Joint ill/naval infection in 2 week old colt any advice would be appreciated - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Joint ill/naval infection in 2 week old colt any advice would be appreciated

I am currently research information/help in regards to jount ill/naval infection for a friend of mine. Her two week old colt has been diagnosed with this he has had his left knee joint drained twice and puss with chunks can out the first time and the second time just puss. He is on antibiotic injections (not sure what kind) but I am looking for any advice anyone has regarding this. Thank u in advance and if you need more info just ask and I'll try an provide whatever I can. We are just trying to get all the info we can do we can help this little guy pull thru.
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 09:51 PM
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Ok I can't tell exactly what the problem is fromm your post, but something I'm familiar with is foals getting infected navals/umbilical cords, that lead to infection in other parts of the body. But infection in foals this way is bad news, bad, it can just be from having a foal life down in wet environment and bacteria enters through an umbilicalmcordnthat hasn't been sprayed in iodine when the foal was born. But if you already have the little guy on antibiotics this is about all you can do I would say... I know if not caught soon enough you can have a dead foal very very quickly. Infection in the joint is also very dangerous because untreated can lead to early on set arthritis in joints, meaning no soundness in future.

Good luck though hope little guy pulls through!
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 10:53 PM
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I have dealt with naval / joint ill many times.

Has the antibiotic been injected directly into the joint(s) affected? They must be treated directly into the joint.

The usual method (and the way our Vet has successfully treated it) is to do 2 or 3 joint lavage treatments using saline mixed with the appropriate antibiotic. One large needle is put in one side of the joint (the side facing down as the foal lays there and an IV bottle with the antibiotic / saline mix is run in another smaller needle on the opposite side of the joint. When clear saline mix is coming out of the big needle for a good while, it is pulled out and one person keeps pressure on it to prevent leaking. A pure antibiotic is then injected into the joint through the smaller needle and the joint is wrapped. If you are treating a knee, the leg should be wrapped from the hoof to above the knee and the top of the wrap should be held in place with duct tape or Elastikon.

We have had the best response when our Vet used Crystalin Chloramphenicol It mixes readily with warm saline if you know how to do it. [It 'glumps' if you don't do it right.] A compounding Pharmacist can make a Chloramphenicol paste to give orally (we used 1 gram 2 x a day). When the joint stops building fluid and the temperature comes down in the foal and the last lavage was clear from the start of it, the foal is ready to go on 10 more days of oral Chaloramphenicol.

Our Vet highly recommended injecting the joints of the foals treated after they got all better. He used Hyaluronic Acid because he said if you did not, they seldom held up to training. Some of them don't anyway -- even if all fever, high white counts and swellings completely disappear. After a joint infection, the joint fluid has a lighter viscosity and that should be addressed with HA injections.

If this foal has gone more than 1 or 2 days without very powerful antibiotics injected directly into its joint, it may not ever be sound or get much better. These things really need to be treated very aggressively and very early.

I probably do not have to tell you that this is a very grave condition with a 'guarded' to poor prognosis -- especially if it was not treated very early and very aggressively.

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post #4 of 9 Old 05-22-2012, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your responses, I will be sure to pass this info onto my friend. I know they are removing the liquid/puss that is occurring on the joint but not sure if they are flushing it with antibiotics. I went up and as the little man today and he seems in good spirits wanting to playing and everything but he wasn't putting wieght on that hind leg and it's alittle swollen. I am gonna go back up there tomorrow morning and see how everything is going and what the vet is saying, and let the owner know what you guys have recommended. Thank you again you have left me with a great deal of info, I'll update tomorrow :)
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-22-2012, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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The little guy is doing better, there still is some swelling but the antibiotics seem to be working, he is running around and playing and being a sweet little guy.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-22-2012, 09:59 PM
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Good news!
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-03-2012, 11:03 PM
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This is why as another said, iodine needs to be sprayed on navel cord ASAP after birth, so this is prevented.

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post #8 of 9 Old 06-04-2012, 12:15 AM
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FYI, you can dip the navel multiple times and STILL end up with an infected navel.

I know because it happened to my foal. I dipped the stump 2-3 times and thought everything was fine until several days or more after he was born (I don't remember the exact time frame) his navel (which was slightly swollen but not alarming by any means) ruptured with a nasty flow of pus. I freaked out and called the vet and then noticed what caused the infection- every time he urinated he would get a little urine leaking out the navel stump. It is called a patent urachus and I didn't even know that existed before my foal was born.

Anyhow, I just didn't want anyone to think that a navel infection is automatically a result of not treating the navel stump. Sometimes it happens even when you do things "right."
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-04-2012, 07:42 AM
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Yes! You can get joint ill and/or navel ill even in an attended birth (with Iodine applied immediately) in a clean foaling stall. Been there -- Done that.

The key is to treat any problem in a foal under 10 days old as a medical emergency.. Any scours, droopy appearance, or a mare with a bag that is too full should be a red flag and an owner should take a foal's temp 2-4 times a day when any of the above are seen.

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