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Cellulitis-How long till the swelling goes down?

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  • Cellulitis-How long till the swelling goes down?

    The title says it all. I've got a horse with cellulitis and I'm on day 3 of penicillin and gentimicin and bute. His temperature is back to normal, his activity level is good, he doesn't seem lame or ouchy on the leg but I'm not seeing the swelling going down at all. He's getting cold-hosed twice/day for 15 minutes following the vet's recommendation. The vet did say it would take a while for the leg to get back to normal but what am I looking at for an approximate time frame? A couple of wks or a couple of months?

    This is a Saturday and the vet's office is closed till Monday, except for emergencies and this question doesn't constitute an emergency. I'll call them on Monday if I'm not seeing the swelling starting to decrease but I thought I'd come to the wise people of COTH that have been unfortunate enough to have dealt with cellulitis. I guess I'm lucky in that I've gone 50 yrs without having to deal with it and I sure wish it would be another 50 yrs.
    Sue

    I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

  • #2
    Earlier this summer my daughter's 18 year-old horse had a bout of cellulitis.
    We treated initially the same as you, but the swelling persisted and even became worse. Brought in the vet who prescribed steroid medication, which did the trick. It is always best to start as your vet prescribed, and often that is all you will need. But in some cases, this is not enough. With the addition of the steroids, the swelling quickly subsided. Better check with your vet again on Monday.
    Martha Haley - NeverSayNever Farm
    2009 KWN-NA Breeder of the Year/Silver Level Breeder
    www.angelfire.com/ns2/our_horses/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Never...01844536521951

    Comment


    • #3
      My horse had lymphangitis (which as I understand it is pretty similar to cellulitis and has a similar treatment plan).

      He was on Gent and had 2 Excede shots. Most of the swelling went down within the first week but it wasn't back to normal until ~ a month after. He had already had Lymphangitis once so his leg already had a small amount of residual swelling.

      It's very important to get the swelling down asap because the longer the leg stays swollen the more residual swelling you will have. My vet recommended compression wraps which seemed to work very well.
      come what may

      Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Dutch, vet did say we may need steriods. She thought that since he just came off off Dex for almost 2 months that it might have kept the cellulitis at bay. He was getting Dex for persistent itching due to flies and just about anything else poor guy.

        I started this post before I went out to feed and I can see a slight improvement since my initial post. Not enough but it's better than nothing and the first sign of improvement.

        Will call the vet on Monday to see about starting Dex. I think this guy is going to end up living on Dex for spring, summer and fall. I hope to get him off it come winter! Lordy.

        Actually my biggest worry with Dex is founder and this is an older guy, a 22 yr old New Zealand TB. He may be retired but he sure doesn't look or act like an older gentleman. He puts my slightly younger 19 yr old OTTB to shame.
        Sue

        I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

        Comment


        • #5
          to get swelling down when my horse had cellulitis, we did standing wraps when he was in his stall after cold hosing and toweling the leg dry. Essentially a pressure wrap and helps move the fluid out of the leg. Also, as much movement as possible will help reduce the swelling. Hand walking, light hacks, turnout will all help the swelling go down b/c it will help the fluid thats building up move out of the area.

          so my horse was on night turn out-- came in the am, leg scrubbed and cold hosed x 15 min., towel dry, topical medication applied, standing wrap put on. After PM feeding, wrap pulled, cold hosed again, turn out for the night.
          "to each his own..."

          just a horse obsessed girl who finds blogging way more fun than being an adult...
          http://equinerainman274.wordpress.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree with the others about standing wraps and frequent walking. We did that too. It was our guy's front legs, and the bandages went over the knee as high up as we could go - two sets of quilts and wraps per leg, starting at the hoof. These were left on overnight if he was stalled. Wash with something like betadine once a day and making sure the legs are completely dry before wrapping.
            Martha Haley - NeverSayNever Farm
            2009 KWN-NA Breeder of the Year/Silver Level Breeder
            www.angelfire.com/ns2/our_horses/
            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Never...01844536521951

            Comment


            • #7
              My vet prescribed activity when my horse had cellulitis. He wasn't lame but the swelling didn't go down. My vet said to get his heart rate up.

              It definitely worked.
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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              • #8
                My horse has had two bouts of cellulitis and lymphangitis.

                I cold hosed every other hour the second time around. It was my reunion weekend at college(I live in the same town), so it was party time. I'd go to a party, come home, cold hose, turn back out, go to another party, come home, etc.
                I did this from discovery at 5 pm till 3 am(because of the parties). Next morning, up at 8 and start cold hosing all over again.
                Plus, she was on tucoprim I believe.

                I caught it early, and of course, I think the very frequent cold hosing helped.

                You can't cold hose too much. Actually, I didn't 'cold' hose, but a moderate temp...cool, but not aggravatingly cold. Plus it was November so the temps were cold as well.

                First round, I did wrap. Second round, I did not, but as I said, cold hosed frequently. Antibiotics both times, and full freedom to move about. I did close off back pasture, as I didn't want her 'stuck' out there. But, she had plenty of other pasture and space to move about.

                1st bout, I think it took almost a few days to see the swelling reduce(like maybe 5 days), second bout, swelling was down in 2 days. Cold hose!

                Good luck.
                save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks everyone for your treatment regimens etc. Right now we are in a rainy spell for the next few days and the boys are in the sacrifice paddocks, which, while not totally free of mud, at least are in good shape. Both are moving around a fair amount and yesterday, with the wind and rain, raised holy hades for sure. I'm going to add at least one more hosing and probably 2, weather permitting. The rains stopped last night and I was out at 10 PM hosing his leg under a motion detector light that kept going out, coming on, going out, coming on.......

                  If I decide to keep him stalled overnight because of bad weather, I'll do a wrap. It sure can't hurt and I think I might have enough Furicin to do a sweat for a couple of days which I remember doing for a horse yrs ago that has some excess swelling and probably cellulitis but the vet at the time never called it that.
                  Sue

                  I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, its been bloody wet here in the NE.

                    Do you know what might have caused the cellulitis?

                    First time with my horse, it was a blown abscess that got infected, I let a vet tech who was working for me treat it(bad mistake) and well, it closed off and got infected.

                    Since my horse is also prone to scratches, I tend to shave her feathers around her fetlock. She isn't really that hairy, but I think letting the air in does help.

                    Good luck. Hose as much as you can, and remember to towel dry too. Especially if you wrap.
                    save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by fivehorses View Post
                      Yes, its been bloody wet here in the NE.

                      Do you know what might have caused the cellulitis?

                      First time with my horse, it was a blown abscess that got infected, I let a vet tech who was working for me treat it(bad mistake) and well, it closed off and got infected.

                      Since my horse is also prone to scratches, I tend to shave her feathers around her fetlock. She isn't really that hairy, but I think letting the air in does help.

                      Good luck. Hose as much as you can, and remember to towel dry too. Especially if you wrap.
                      Interestingly, the vet gave me a written description about cellulitis and one of the items listed was that

                      "some horses that have sustained serious wounds in their past and have a lg area of scar tissue may be prone to repeated bouts of cellulitis/lymphangitis during their lifetime."

                      This old guy has a horrendous scar in the pastern region of the affected leg. When he came in May I asked his owner about it as I initially thought it was a bad case of scratches at first glance. She said he had it when she bought him.

                      I will say this guy is quite the trooper.

                      Well, it's windy as all get out and trying to sprinkle but I'm heading out and hoping he'll stand well for a mid-day hosing. This is only the 2nd time in 21 yrs that I wished I had an indoor wash stall instead of using the front of the barn.
                      Sue

                      I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh yeah, I hear you.
                        I finally broke down, put down rubber mats outside and created an outdoor wash area. I put down 4 to make a nice big square.

                        Actually, it works pretty good.
                        Good luck with your boy.
                        save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          The way I built the barn/arena is that the indoor is facing N to S and is 120' long. The barn part is only 100' long X 24' wide so I have a 20' windbreak for the wash area and it's great except when it really rains hard. The wash area and parking lot area are all graveled so horses don't slip if they are loading/unloading in the parking area and the wash area drains well for bathing or hosing.

                          I've actually considered having a retractable awning put up so there would be a cover over the wash area but I just can't justify the cost since this is only the 2nd time in 21 yrs I could use it.

                          Actually we've had high wind warnings for Sat, today, and for tomorrow. When I've hosed the big guy, he's been just a peach about ignoring the wind. He's better about it than I am. All he wants to do is rub his face on my shoulder.
                          Sue

                          I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For lingering swelling DMSO is your friend. I swear by it.
                            The rider casts his heart over the fence,
                            the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

                            –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For my guy we did a series of two antibiotic shots and also had him on the dex. He had swelling in the hind leg from pastern to hock (think stovepipe!). We alterated between furacin sweat and poultice with standing wrap then elasticon wrap near hock. It took about two weeks for the swelling to completely go down. I did a lot of handwalking, and started him back to work once the swelling went down enough for him to move better, and vet ok'ed.

                              Comment

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