Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You're responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it--details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums' policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it's understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users' profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses -- Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it's related to a horse for sale, regardless of who's selling it, it doesn't belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions -- Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services -- Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products -- While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements -- Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be "bumped" excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues -- Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators' discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you'd rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user's membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

Chronic cellulitis or...? -- update for anyone interested

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Chronic cellulitis or...? -- update for anyone interested

    My retired TB turned up lame in his stifle more than a month ago. He was very sore, almost 3 legged lame. I had the vet out. Of course, when the vet arrived, he ran around the field and looked sound. No swelling. Off for flexions. Vet diagosed stifle strain and gave him some Banamine, contined with bute over the next 3 days.

    Three days later he I went out and his leg swelled up four times its normal size. Horribly lame, would not bear weight, would not eat. Another emergency vet call. Vet came out, gave one of those "sure didn't expect this when I saw him 3 days ago!" apologies, gave him painkillers and antibiotics, I continued antibiotics and Banamine for 10 days. soaked leg, did wraps. On day 2, his leg seeped serum from a number of places, with previously no injuries. He never had any injuries to the leg other than an old scratch near his hoof. All the swelling was high, between stifle and hock. The pain seems to be up high.

    He did not eat grain, picked at hay during this time. Finally on day 10 started eating again. Continued Banamine and Bute. Never a temp, which is odd for cellulitis. On day 10, all the hair fell off his leg from the stifle to the hock.

    The swelling is mostly gone, a little residual but nothing like it was. No heat, no temp.

    But he came in yesterday more off than he has been for a while. Not horrible, but definitely in pain. I gave him extra bute and some Banamine and when I checked on him later he was walking around the field pretty comfortably.

    How long is this going to go on? I hate this. I am calling the vet this morning but wanted another sounding board since there is so much experience here too. Am I missing something? Is this normal for cellulitis? Is it normal for him to have such residual pain when there is no obvious swelling or heat left from the cellulitis? It is consistent with the fact he had pain for several days before I ever saw any swelling to start, but I can't help but worry it isn't cellulitis at all.

    This morning he looks pretty good, off a little but pretty good.
    Last edited by fordtraktor; Mar. 20, 2011, 01:49 PM.

    The lack of fever and oozing and serum makes this sound similar to my horse, who has chronic lymphangitis. However, Tru does not seem to experience pain, rather just stiffness because the lymph fluid builds up and makes it hard to bend his stifle and fetlock. We used to treat it with Ace and bute, thinking for ages that it was chronic cellulitis. It isn't. At all. Which probably explains why those things didn't help much or for long. The serum could actually be lymph that is draining out. Tru's leg does that on it's own periodically. Not a bad thing in our book... it's getting it out of there.

    I'm not sure what difinitive vets can tell the difference between cellulitis and lymphangitis, mine knew it was the lymphatics as soon as he saw my horse's leg. Perhaps it's the persistance, lack of fever, and oozing. Maybe bring that up? It responds VERY well to acupuncture.

    Do you know how this started? Was there an open wound on the leg, of any size? Both conditions enter through wounds.
    Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
    Thank you for everything boy.

    Better View.


      Original Poster

      There was an old scratch near his hoof where he had stepped on himself playing in the field. It is very far from the inflammation, but that is the only injury we could locate so it is possible that it entered there. Otherwise it would have been something too small to see.

      It does look like lymphagitis would, from Dr. Google. What else did you do to treat your horse? Did the bacterial infection respond to acupuncture or did the lameness respond after you treated the infection with drugs? Thank you! Unfortunately Dr. Google is not making me feel much better, seeing too many cases of horses being euthanized b/c of chronic lameness after this.

      My guy has had some serious pain, but in short bursts -- both emergency vet calls were the "I think he might have broken his leg" types. One he was literally hanging it out to the side shaking it with it hanging loose, like you see a horse with a broken leg do. It was awful. Then the vet gets out here an hour later and he's totally different. I've taken to videoing it when he has an episode, so the vet can see, per a suggestion on a COTH thread (thanks COTH!). He couldn't believe the difference. It is so bizarre.


        He get acu as often as I can afford... 1 to 3 times a month. He seems to do better in the cold weather. I wrap it when it's doing well and small enough. Wrapping does not "cure" it. It's merely cosmetic. He tends to get a bulge on his fetlock fo fluid and wrapping smoothes it down and keeps his leg looking nice and smooth. We discovered that it was lymphangitis in April '10 when he had a terrible, terrible flare up. I'd say atleast 80% of his days since have been good or great. He is still rideable and runs around with his friends... doesn't seem to care at all.

        Lymphangitis, to my understanding, is not an infection. It's a disorder. The lymphatic system in the leg literally stops working properly and thus, the lymph does not move out and settles in the leg. The acu stimulate the lymphatics to work again. It's like the on-switch.

        The hanging thing is interesting. The only time Tru did that was after his bad flare and after the doctor gave him his very first acu treatment. He forgot to tell us that it would make his leg feel very funny and bit uncomfortable and that we should've started him on bute. The next day... poor Tru was pissed and wiggling his leg lightly all morning. Doctor said basically, since the acu was making the fluid flow it feels how a limb feels when it's "asleep" and coming back. Very strange. Tru was annoyed at the sensation and kicking his leg all morning. He was fine the next day.

        Perhaps he is feeling his lymph move around suddenly?
        Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
        Thank you for everything boy.

        Better View.


          Also, do not feel that this is some fatal issue. From what I've read lymphangitis results in euth only if it does not respond to any treatment, or if the horse is in long term pain. Tru has never appeared to be in pain. The leg bears weight, his hoof is unaffected (though it's gotten rings, like you would see with a horse that foundered), and he normally has a enough flexion in the joints to move the leg almost totally normally. He feels 100% normal when riding.
          Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
          Thank you for everything boy.

          Better View.


            Did you say you were giving bute and banamine together? They are both NSAIDS. They should not be used at the same time. Using them together, you are basically overdosing your horse on NSAIDS. Yes, they decrease pain and inflammation, but they also decrease good prostioglandins that are needed to protect the stomach, GI and kidneys.


              Banamine is shrot living, so depending on the spacing between them bute and banamine can be given together. My friend has a horse with lymphangitis, when he was younger and got flareups he was quickly given Banamine IV then about 3-4 hours later given Bute. Bute seemed to help better but Banamine relieved some of the pain and colick like symptoms at the beginning of the flareup.

              Does sound like lymphangitis. My friends TB has had it for 8 years, and is showing the meter jumpers this year (at 18). His leg is chronically enlarged but he is completely sound.

              Your horse sounds like an extreme case when it comes to the pain - usually pain lasts short term (less than 3 days), but I guess all horses are different.

              Its likely NOT a cut that caused the flareup, its a lymphatic "cancer" nothing causes just happens. A lot of vets/horse owners believe its triggered by bacteria from a cut and the horse is placed on antibiotics. While antibiotics are generally warranted for severe cases the routine lymphangitis horse who has a flareup is generally treated with banamine, bute, diuretic, steriod and compression. Its similar as in people, they dont go around getting cuts and running in a muddy paddock - and the condition occurs.

              Best thing you can do short term is pain management, best thing long term to keep the swelling down is lots of turnout...and if the leg is enlarged pressure wraps. Once the leg gets big and stays big for a while, scare tissue builds up and it will never get back to complete normalness. The lymphtic drainage system also becomes scarred and thickened. If you can get the leg back to normal size sooner rather than later you will decrease the chances.

              My friends guy had 1 huge flareup when he was about 10. It was in his right hind. Huge, like all the way up to his stifle huge. The leg returned to normal size after a week and that leg has never been a problem again.

              The left hind leg however blew up a few times between 11- 14, and it became more freqent and more frequent as he got older. By 14 he was retired and in a lot of pain as these episodes happened weekly. Decision had to be made to either euthanize him or look for further treatment.

              Decided to move him to a boarding stable, and try compression wraps. Horse is now 18, showing the meter jumpers and is happy as can be. He maybe goes through 8 hours a year of moderate pain from a flareup....but thats it.

              His "treatment" that significantly brought the swelling down (before being able to start compression wraps) was a third generation antibiotic, followed by 4 days of diuretic and 10 days of tapering steroids. Once his leg was small enough to allow wraps, the compression wraps kept it coming down even further. Its not as small as the other leg, but its just "thick" looking now, but not massive. Everyone on the show circuit knows him....not because of his fat leg, but because hes always top 3

              Good luck with your horse, and keep us posted!


                Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                Banamine is shrot living, so depending on the spacing between them bute and banamine can be given together.
                The plural of anecdote is not data.
                Eventing Yahoo In Training


                  Original Poster

                  thanks all. I am not sure it is the sound like these other horses are not in much pain. My horse is TOUGH and he is hurting. I need to get it under control.

                  He has been retired for 6 years from high ringbone, so not sound on the best of days, but this is much worse. I stacked the bute and banamine because one alone wasn't working. My priority is keeping him as painfree as possible. It did help. While I might not on a youngster with the old ones sometimes you might go a little farther than you otherwise would. He is now just on bute.

                  Maybe I will be more aggressive with the wraps, I was only using them 12 hours on, 12 off. Squish, was there anything special to the compression wraps beyond normal standing wraps? I am not sure I know what you mean by compression wrap but that sounds very promising!


                    I just use normal quilts and polos and I LEAVE it on. Atleast 24 hours straight. They slide down once the leg shrinks... so you know you have progress.

                    If he's in a lot of pain it may not be lymphangitis. His other symptoms just seemed fitting. If it is you just have to keep trying until you find something that works. Seems like they all respond to something better than other. Like Squish said, it will never look normal again. I've had to face that reality. It will get close though. Close enough that people won't notice from a distance.

                    Just curious.... what diruetics and how do they work with this? I'd love to have an emergency drug to give to him at the time of bad flare as we wait for the vet to come.
                    Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
                    Thank you for everything boy.

                    Better View.


                      Furosemide (Lasix, Salix, etc.) and trichlorthiazide are two of the most commonly used diuretics. Naquasone, which is still made in Canada but I believe is not available in the U.S. unless compounded, is a combination of dexamethasone and trichlorthiazide. I'll let one of the vets explain the mechanism, but the basic idea is that increased excretion of water and electrolytes (via the kidneys) leads to decreased edema.
                      The plural of anecdote is not data.
                      Eventing Yahoo In Training


                        A blood panel might help give some insight whether it is lymphangitis or cellulitis or vasculitis. I might also consider the possibility that a foreign body might be present. Good luck!
                        Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                        Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                          Sorry if i missed it but have you radiographed the stifle? Id be concerned that perhaps something is in there...
                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                            My horse had a similar course with cellulitus, although not nearly as bad. A few days after he finished the antibiotic it was back. We kept put him back on the antibiotic for a longer course and it resolved and didn't come back. The steroids really help get the swelling down quickly. Mine was on naquasone; it was available in the US as of last November (not compounded but in a packet). Good luck!


                              What is acu?

                              My five-year-old has an old leg injury and lots of scar tissue low down on her right hind. We've had two episodes of exteme swelling - no idea what caused either, but her leg doesn't seem able to shed swelling once it occurs. Last August, we did a round of something that was a steroid/diurectic combo, and that worked well. That flare up scared me so much that we've only ridden her once since, although she has been sound on it other than a day or two of careful movement when it was really swollen.

                              I'd love to see pics of the other horses with similar issues. I worry so much about Jess having pain/discomfort, but she is getting bored being a pasture pet.


                                Katy, it sounds like lymphangitis. I had a horse with this, including the "big leg". He only had two flare-ups in the 8 years that I owned him. Just keep a close eye on the leg and treat any small cuts with triple-x or something similar to keep the bacteria at bay. Riding shouldn't be an issue and even helps with the circulation.


                                  Originally posted by kcmel View Post
                                  Katy, it sounds like lymphangitis. I had a horse with this, including the "big leg". He only had two flare-ups in the 8 years that I owned him. Just keep a close eye on the leg and treat any small cuts with triple-x or something similar to keep the bacteria at bay. Riding shouldn't be an issue and even helps with the circulation.
                                  Do you have photos of your gelding? I'd like to see a comparable. It probably worries me more than it should, because I feel so guilty for selling her to someone who let her get in that shape.


                                    I don't have a closeup. Here is a picuture where you can see it somewhat if you magnify it. It is the back left of the chestnut. The area around the fetlock is enlarged. This is his baseline of course, not during a flare-up.

                                    Last edited by kcmel; Feb. 27, 2011, 04:59 PM. Reason: spelling


                                      I see it - thanks! I wish I had taken a picture of Jess's when it was so huge, but I was so discouraged at that point, I didn't want to document it. It was huge, but went down quickly. Her normal is still pretty bad, but she doesn't seem bothered at all, and she tracks normally at all gaits.


                                        Katyb, your horse's leg, actually the scar, look VERY similar to Tru's! He was cut in the same spot, but an unknown source while with his previous owner. He get's a lump over his fetlock too, which goes away if I wrap him overnight. I don't have any pictures either of him at his worst... never wanted to take pictures of something that looks so awful.

                                        Oh, and acu is just short for acupuncture. Tru gets laser acupucnture, which I find to be faster acting and longer lasting than regular acu with needles.

                                        I have another question for those that use diruetics. Do you have to use them continuously for them to work or can you use them sporadically? I'm thinking of asking the vet about them this week when he comes. I'd like to have something to use during flare ups or before/while at any shows we may go to. I'd like to get Tru back to some low level dressage.
                                        Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
                                        Thank you for everything boy.

                                        Better View.