12yr old TB with cellulitis

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12yr old TB with cellulitis

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    08-01-2010, 09:36 PM
12yr old TB with cellulitis

My TB has been battling his second bout of cellulitis. His first occurance happened last summer and after two weeks of antibiotics he was completely fine. We are now two weeks and a day into this second occurance and although his fever is gone and he seems to be in no pain, his leg is still swollen up a little past his hock. He's been on two sets of different antibiotics and we had his leg in a poultice the first four days. I've attached a picture. You can see that he has lost a lot of the hair on his leg and the skin is somewhat raw. I am having a new vet come out to see him again tomorrow. It never hurts to get a second opinion.

I also had a friend at the stable mention Back on Track no bow wraps. She has had luck with them on her horse and a friend's horse that had cellulitis. I am curious if anyone out there has used these? Apparently they help increase circulation.

To complicate matters, the leg with the cellulitis also has ringbone in the ankle joint. So his leg is always a little swollen here, although the ringbone has been managed fine with exercise and GrandFlex supplements.

My TB, Teddy, eats very well, lots of hay and Purina Strategy 3x a day, along with grass about 2 hrs per day.

I would love to hear from anyone who has dealt with this in their horse and what worked and what didn't. I've read lots so far. This is a difficult issue - even when humans get it!

Thank you.
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    08-02-2010, 01:43 AM
Ouch poor thing. I have never heard of this. What is it exactly and how do they get it?
    08-02-2010, 04:33 AM
Its a bacterial infection, usually there is a small cut or scrape that seals up and gets infected.

The best thing for it in my experience is oral SMZ antibiotic tablets, crushed up and mixed in applesauce, peanut butter or a bit of cake icing.

Also, you need to help reduce the swelling in 2 ways- hosing it down at least 10 minutes twice daily, and exercise. I know it sounds odd but if you can exercise him- either riding or lunging- it will help pump the lymph fluid up and out. If you can get him out for a 10 minute gallop every day I bet it will drastically improve. You need to get his heart rate up so it can help pump the fluid out.
    08-02-2010, 08:55 AM
Appreciate the advice

Yes, that is what I have read. We need to get the fluid pumped out. I went to throw a saddle on him last week and the other girls in the barn gave me a really hard time. They thought it was a horrible idea.

He doesn't seem to be in any pain though. When I turned him out last night to run around the arena he whinnied and did a fast trot and then got down and rolled. Seemed pretty happy to me.

Thanks for the advice.
    08-02-2010, 10:59 AM
I rode a TB with the same thing while on an equestrian team. Apparently he'd had it for a long time, and his hair and skin had adapted to the swollen limb (although I suspect his looked more like yours at one point). His leg was about twice the size of your horse, but he rode just fine, even jumped small x's. It 'looked' bad to everyone, and people would question my coach's sanity at shows, but he honestly never complained about it. She had him checked, re-checked, and checked again. It didn't compromise his movement or health much I guess. I loved riding him, he was very responsive, never sluggish. Other than having an experience with a TB who had it, I don't know much about the science behind it and my guess is that each case can be very different. Good luck! I hope it all turns out well.
    08-03-2010, 01:58 AM
I was reading this morning that TB are really prone to Cellulitis, and its almost always in the hind limb. I wonder if there isn't a genetic part of it?

I would throw a saddle on and have a good gallop, I bet it will really help!

I was bitten by a feral cat about 6 years ago right into my thumb joint. I went on IV antibiotics but got cellulitis. It was hard to get rid of.
    08-03-2010, 07:59 AM
I have no experience dealing with cellulitis. I do have experience with back on track bandages.

I have used them several times when treating check ligament injuries.
I know several people who swear by them so I bought them. I think they do help.

Do you have anyone at your barn that has a set you can try so you do not have to buy them to see if you like them?
    08-03-2010, 10:57 AM
I'm at a new barn - this is day 4, so I don't know anyone well enough to feel like I can borrow or try their stuff. You know? A new vet came out yesterday and looked at Teddy. She wasn't very optimistic that we could get the swelling back to normal, but I told her as long as Teddy is otherwise healthy and in no pain, that would be good enough for me. She gave him a steroid shot and gave me another I will give to him tonight along with packets of Dexamethasone to put in his feed every other day for a week. We'll give it a try! Also, cold hosing isn't doing anything so she suggested warm water instead. It is supposed to be 101 today in St. Louis, so I might wait until the late evening for that.

After paying off all my vet bills I will probably try the back on track bandages. The vet did suggest regular exercise which we have been doing and I can get on and ride him. Last night I turned him out to the arena to do some longeing and he took off at a fast trot and ran around. He looked great. No problems. Just a fat leg.
    08-03-2010, 11:00 AM
I assume you are wrapping it using normal standing wraps at this point?

More turn out might benefit him too. Moving around will help his body work thru this.

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