be treated quickly with specific antibiotics if treatment is to be successful.
          Though it used to be found mainly in California,(I saw one horse die from it and one barely recover) it has been documented in Minnesota and wisconsin . I found this paper tonight:

          There are a lot of things that can cause limb swelling but since Ehrlichia is a remote possibility of those symptoms ,if you are in one of those states or that region I would recommend if the swelling progresses at all or the horse develops a fever , (like by tomorrow AM) get the vet out asap.
          Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
          Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.


            A.phagocytophilium infection is the newest designation for what was called equine ehrlichiosis.

            Got a mare on doxycycline for it right now.
            Interestingly, she presented without a fever. But significantly stocked up all around.
            Last edited by Ghazzu; Dec. 22, 2010, 08:44 PM.
            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.