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What does this sound like?

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  • What does this sound like?

    I have a suspicion that my horse was stung by a wasp or other venomous thing, but I have no proof. I'd like to give her something to control the swelling, but have never given a horse Benadryl...... Would like to hear what you guys think this might be........

    Here's how it has presented:

    SUNDAY 6/9: Grooming horse before riding, noticed quarter sized bump on lower outside of right front cannon bone. Was very itchy to the horse when I was grooming over it but otherwise was not bothering her. Went for 4.5 mile ride where she was sound and felt normal.

    MONDAY 6/10: Bump had turned into swelling of the entire outside of right front cannon bone from knee to fetlock. Hard to the touch, with heat. Horse sound and acting normally. Cold hosed.

    TUESDAY 6/11: Swelling of cannon bone area increased to include the inside of the cannon bone with no definition of the tendon grooves on either side. This swelling is hard and hot. The knee is now involved with squishy fluid build up on the front surface. There is no swelling at all below the fetlock, pastern is not involved. Hoof is cold. Lunged horse w/t/c and horse is sound both directions and feeling fresh in the cool weather, bucking and cavorting around on the lunge.

    Cold hose and give horse Banamine.

    WEDNESDAY 6/12: Horse was not as enthusiastic as usual about her breakfast hay. Horse was cuddly (this horse is NOT cuddly, especially not at feeding time.). Horse ate her grain normally. Fluid on the front of the knee has receeded but swelling of the cannon bone and tendon grooves remains the same. Cold hosed for 10 minutes and put her back. Horse proceeded to eat hay normally.

    That's how I left her this morning.....

    I'm kinda scratching my head. It sounds like a sting or bite.......last time she was stung by a yellowjacket, it was on her butt and she developed a welt about a foot across and 1/3" high.

    Has anyone had experience giving a horse Benadryl? Pro's, Con's, dangers?

    I don't think it's a dire situation and as long as she's eating, drinking, pooping and sound and the swelling progressively goes down, I'm not going to get too worked up about it. But I would like to know if there's anything I can do (besides Banamine) to help keep the swelling under control.

    What do you guys think?

  • #2
    My barn uses Benadryl (you know where I board), but I do not know the dose as my horse has never needed it. I have used Benadryl topical gel on bug bites on her, and it does help, but she doesn't get nearly as swollen as it sounds like your horse does.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


    • #3
      Temperature? May have started with a bite or sting, but could now be cellulitis. Benadryl at this point would probably be a bit like using a water pistol on a bonfire. I'd check vitals and make sure she hasn't got a fever before giving any meds.
      Click here before you buy.


      • Original Poster

        I thought of that (cellulitis). I'll be taking her vitals tonight when I get home from work.

        Had a chat with my vet and she seems to think it's a reaction to a bite or sting and that I'm doing the right thing by cold hosing and keeping her out to move around. No more Banamine as that may have upset her stomach.

        I'm to evaluate again tonight, take vitals, pictures, cold hose and monitor if worse, better or same.

        So, cold water is our friend and we're keeping an eye on her closely.


        • #5
          I don't know if you are dealing with an insect sting or not. But, the most wonderful product I have found for relieving the itch and swelling of bee and wasp stings is 'Afterbite'. It has ammonia in it...in a convenient roll - on tube.

          I purchase mine from walmart... Works great on me and my horses. It's amazing how fast the pain and swelling goes away...

          Key is Applying it ASAP, but I have used the product with a lot of success a day or so after the initial bite.
          Something to try in addition to the benadryl.


          • Original Poster

            Vet came out last night

            The horse was feeling really crappy when I got home from work last night. Lying down alot and running a low grade temp (101).

            Had the vet out and we both agree it's most likely cellulitis that escalated from a bite or sting.

            Horse is on SMZ's for 7 days with Banamine for the next couple to help with the inflamation.

            This morning (Thursday 6/13) after just one dose of the antibiotics, her temp was 99.9 and she was feeling *much* better.

            So, hopefully she'll be back in business in a week or so.

            Thanks for the advice guys!


            • #7
              If that's what they think, also keep cold hosing and keep her moving around. Pasture, hand walk, stroll under saddle, whatever.
              We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the tips 2tempe. I've been cold hosing 2x a day (most I can do with work schedule) and she's always on 24/7 and moving around her paddock.

                I'm going to take her out for a quiet hack this weekend but my job has me traveling all next week so she won't be ridden next Monday through Thursday. I have my Mom coming to take care of the horses, so she'll continue the hosing, but does not ride.

                The edema is softening up compared to Wednesday and Thursday. I can now depress her flesh with my fingers whereas on Wednesday her leg was as hard as a rock. I can also feel her tendons now, through the swelling. Hoping this is a good sign.

                A friend of mine with prior experience with Cellulitis suggested I continue cold hosing with high water pressure for at least a week *after* the swelling goes down, so I plan on doing that.

                The vet said it could take 7-10 days for the edema to resolve. Tonight will be 48 hours on SMZ's so I'm looking at hosing for the next two weeks at least.


                • #9
                  There use to be an attatchment for hosing called the Hydro T, it pulsed the water and really helped with pitting adema and cellulitis.