01-22-2007, 09:19 PM
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HELP: Swelling in neck, chest, front legs, & underbelly
My name is Becky and I am new to this site. Sorry to jump straight into the problems but we are having somewhat of a medical mystery or emergency here on our farm. I have a 10 year old TB mare who developed signs of an upper respiratory infection 3 weeks ago. She was coughing a lot and was coughing up mucous. We had the vet out who put her on antibiotics and also gave a steroid shot. He left the medication with us and advised on 10cc a day given in an IM shot. About 4 days into the shots she seemed to have a reaction to the medication and went down. There was swelling on her underbelly and chest area. We had the vet come out and he wanted her to be brought to his clinic for blood work. The blood work came back clean-no elevation in the white blood cell count-but it showed something wrong with her muscle enzymes which we were told came from her lack of eating. At that time, the vet thought that the swelling was just coincidental. When she left the vet's office he put her on Sulfadiazine/Trimethoprim powder and Flunixin Meglumine paste. Less than a week later we woke up to find her looking absolutely miserable with her head practically on the ground. We immediately called the vet who came out that afternoon. The swelling had then migrated into her front legs as well. I thought it came from her standing around during her sickness but the vet didn't seem to think this was where it was coming from. That day he put her on 10cc of Gentamicin given in an IM shot daily. That was last Sunday when we began treatment with the Gentamicin (1/14/2007). Her appetite and personality have seemed to respond to the treatment but the swelling is not going away-it has now spread futher up her chest and into her neck but it has not progressed any futher back on her body. The swelling has spread to these areas in the last 24 hours. Tonight we had him out to check her progress and he wants to send her to the state vet college to have them take a look at her. He does not think that this is any type of infection or cold in her lungs as we previously thought. We all seem to be stumped. The vet is one of the best in the area and I trust his judgement, I'm just hoping that someone reading this has had a similar situation or might be able to point us in a direction that doesn't involve shipping her from the farm. We have another horse in the pasture with her-her 2 1/2 year old baby and he is doing just fine, not showing any signs of anything wrong. She also shares the space with 3 small goats, 4 dogs, and 2 cats. This is my baby and she means the world to me, I know I will do what ever is possible for her but I'm afraid that I am putting her through a lot of travel and the poking and prodding of testing for nothing-I sometimes feel like I am fighting a losing battle. Please, if you've ever seen anything like this let me know. Thanks in advance.