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Anaplasmosis/ Ehrlichia possible without having had swollen legs?

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  • Anaplasmosis/ Ehrlichia possible without having had swollen legs?

    Just as the title reads, is it possible for a horse to have anaplasmosis or ehrlichia without having had swollen legs? It is suspected that my horse is infected, but he did not have leg swelling prior or while he has been sick.

    The horse has been seen by a vet and my regular vet is coming out this afternoon to recheck and possibly do more diagnostics. I was just curious about this symptom that was absent in my horse.

  • #2
    One of ours had Anaplasma/ehrlichia without swelling. Fever and lack of appetite were his only symptoms.


    • #3
      My horse had erlichia and did not have swollen legs. He did have a fever and was clearly miserable...


      • #4
        Ditto... ehrlichiosis without the swelling. Did have the spiked fever, general malaise, off feed, etc.
        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


        • #5
          Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
          Ditto... ehrlichiosis without the swelling. Did have the spiked fever, general malaise, off feed, etc.
          Same for one of mine.


          • #6
            One of mine has had it twice and her legs did not swell.
            Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

            Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.


            • #7
              Echoing all the others; one horse here had it -- he looked awful (off feed, fever, lying flat out in the field like he was dying) -- but no swelling.
              Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/


              • #8
                Remember, there are two types: Granulocytic and Monoleucytic. One version is much worse than the other, where you usually see the full stocking up, severe diarrhea, etc.
                <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                • #9
                  Isn't there a definitive test you can do to determine this? While waiting for results, you can treat as if.


                  • #10
                    To expand on what Chocomare said, equine monocytic ehrlichiosis is Potomac Horse Fever and more properly called neorickettsiosis, because ehrlichiosis doesn't have enough syllables. "Ehrlichiosis" usually refers to anaplasmosis or equine granulocytic anaplasmosis, which is spread by Ixodes ticks and therefore has a different spatial and temporal distribution and epidemiology than PHF, which is spread by insects with aquatic life stages, such as caddis flies and mayflies. The prime seasons for tickborne diseases are spring and fall, but this is not absolute. PHF is mostly seen in the hot summer months, when the insects mature and come out of the streams and rivers. PHF distribution is focal and spotty but nationwide; Anaplasma is seen wherever there are black-legged/deer ticks, Ixodes pacificus and Ixodes scapularis, so mainly in the eastern half of the country and along the Pacific coast and nearby foothills. These are the same tick species that spread Lyme disease, and a single tick may carry both diseases. Lyme disease may also cause a fever and vague signs at first, as well, or it may cause shifting lameness, uveitis, hypersensitivity, etc.

                    You do not need every clinical sign for a disease to be present! Both anaplasmosis and PHF can show up with vague signs such as fever of unknown origin, edema, depression, anorexia, etc., and signs vary from horse to horse, but PHF can cause large colon inflammation, causing anything from mild impaction colics or mild diarrhea to a horse that paint the walls with diarrhea and dies within a day or two due to fluid losses and/or laminitis. Since they live in blood cells, it is possible to do PCR on whole blood (best at the beginning of the illness, before treatment), and a blood smear may show the Anaplasma living in the neutrophils, although a negative blood smear is not as conclusive as PCR; PHF is much harder to find on a blood smear. Horses with diarrhea may be diagnosed with PHF by fecal PCR sometimes. Because Lyme/Borrelia does NOT live in the blood, blood PCR is less helpful and titers are usually used for diagnosis.

                    Fortunately, the basis for treatment for all of these is tetracycline antibiotics (oxytetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline), although regimens vary.

                    <morbidly fascinated with vector-borne diseases>
                    The plural of anecdote is not data.
                    Eventing Yahoo In Training


                    • #11
                      Ah.... thanks for the Scientific Lingo. loved it!
                      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                      • #12
                        LOL, any time! The challenge sometimes is to make sure you don't use TOO much lingo for non-vets. I'm a total infectious disease nerd, and our week of vector-borne diseases was one of my favorite so far in vet school.
                        The plural of anecdote is not data.
                        Eventing Yahoo In Training


                        • Original Poster


                          Well, it no longer appears that it is tick borne. Other horses now exhibiting fevers, ggrrrr.

                          Vet coming back out this afternoon.


                          • #14
                            Keep us posted...jungles