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Cellulitis

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  • Cellulitis

    *sigh*

    Tips? Advice? Miracle working home remedies?

    My mare has had a relentless case of cellulitis in her left hind for weeks now. Vet has been out twice... she's had two rounds of antibiotics in addition to the initial booster injection, and I've been using poultice and standing wraps. The swelling seems to be higher up, around her hock (which is difficult to wrap) area rather than lower in her cannon bone. She's also broken out in some little sores.


  • #2
    I'd put a sweat wrap on the hock. It's not that easy, but definitely doable.

    First, put a stable bandage on the lower leg. They slather furacin on the hock, and wrap in clear plastic wrap. The place another quilt over the hock, and wrap a figure 8 bandage on it. Should stay put for 12 hours in a stall.

    If you aren't comfortable doing a figure 8 bandage, you can put a commercial Velcr0-type hock wrap over the saran wrap.

    Comment


    • #3
      Nope. My filly spent over a week at New Bolton where she received two or three regional limb perfusions and IV antibiotics then came home for another 4 weeks of oral antibiotics.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home

      Comment


      • #4
        If it is at all like lymphangitis, I would make sure she can move around. They do develop little sores, it's from the pressure on the skin cells from the inside out. Silver sulfoxide ointment helps.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

        Comment


        • #5
          My mare has a flare up every time I have to keep her in a stall, even if it is just overnight. Anytime she has to stand still like that her back leg blows up. She is out 24/7 unless we get this crazy below zero temps and wind.
          Derby Lyn Farms Website

          Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!

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          • #6
            We had our mare come down with it a few years ago. She recovered nicely after a course of SMZs. Can't remember if I did a furacin sweat. I guess we were lucky, it never came back.
            Lilykoi


            Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare

            Comment


            • #7
              4 weeks is a pretty long time for cellulitis to go unresolved. Consider communicating this to your vet - it may be time for the "big guns" - IV antibiotics like Baytril.

              I have a mare with culicoides hypersensitivity-induced vasculitis on her hind coronary bands that cause chronic non-healing wounds, and she has gotten cellulitis 4-5 times over the course of 3-4 years. SMZ's don't touch it - we have found a combination of IV dex to suppress inflammation plus IV baytril along with cold-hosing and wrapping to be the best approach.

              The hock will appear swollen if you are wrapping the lower legs - the edema has nowhere else to go.

              Moving around is the BEST way to minimize the edema - try and keep your horse on a normal turnout schedule, plus add in hand-walking a few times a day if you can. It takes at least 20 min of hand walking for mine to show any appreciable decrease in swelling.

              Comment


              • #8
                Is there fever and lameness? If not, you have probably ventured into lymphagitis which requires different and very prompt treatment to not be permanent. Cellulitis also has to be treated promptly and aggressively to avoid lymphagitis. Unfortunately, at this point, the swelling might be permanent. If there is no fever, she likely need steroids and diuretics.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hattie, my little trakehner, developed cellulitis on her right fore leg and stomach and chest after she was snake bit on that heel. My vet put a cast on her hoof, and had me wrap her leg with a pillow wrap, etc., for 3 weeks. She also had bute 2x a day and generic baytril once a day. All for 3 weeks.

                  The swelling in her abdomen and upper leg went down within a few days of medication. Cast and wrap came off after 3 weeks. Total of 4 weeks stall rest in deep bedding.

                  I was totally impressed how well things turned out. She did have silver sulfadiazine (sp) for her snake bite as well. And when the cast came off, all was dry and clean and smelled fine.
                  while your horse obviously won't need the snake bite protocol, Hattie's experience might help you some. Vet did not say to sweat the cellulitis on her leg, which went all the way up the leg to her chest and abdomen.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with more antibiotics. My horse needed another month of orals after two rounds of injections for everything to clear up. I drenched his leg in dakin's solution to help heal the sores - you can look up the recipe for this it is bleach and baking soda in water. I didn't wrap mine and got him out of the stall as soon as I could (he was non-weight bearing at first it was so swollen).

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      I've been trying to get her moving as much as possible, but up north we're still a foot deep in snow with frozen ground beneath, so it's not the easiest thing in the world. She's turned out all day but inside at night. The other day we had a little break in the weather and the snow melted and ground defrosted so I threw her on the lunge line for a little walk/trot and she didn't seem off... maybe a little stiff but not lame. Afterwards, the swelling was minorly reduced but I wouldn't say it was gone.

                      It has definitely reduced since this all began. When it first blew up, her leg looked like an elephant's leg. I mean, really. Her whole leg from hoof to hip was swollen. At this point it's mostly concentrated in the hock. There is very minor swelling on her lower leg but it's mostly concentrated in her hock. I hate to leave her inside all day but that's what I'll have to do if I start wrapping again. I will try a figure eight wrap.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My vet always gives me naquasone to use and it clears right up. Have you tried that?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My horse had a really bad case in 2012.

                          We hit him with 3 ABs, aerobic anaerobic and the third kind.. I am not a Vet, but employ good ones! These were all IV [he is a BEAR for shots and also hates clippers... fun times!]

                          We also did cold, HIGH pressure [pounding that cold water on the leg] hosing 2 times a day for 30 minutes each time. From Nov. to Jan.. With only a hose outside.
                          It was miserable but it worked.
                          I also washed it with shampoo that incl. clorhexadine and ketoconazole... let it sit on for 10-15 minutes then washed off while cold hosing when it was oozing or every couple of days. I used that soft face curry on it so it also got massaged as I scrubbed.

                          I did compression wrap [cotton with vet wrap over it, pulled really tight almost like a soft cast] on the bad leg, ALL the way up to where the swelling ended- at one point it was all the way up to his stifle. Wrapping the hock really gave me the willies! It was alot like a Robert Jones wrap...
                          http://cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/sa...5/15mast.htm#d

                          I did standing wraps on the others, and he went out [w/o wraps, except for the first few days he went out for short periods with the wraps on- a HUGE no-no in my book, but he needed to walk and get out] as much as he could to promote movement. Days they could not go out, I went and handwalked him.
                          I am a wrap nazi so to speak, it was REALLY hard for me to wrap that tightly... but I kept reminding myself it wasn't like there was much more damage that could be done to this leg.

                          He's had lesser incidences since then, and we treat them the same way though this snow seems to be keeping things in check for now. I dread spring.
                          This is a horse who is now 29.

                          ETA Dappled I just read your newest post.. that sounds just like my guy- the swelling was just sickeningly HUGE. I wish I could post pics of it... it was so bad even my non-horsey hubby, upon seeing it, recognized it was bad. Horsey walked to the hose by SWINGING that L hind leg out and around, with the R hind planted right up under the middle of himself and he tipped WAY over to the side in doing so... it was SO scary. I was sure what we would end up with was a horse who fell and broke something in the process....
                          Last edited by Angela Freda; Feb. 26, 2014, 10:47 AM.
                          Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                          http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by flyracing View Post
                            Is there fever and lameness? If not, you have probably ventured into lymphagitis which requires different and very prompt treatment to not be permanent.
                            Don't know why so many think there needs to be a fever with cellulitis. I had cellulitis myself years ago after a very small surgical incision in my foot became infected (corn removal by a podiatrist). My foot swelled to larger than a football, was red, hot and extremely painful. Admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics around the clock.

                            After 3-4 days there was no improvement so the surgeon assigned to my case (was being treated by the hospital's infectious diseases expert) decided to cut into the foot at the site of the original surgery to get a culture. Low and behold, the IV antibiotics I had been receiving were ineffective against the type of germ causing the cellulitis (very few Abs kill pseudomonas). By the time all of this was done, the infection had taken up residence in several bones/joints in my foot so I was in the hospital for a couple of months.

                            In all this time, I never once had a fever or felt sick. Just because there's no fever, doesn’t mean there's no infection. It could mean the infection has been localized and has not gone systemic. I’m sharing this because I want to convey that any wound resulting in cellulitis needs to be cultured ASAP to determine 1. which germ is causing the infection and 2. which antibiotics are effective against it. If left untreated too long, cellulitis can result in bone/joint infections and possibly permanent damage to nerves, blood vessels as well as the lymphatic system. I wound up with all three problems although the blood vessels eventually made a pretty good come-back.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rcloisonne View Post
                              Don't know why so many think there needs to be a fever with cellulitis. I had cellulitis myself years ago after a very small surgical incision in my foot became infected (corn removal by a podiatrist). My foot swelled to larger than a football, was red, hot and extremely painful. Admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics around the clock.

                              After 3-4 days there was no improvement so the surgeon assigned to my case (was being treated by the hospital's infectious diseases expert) decided to cut into the foot at the site of the original surgery to get a culture. Low and behold, the IV antibiotics I had been receiving were ineffective against the type of germ causing the cellulitis (very few Abs kill pseudomonas). By the time all of this was done, the infection had taken up residence in several bones/joints in my foot so I was in the hospital for a couple of months.

                              In all this time, I never once had a fever or felt sick. Just because there's no fever, doesn’t mean there's no infection. It could mean the infection has been localized and has not gone systemic. I’m sharing this because I want to convey that any wound resulting in cellulitis needs to be cultured ASAP to determine 1. which germ is causing the infection and 2. which antibiotics are effective against it. If left untreated too long, cellulitis can result in bone/joint infections and possibly permanent damage to nerves, blood vessels as well as the lymphatic system. I wound up with all three problems although the blood vessels eventually made a pretty good come-back.


                              The most common case with horses is that cellulitis pops up "unannounced," with no obvious abrasion/wound/cut etc. It can be from any break in the skin - a break that may or may not be visible through a thick hair coat or can be already on its way to healing by the time a vet gets a call to see a swollen leg. Thus, it's not possible to perform a culture/sensitivity on a cellulitis case unless there's an obvious wound, and even in that case you end up culturing all the normal skin flora as well, some of which could be pathogenic, and some not!

                              So, it's lovely that you had a nice surgical incision on your hairless skin to be cultured, but that is just not always possible or practical.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My gelding has chronic lymphangitis, absolutely nasty to deal with.

                                What antibiotics have you tried? Baytril works best for my guy but I've also used Gent and Excede.

                                I would sweat wrap all the way up the leg and leave it on for at least 24 hours. Other than that, keep a standing wrap on 24/7, that helps my guy during his "flare" season, which is summer, and humidity, and pretty much any day it's above 40.
                                come what may

                                Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Update:

                                  I just tried the furacin sweat wrap so we'll see how that works! The leg seems less swollen on its own, so I'm hoping the wrap will kick the last of the swelling.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If you can do a polo wrap and lunge w/t or at least hand walk, that helped a lot for my guy…brought the swelling down better than just keeping standing wraps on.
                                    come what may

                                    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      So unfortunately, things are not any better.

                                      The swelling in her leg seems like it's almost permanent at this point. I can't get it to go down... not with wrapping, not with turnout, not with exercise.

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