My gelding has a very swollen sheath and is quite lame and I really need some suggestions as to what it could be , some history on his case :
Two weeks ago I came home from work and my husband said your horse is lame you better go check it. So I went straight out to the paddock and my gelding was lame in his left front leg. I had ridden him a couple of days before and suspected a bruised foot or similar and wasn't to worried.
The next day on checking him he was noticably sore in both front feet. He was shifting weight between the two feet and very uncomfortable and unwilling to walk. I called the vet who suspected either bruising or slight laminitis. We were given a weeks worth of bute in sachets 1 twice a day.
The soreness did not improve at all with the bute. There was no heat in any feet at any stage.
A few days later he seemed to be getting sore in the back legs also. The next day ( 6 days after the first signs of lameness ) he was unable to walk at all and would just stand and shift weight between all four feet. Still no heat ( but still on bute ) (I have not noticed the poor fella lay down at all and he is just out our back window so we can watch him all day. )
Called the vet again and his diagnosis laminitis , we had made a yard 6 days prior and he had been locked up since. I had already started him on fouderguard a couple of days after first vet visit just incase. And the vet this time gave us bute in paste form twice a day 5 mls and ulcerguard 15mls twice a day. And he gave us an anti histamine to inject for 5 days.
Two days later he wasn't looking much better and his sheath area had swollen up. Two more days and no improvement except that he could walk slighty easier, very stiff and sore looking. Also a couple of times he had shown a few colicey signs and wasnt having much poos and those he was doing were not looking to flash.
So another vet visit and started on parrafin oil and bran mash for the colic and assuming the colic is secondary to everything else ??? Bloods taken and the results were an elevated liver reading ( sorry don't know which one and the technical terms ) but the vet says it was only 150 above normal and that that was not much and could be put down to the colicy symptoms. Also elevated muscular reading, apparently there are two and normal is 450 and 500 and his readings were 550 and 750. So once again only slighty elevated but on the pathology results it said "horse down ???"
We just continued on with the same regime and it is now 4 days later and exactly two weeks since the first signs of lameness, he is still very sore on all four feet, seemingly the back are worse, he continously shifts weight from one foot to the next and when he shifts the back feet he lifts them quite high, almost stringhalty. He is walking slighty better , very slow and careful and a bit wonky. Still not great poos, but most concerning he has a very swollen sheath and penis and now today the swelling is also on his tummy infront of the sheath. He is urinating and is eating well and does not seem unhappy in himself. He is drinking and tonight we have had to set up the electric fence cause he would like to escape so some signs of improvement.
Any ideas please, I am scratching my head and just can't work it out. This horse has never foundered and I have had him for about 8 yrs, he's had some back problems in the past and colic once before but from eating dirt in the summer. He seems to come good a little bit then something worse happens, please help, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
And Does anyone know if laminitis causes swollen sheaths??