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Cellulitis - Tell me all you know

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  • Cellulitis - Tell me all you know

    What can one expect when their horse gets cellulitis? Will the horse be prone to reoccurence?

  • #2
    If it is cellulitis, then yes, there is a possibility of reoccurrences. However, recently I lost a horse because the vet called it "cellulitis" and despite urging on my part (and in fairness to my vet, everybody but me thought it was cellulitis - and even if it wasn't that since the horse was on antibiotics if it was a foreign body that it would be OK).

    Well, that wasn't the case. It wasn't cellulitis. It was a foreign body. The infection brewing was never cultured (though I requested over and over that it be cultured) and ultimately - what it was growing was not sensitive to the "broad" spectrum" antibiotic we used for the better part (on and off) over a year.

    So, I would insist that a culture be done .. I would urge you to have the leg carefully examined (ultrasounded) and be certain you aren't looking at something specific.


    • #3
      You can expect the leg to be very sensitive and sore to the touch, a high fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, reluctance to move, limping, etc. It may take WEEKS before the swelling is completely gone.

      My mare had cellulitis at the end of May. We treated with antibiotics, cold hosing, standing wraps, and I think 48 hours of stall rest with handwalking. She came sound pretty quickly, regained her appetite after the fever broke, and was pretty much fine a week afterwards, but it took 3-4 weeks before the swelling was completely gone.


      • #4
        this thread and the lymphangitis one seem to overlap, so you might want to read that too.
        When my mare was diagnosed last spring, originally it was cellulitis, but then when she went to the equine hospital they called it cellulitis/lymphangitis.

        Cellutlits is inflamation of the cells, lymphangitis is inflamation of the lymph glands, if I understood that correctly.

        She was wrapped, and due to being in a hospital was on stall rest, but if at home, walking around helps bring down the swelling.
        She was treated aggressively with antibiotics iv...I think baytril iv, and later naxcel. Also, banamine, and gastrogard to protect her gut from the anitibiotics.

        I was told that reoccurances do that happen, BUT, I have taken some measures to avoid it. One is keep her legs clipped to avoid scratches. Last spring she had an abscess blow out on her back leg, just above the balls of her hoof. I treated it topically, but think if we had put her on smz's, it may have prevented the cellulitis/lymphangitis from occuring. I think we locked the infection in by applying furazone, instead of cleaning it and letting it drain.
        Just my thought.

        I am hoping it is a one time thing, but if it does happen again, I will start her on IM naxcel, and if no improvement, off to the clinic we go. By no improvement, I am talking within 24 hours, max 48 hours.
        I do not have decent local vet support around me, so sometimes the clinic is a safer choice.
        Good luck'
        save lives...spay/neuter/geld


        • #5
          My horse has a bout with Cellulitis 2 summers ago. His whole lower leg was swollen all the way around, very hot, and very painful to the touch.

          Lots of cold hosing, antibitotic shots for a week, wrapping, and it eventually went down and healed.

          Now, whenever he gets a cut that is borderline deep, I put him on SMZ's just in case.....
          <3 Vinnie <3
          Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred


          • #6
            My stallion had recurring cellulitus with 'chronic scratches' for almost 3 years until I figured out the allergen--soy in his feed.

            Any horse with "chronic" leg issues, especially those related to scratches/mud fever/dew poisoning, the first thing is remove alfalfa. Now, automatically, the 2nd thing I do is remove soy, as he's the fifth horse I've PERSONALLY KNOWN AND TOUCHED with soy issues.

            He also has a leg that he tried to cut off at the fetlock a couple years ago. That 'stocks up' occasionally. Far, far less now than before the feed change. That is probably related to weather and swelling etc. I usually up his MSM if I can when that happens, and his magnetic boots seem to help it go down quite dramatically. Maybe not the magnets, maybe just the boots, but they do help.
            InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

            Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


            • #7
              I had a TB gelding who would react (mild swellings) to every little scratch. He came in one day with a small (dime size) cut on his hock..12 hours later it was so swollen it looked like he broke his hock. He developed cellulitis. It took 33 days to go away. I hosed his leg 2-3 times a day for 30 minutes. He was allowed to graze in a paddock while the leg dried, then I coated the leg with DMSO/bagbalm and wrapped the leg. My vet came every few days to give him an iv antibiotic. After it was all better, my vet let me know just how scared he was that we would lose Popcorn. He was really afraid it was going to turn into a joint infection. The one thing he stressed throughout was if something happened and I called another vet (not that I would have) to not let anyone stick a needle in the joint to drain it, that would have certainly killed him for sure.
              Lori T
              www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep


              • #8
                My stallion had recurring cellulitus with 'chronic scratches' for almost 3 years until I figured out the allergen--soy in his feed.
                I was just going to say - I wonder how much of this sensitivity may also be related to diet. I remember my gelding got scratches out of 5 horses all in the same environment. The others were fine. I now believe it was because his immune system was weak at the time. Since I boosted his immune system, we never had this problem again. He is still at the same place. I now believe that recurrent problems with scratches or other health issues are a sign of a weaker immune system, for whatever reason. Thanks for sharing


                • #9
                  transfer factor Stress Pack

                  I love this stuff for horses with Cellulitis.

                  excellent results with it. KVvet.com has it for best price.

                  gets the immune system to fight off the cellulitis.


                  • #10
                    Use a therapy laser

                    As well as the diet issues, rent a therpay laser or LED and use it over the cellulitis. It usually has amazing results. You'll need to do it twice daily. For Lymphangitis use the laser over the lymph nodes in the groin area. again it can really help to move the lymph.

                    Both cellulitis and lymphangitis are nasty things to deal with.
                    Good luck.
                    Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                    Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                    New edition of book is out:
                    Horse Nutrition Handbook.



                    • #11
                      was just going to say - I wonder how much of this sensitivity may also be related to diet. I remember my gelding got scratches out of 5 horses all in the same environment. The others were fine. I now believe it was because his immune system was weak at the time. Since I boosted his immune system, we never had this problem again. He is still at the same place. I now believe that recurrent problems with scratches or other health issues are a sign of a weaker immune system, for whatever reason. Thanks for sharing
                      ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT! What started my guy's issues--and the one other who got it--was a bad WNV Vax. The other genetically full siblings--same environment, same weather, same feed... did not get the vax, did not get the chronic scratches. The son who GOT the vax/scratches/cellulitus went to LA --completely DIFFERENT environment, food, weather... still had 'em. Go figure.

                      My guy had had alfalfa and soy both until that time with no issue. Well, he lost his MIND over the 'falf, but never any photosensitivity.

                      Adding copper & probiotics both helped somewhat. A Dynamite product called Izmine helped... but we never BEAT it until we removed the allergen.
                      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                      • #12
                        Well, after all that feverish race to ID the human genome, we now know that is is really worthless without the epigenome, which is the software that turns the hardware (=genes ) on or off and can definitely also be influenced by environment and is the reason why one identical twin can become sick, while the other is in perfect health. I'm sure horses, as mammals, are affected the same way


                        • #13
                          melyni, where do you rent a laser or led?
                          save lives...spay/neuter/geld