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Discussion Starter #1
My 12 year old Gelding Quarter horse "Rebel" has an abcess on the inside of his right leg but higher up, closer towards his... you know what... Anways, I've tried cleaning it and stuff and it'll go away and I'll think it's gone, then POOF it's back.. I tried letting his own body fight it off, and it goes away, then it's back. I talked to my farrier and he said a shot of Pencillin would help, as an antibiotic to help me fight it off. Would that help? I just wanted to ask, if you don't think it would help I'm going to have a vet come out here this week. Money has been kinda tight, but I can just afford it now. I'd like to avoid it if possible, I sure she's just going to give me some antibotics and tell me to keep cleaning it out. So if I can get some antibiotics from the feed shop then I am pretty sure I could heal it myself. If you know of any other antibiotic I could buy from the store I would appreciate it! I feel so bad for him, like I said it doesn't hurt him I can clean it and spray it and he doesn't flinch but it NEEDS to be taken care of. Please don't chew me out for not taking him to the vet right away, it won't change what has happened. I've been working dillegantly on keeping it clean and antibiotic spray and everything. Thank you.
 

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You cant get a strong enough antibiotic unless you get a perscription so you'll need to talk to the vet either way.

From my experience with it, you need more then once penecillian shot. My vet usually gave me two weeks worth for a horse I had with a lymph infection. Some horses are allergic so I wouldnt do this without supervision.
 

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You cant get a strong enough antibiotic unless you get a perscription so you'll need to talk to the vet either way.

From my experience with it, you need more then once penecillian shot. My vet usually gave me two weeks worth for a horse I had with a lymph infection. Some horses are allergic so I wouldnt do this without supervision.


Penecillin shots are usually given for a week but no more then two weeks for an infection. For a major infection, usually a shot is given twice a day for a couple of days and also the injection should be done around the same time each day. I would contact a vet through before doing anything drastic (like giving shots of penecillian)

Also penicillian must be given in the muscle and can kill the horse if it hits the blood stream- so if you arent comfortable with shots I would ask the vet to show you how to properly give one.

I hope you can find what the problem is soon
 

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You cant get a strong enough antibiotic unless you get a perscription so you'll need to talk to the vet either way.
Seriously? We can purchase PenG at the local farm supply store.

ONE shot of PenG will not be enough. Might tamp down the infection for a bit but it will not get rid of it.

There are also different types of infection that require a particular antibiotics - PenG, SMZ, uniprim, oxytect, etc.

If the infection comes and goes - it may be something more serious deeper in the leg. Probably worth a vet visit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow, thank you guys! That's very helpfull! I do remember my farrier saying it would take more than one shot now that you mention it. Does anyone know that average price the shots run for, just out of curiosity? Also, do you think it would help to call and ask my vet for advice on the dosing? Is a vet allowed to do that over the phone? Thank you everyone, you are being so helpfull!!
 

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Most nonperscription anitbiotics are over used, which leads to resistence.

My vet gives advice over the phone all the time.
This is true, and thanks I'm definatly going to call my vet first and get information on dosing or whether I do it or not, so that he doesn't become resistant to it.
 

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ONE shot of PenG will not be enough. Might tamp down the infection for a bit but it will not get rid of it.

This is exactly why you don't want to give antibiotics without a prescription. If you use the wrong type or dose of antibiotic, you could kill the weaker bacteria and then the strong, resistant ones grow. This is how we get antibiotic resistance and it can make the infection harder to treat if you have a penicillan resistant bug. Also, as has been mentioned wounds that come and go are serious and need to be addressed by the vet. It could be a sequestrum, there are several other threads on the board about these.
 

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In addition to what was said above about resistance, etc., abscesses usually need to be drained - this will require the vet to do it correctly (it will need to be numbed with lidocaine). In people medicine that is the #1 treatment for most abscesses. True abscesses don't respond well to antibiotics without draining because there is no blood flow to the center of the "pocket of pus". This is also why his body can't fight it off completely. Antibiotics aren't really necessary if the abscess is adequately drained. BTW - in people, penicillins usually aren't a good choice for skin type infections - you would probably need a sulfa drug (tucoprim) or a cephalosporin.

Also, what are you cleaning it with and how often? My patients (the people kind) often cause more problems than they treat with overzealous cleaning. Peroxide and many other antibacterial cleaners can cause more problems because they kill healthy tissue as well as the germs. This can actually cause wounds to take longer to heal, so they shouldn't really be used other than as an initial cleaner, if then. Soap and water once, maybe twice a day is better - and no scrubbing. Plus, keeping hands off is usually the best bet - people tend to introduce more germs when they "mess with" skin infections a bunch.

Of courses, all of this is assuming its actually a true abscess instead of something like cellulitis which really can't be drained. I'm just throwing out ideas here - hopefully some of it is helpful. Call the vet and good luck!
 

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BTW - it isn't that the horse will become resistant to it, its that the bacteria do. The sad thing is that there are a lot of resistant bacteria out there (because of incorrect use and overuse of antibiotics) and the person or animal won't have necessarily had to ever have taken an antibiotic to be infected with a resistant strain.

Sorry, I don't mean to rant (antibiotic resistance is a huge issue in my work life). I'm really glad you're asking these questions and it sounds like you're trying to take good care of your baby. There's nothing wrong with trying to treat him yourself at first - we do that around here all the time. Again, good luck.
 

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I've gotten penG for about 10-35 dollars; depending on the size bottle you get, it will be more or less.

You can also get OxyTet in alot of farm\fleet supply stores, however this is an extremely powerful, and painful (when given under the skin) drug, so unless the PenG doesn't work, I wouldn't use this one...You can also get this in powder form, but I haven't had much success feeding it to livestock...The shot is usually a one time shot as well, or is given every other day, for a 5 day period.

I use antibiotics as a 'last' resort when it comes to most infections; there are other ways of treating them successfully, however, considering you've been battling this for some time, it is definitely time to try something else. Perhaps get a blood panel run on your horse to rule out lymph issues, and get the 'stuff' in the abcess tested, to ensure you can treat it successfully this time around. Best wishes, and hope your boy feels better soon!!!:D
 

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Not sure what state you live in, but some states you can not just buy needles for syringes with out a prescription. Before you buy the antibiotics at the farm store make sure you have a way to give it.

I think your best bet is to simply call the vet and pay the vet to come out if necessary.

I have no issues with people treating things on their own when they know what they are dealing with and how to treat it, but you do not know either.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In addition to what was said above about resistance, etc., abscesses usually need to be drained
It is draining, that's why I think I've got it handled because it'll go away then it'll start draining again. (Sorry for the detail) but a yellowish green pus. Both my friend who have delt with horses her entire life and my farrier said an abcess.

Also, what are you cleaning it with and how often?
I was using epsom salt in warm water with a soft rag to get the stuff out of the wound. Then after I got it clean I'd put a blue lotion antibiotic spray for horses on it. I haven't been doing it too often now because it obviously wasn't helping that much and I wasn't sure if I was making it worse.:?

Plus, keeping hands off is usually the best bet - people tend to introduce more germs when they "mess with" skin infections a bunch.
I probably didn't help it much, but I didn't do a lot of hands on with it. Like I said I'd just clean it out with the epsom salt water (something a vet had recommended to me with a problem like this once).

Sorry, I don't mean to rant (antibiotic resistance is a huge issue in my work life). I'm really glad you're asking these questions and it sounds like you're trying to take good care of your baby. There's nothing wrong with trying to treat him yourself at first - we do that around here all the time. Again, good luck.
No, no, no! That's absolutly fine!! Anything and everything I can learn helps!:D Thank you very much for your help!:)

Not sure what state you live in, but some states you can not just buy needles for syringes with out a prescription. Before you buy the antibiotics at the farm store make sure you have a way to give it.
We were able to buy needles and syringes at the feed store today.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My dad bought some Penicillin from the store today, but when I started looking at it, the bottle is saying for "Beef Cattle-only" :shock:

The stuff I've been finding online (not nessesarily from this site:wink:) has been saying all different kinds of stuff. My dad was hesitant to call the vet because he was worried she wasn't going to help or get upset since we weren't actually calling her to come look at him. But Rebel (my horse) has delt with something like this before so we're hoping she'll be more flexible since she's seen what's going on. I've been prodding and he's going to call her today:) So no worries, I'm definatly talking to a professional before I take any actions!!!
 

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It is draining, that's why I think I've got it handled because it'll go away then it'll start draining again. (Sorry for the detail) but a yellowish green pus. Both my friend who have delt with horses her entire life and my farrier said an abcess.
Even though it's draining on it's own, it may still need to be surgically drained. The fact that it keeps going away and coming back probably means that it isn't draining adequately on it's own. Don't worry about the gross details - they are helpful.

I'm glad you're calling the vet. I think most vets are pretty understanding that you try to do stuff on your own first. Mine prefers it that way (he's the only vet for an area that covers more than 2 rural counties) because he's just too busy. I've had my horses 7 months and he hasn't been able to get out here yet - but he helps me via phone, etc. I doubt yours will be upset with you. Just don't let problems get completely out of hand before you call, but it doesn't sound like you have.

I would get a thermometer you can use on the horse and have the vet show you how to take his temp (don't let go of the thermometer :shock:!). Have the vet tell you what temp is high enough that you should call him/her. A skin abscess that is causing a fever really should be treated by a vet. Let us know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I would get a thermometer you can use on the horse and have the vet show you how to take his temp (don't let go of the thermometer :shock:!). Have the vet tell you what temp is high enough that you should call him/her.
I have a thrmometer, and already took his temperature.:D And no worries I have a very long string tied onto the end of the thermometer aswell for extra security!:wink: Anyways, his temperature was normal.

Let us know how it turns out.
Well, I called the vet back with his temperature and the location his owie was draining from. It was the same spot that closer to a year ago she had to cut a spot and let it drain because he had an issue right there. She said that it probably didn't heal all the way, and that the reason any of this happened at all is because something went wrong in his gelding. They are the ones who gelded him a year or so ago and when they looked at the records and we described what's going on, they are almost %100 positive that his gelding went wrong. They are willing (if that's the problem) to redo his surgery for free.

So... They want us to take Rebel to a boarding stable about an hour and a half drive from my house. This place is closer to their office, so they can keep an eye on Rebel throughout the day and he'd have a clean area to heal. If it isn't something having to do with the gelding, then they are still going to treat it there, but we're going to have to pay for it.

Since we don't have a trailer, today we're meeting up with a friend and she's going to let us borrow her trailer. Then we'll probably trailer Rebel down there either monday or tuesday. They want to do surgery on tuesday if that's the problem. I'm hoping he doesn't have to stay down there longer than a week because I don't like the thought of my baby being so far away from me in a strange place being taken care of by strange people.:-(

Thank you all for being so helpfull!
 

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Cleaning with the epsom salts is good! it's just the right way to clean it. Stay away from topical pastes though, those will just inhibit drainage.
As far as for antibiotics, I've always just used Sulfa (Trimethoprim in combination with either sulfamethoxazole (SMZ) or sulfadiazine (SDZ)). They come in tablets, you crush them up, miz them with hot water and then syringe them into the horse's mouth. They are quite inexpensive, but you do need a prescription, and a vet to order them.
Good luck! And I'm glad you've consulted a vet.
 

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Rather than epsoms salts which can actually HARM tissues, you would be better off to clean the area with either betadine or chlorhexidine solution with water added. (For betadine, you add water until it's a weak tea color and for chlorhexidine you want it to be barely blue.) If you are damaging tissues while cleaning you will actually prolong the healing. Epsom salts are great for soaking feet, but not a great choice for cleaning wounds.

I would be that there is some foreign material in the area that is causing the repeat abcessations or possibly a piece of necrotic tissue. Abcesses only become repeat if there is something still there to cause it and without removing the cause they will continue.
 

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Rather than epsoms salts which can actually HARM tissues, you would be better off to clean the area with either betadine or chlorhexidine solution with water added. (For betadine, you add water until it's a weak tea color and for chlorhexidine you want it to be barely blue.) If you are damaging tissues while cleaning you will actually prolong the healing. Epsom salts are great for soaking feet, but not a great choice for cleaning wounds.

I would be that there is some foreign material in the area that is causing the repeat abcessations or possibly a piece of necrotic tissue. Abcesses only become repeat if there is something still there to cause it and without removing the cause they will continue.
I've always been told to use Epsom salts at a ratio with warm water which makes it saline. "For wounds, the flushing action, heat, and salinity inhibit proliferation of bacteria. It reduces inflammation as well as helps debride and oxidize wounds." I can understand that at an overly salty ratio, it could damage tissue by drying it, but at a saline ratio it would not dry anything out.
I've always been one to stay away from prolonged use of betadine with wounds because it can damage tissues and delay healing. I've also only ever user chlorhexidine to treat sweet itch..
Because it is an abscess the use of something bacteriostatic is the most imperative thing, so I think that any of these three solutions would work. It's when you're healing the wound and not treating it that you want to be the most careful about tissue damage. At this point keeping the horse from going septic is most important.
I'd get an opinion from your vet.
 
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