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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone!

I'm new here and already have some questions for y'all about my mare Shiloh. A little backstory on us: I have not had any horses of my own for the past 5 years since my two older horses I had growing up passed in 2015/2016. I took a break from riding all together when I went to college in 2017 and didn't plan on getting another horse until I graduated. A few months ago in February, a friend was wanting to part ways with a couple of his mares....it was too perfect of an offer to pass up. So I now have two lovely horses of my own again and it has been an exciting past few months getting to know these girls!

Unfortunately the flies have not been kind to them this summer here in NC. We have been dealing with a nasty case of sweet itch that the other mare, Maggie, has been recovering from this past week. Our vet prescribed several oral and topical meds that seem to be working well together!

(TLDR) Here's the issue, Shiloh has developed an oozing swollen area in front of her udders which has doubled in size since yesterday. Initially it looked like it was the beginning of sweet itch just like the spot where it started on Maggie. But it has gotten much worse very quickly and that concerns me. To add to it, her rear legs looked inflamed to me today. The fluid from the swollen area is dripping onto her legs and it looks like she has a rash from flies on that area as well now. I messaged several of my equine friends with no luck on what this could be. I cleaned the area after I took these photos with a cool rag and fresh water. She was clearly uncomfortable with me doing that, she kept moving around/stomping and licking and crewing when I did too much. She is golden when it comes to standing still for me to do anything, this is unlike her.

Photo From Yesterday:

Shiloh swelling yesterday.jpeg


Photo From Today:
1115731


I want a vet trip ASAP... but with it being Sunday that's proving to be hard to do. If anyone has an idea of what this may be your input is welcomed!!

Thanks in advance guys
 

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Other members will probably chime in quite soon but a few questions until:

1. she is still eating/drinking/pooping right now? (make note of any of them until vet comes).
2. are you tracking her heart rate?
3. are you tracking her temperature?
4. are you tracking her respiratory rate?
5. have you managed to speak to a vet and/or send them these pictures?

I definitely would be concerned just basing off the picture and how quick it's come on. The reason I'd track the above is because you can relay that info to the vet and they will be far better indicators that just plain observation if things go south (+ I'm paranoid to heck with good reason). Do you have to haul to the vets? It's so unfortunate these things happen on the weekend eh. Hope you don't mind me asking its hard to know exactly what someone is doing/knows over the internet! :) Fingers crossed.
 

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At this time of year, fly bites can quickly cause infection and that’s what that looks like.

One of my mares had some fly bites on her hind pasterns that just looked sore one day, yet even with attention, a day later, she had a case of lymphangitis that had spread right up into one side of her udder.
The entire hind leg was hugely swollen.
She’s now wearing fly boots.

I think you might need to get antibiotics for that but whatever you decide, it needs to be covered to keep the flies off it.
 

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Yes, those wounds look infected, don't know kind of bugs attacked, but she could even have larva in there eating away. I would definitely call a vet and invest in some UV rated flysheets. I was spending a small fortune on bug repellents for my horses, and they were still getting bites. I invested in a couple of good flysheets, now I use a lot less flyspray and my horses are not bit up. My horses' well being is paramount to me.
20210712_153646.jpg
 

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I would create a mix of triple antibiotic and Bag Balm, and apply very liberally all over the area. The triple antibiotic will help treat the infection and the Bag Balm is great for keeping the nasty bugs off. The fly sheets that @waresbear posted would help greatly as well. If you are on a tight budget, Chick's is having their big fly protection sale right now and you can get one for $40.

I would also have the vet out, they may want to give some additionally antibiotics to help combat that nasty swelling.
 
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Depending on how much brush she is around and how much she rolls, if some kind of netting could be attached to prevent flies from reinfecting after treatment would be good. I do have one for the belly but not sure it would reach to the area you need. But I'd bet one is available.

I'm in a dry climate but the flies have been bad this year with one horse getting an eye infection. Feed through and fly masks solved my problem but your area sounds so much worse. There are just so many flies for confined horses in smaller areas where they can't get away that some sort of management has to be done.
 
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Voodoo, Gypsy Vanner weanling; Malmsey, 15 yo arabxwelsh
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It looks like infected insect bites. Insects are BAD BAD BAD this year. Really bad. I would get your vet out to give her an antibiotic injection and treat with SWAT or Banixx. Around your horse's private areas are really sensitive and unfortunately, insects LOVE this due to sweat and thinner skin. I would also cold-hose this every day and then do your remedy.
 

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Are flies bad everywhere this year? It seems that some parts of US are getting too much rain, and where I live, in Pacific NW, we don't have enough rain! Is the over abundance of rain in Central US, South, East area the cause of unusually high numbers of flies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thought I'd leave an update if anyone here is curious, took me long enough but better late than never I suppose! First off....I really appreciate all of your responses thank you thank you! We did end up having our vet available to come check on poor Shiloh the very next morning. Turns out this swelling was an edema which was a result of a severe reaction to fly bites....shocking I know :) We also had some blood work ran and everything checked out except her WBC count was a little high so we are on antibiotics for infection now. So along with that and spot cleaning the infected areas twice a day religiously I am starting to see a bit of improvement! Our vet said that her body will slowly reabsorb the edema over the next couple of weeks and to monitor it closely. We have been battling bugs with sprays, creams, and traps this summer but can't seem to catch a break. The vet recommended fly sheets and boots which we are ordering for the girls now. While I hate that she has to deal with this, I am so relieved that this was all it was. My mind was racing and preparing for the worst diagnosis possible. Thanks again for all of your recommendations everyone!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would create a mix of triple antibiotic and Bag Balm, and apply very liberally all over the area. The triple antibiotic will help treat the infection and the Bag Balm is great for keeping the nasty bugs off. The fly sheets that @waresbear posted would help greatly as well. If you are on a tight budget, Chick's is having their big fly protection sale right now and you can get one for $40.

I would also have the vet out, they may want to give some additionally antibiotics to help combat that nasty swelling.
I'll definitely be testing that mixture out! I'm realizing now that fly sheets are a must...tough lesson learned. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Are flies bad everywhere this year? It seems that some parts of US are getting too much rain, and where I live, in Pacific NW, we don't have enough rain! Is the over abundance of rain in Central US, South, East area the cause of unusually high numbers of flies?
I know that we (western NC) are getting lengthy periods without rain and then we will have several days of nothing but storms. The bugs are exceptionally tough this year for sure. Lucky you up in the PNW, I cant say I'm not a little jealous!
 

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I'll definitely be testing that mixture out! I'm realizing now that fly sheets are a must...tough lesson learned. Thank you!
When she heals, Vick's Vapor Rub is a great thing to use too (you just don't want to use it with open wounds). In really buggy areas I opt to use vapor rub on my horses chest, in front of her teats, under her chin, and occasionally in her ears. It works great to keep bugs off of those areas that horses can't easily swat flies/gnats off of.

If NC is anything like MI lately, you probably are having the same issues with awful flies, gnats, and mosquitoes. It has been a very wet summer, but I think I prefer rain over another drought year...
 

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I'm realizing now that fly sheets are a must...tough lesson learned.
It's a good idea for all the horse to witness a fly sheet being applied to one horse. After applying one to my horse a few years back, the other horses came 'round and saw him and stampeded through a fence. With my horse chasing them since whatever they were running from must be dangerous. It finally ended not too bad but could have been much worse.
 
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