Posts Tagged ‘cellulitis’

Sterling’s Legs

Sterling’s legs have gotten a LOT of attention over the past week! As I posted previously he was crazy lame last Tuesday evening with what we suspected to be cellulitis. The vet came to see him on Wednesday afternoon and confirmed the cellulitis AND that it was caused by a 3″ deep puncture wound. So that “scrape” was actually 3″ deep and had hit the bone. The vet was concerned that there was damage to the bone, but wanted to wait a few days to see if there were symptoms to indicate bone damage. Sterling got put on a regimen of antibiotics twice a day, steroids with a pain killer for four days, then every other day for eight days, cold hosing twice daily, a furazone/DMSO sweat application and leg wrapping if/when the swelling moved from his forearm down to the cannon bone and finally medication IN the puncture wound.

Sterling’s much improved leg.

His lameness improved within 24 hours of treatment and by Sunday evening the swelling was nearly entirely gone. Hallelujah! He HATES the oral antibiotic, but isn’t a complete jerk about letting me give it to him. He also really hates the powder medication on his feed, but after pawing at it, flipping his feed pan over and pouting in the corner for about an hour, he usually finishes it, too. I combine applesauce with his feed when he gets to powder and, in my head, it helps the meds taste better. By Day 4 he wasn’t going to let me stick anything else in the puncture wound, which was fine because the wound scabbed over entirely by Day 5.

My regular vet had been out of town for the cellulitis/puncture fiasco, but had been scheduled to come over this week to look at some soreness Sterling had in his back at the last horse show. After a full lameness evaluation my vet concluded that Sterling has soreness in his hocks that he is compensating for and is causing the back pain. This isn’t terribly uncommon for a horse of Sterling’s age (11) so I wasn’t surprised that we will now be doing hock injections a couple times a year.

Hock injection number 1.

For these injections the horse is sedated to prevent any unnecessary wiggling while being stabbed in the hock. Each hock gets two injections, one on the inside and one on the outside. It is an intra-articular injection which means it goes directly into the joint to reduce inflammation and pain. Most likely the injections will need to continue for the rest of his life at an interval of about every 6 months, but that may depend on his work load. Most people in the sport horse world will tell you that joint injections are a matter of “when” not “if” they need to happen.

You can see here where the injection was done. The hair is wet and there is some blood.

After the injections my vet recommended that Sterling stay in his stall for the day and he can resume work again after about three days. Considering the puncture wound/cellulitis issue combined with the hock injections I’m probably going to wait to ride him until next week.

The aftermath of injections.

Another one of the joys of having a grey/white horse is that after something like injections you can see the blood, even though there was hardly any. His poor hind legs look like he participated in some weird ritual leaving him with four small blood spots on the same part of each hind leg. He’s so done with me fussing with his legs that I didn’t want to fight with him to wash them off.

Nice legs!

Now that his cellulitis swelling is completely gone and he’s one dose away from finishing his oral antibiotics I’ll get him cleaned up soon. He’s not the best horse patient (that would be Coco), but he isn’t horrible (Jaguar is HORRIBLE to do his teeth. HORRIBLE). I’m looking forward to riding him next week. Daylight Savings PLUS a sound horse make me happy. 🙂

I’ll have an update on Coco’s vet visit later, too. She didn’t want to be left out of all the fun.

 

Cellulitis?

Last Thursday Sterling came in from turnout with a pretty good gash on his left front forearm. It was a couple inches wide and deeper than a scrape. I cold hosed it for a few minutes. Scrubbed the crud off and lathered it with Corona cream. The next morning I did basically the same thing, but instead of Corona cream I put Furazone on it in favor of something with more antibacterial properties. I didn’t really wash it again, but kept it gooped with Furazone and checked it at feeding time. All seemed well. It had a good scab on it and looked to be healing well.

Until yesterday. Boot City had put the horses up from turnout and fed them and hadn’t noticed anything terribly awry. I went out after dinner to put blankets (or coats, as Boot City likes to call them) on the horses because it was going to get down to the 30’s overnight. When I went to put Sterling’s blanket on he very awkwardly and slowly evaded me and went into his stall run. I just stood there staring at him, terrified that it was something neurologically wrong. He pooped in his run (horse people are ALWAYS happy to see horses poop, no matter the situation) and slowly limped back into his stall. I looked more closely at his cut and sure enough his entire forearm down to his knee was swollen.

I immediately called my vet (yay, at 9p, the cheapest time to call the vet) and thankfully we determined that it was probably cellulitis and didn’t absolutely require that he see the vet RIGHT NOW. I had medicines on hand that we could start dosing him with and could cold hose and put topical meds on his leg.

Mind you, my plan for this particular evening had been to talk to Boot City about showing at Pin Oak for the first time. Well, Sterling nipped that right in the bud. Now I just hope he’s sound and can go to the Southwest Classic show in Fort Worth at the end of May. My regular vet is out of town, but a different vet from the same clinic is going to look at him this afternoon. Sterling and I would both appreciate positive thoughts, prayers, good mojo, whatever you want to send our way that might encourage healing and future soundness!

Dang horses sure do keep us humble! And I welcome any advice on treating cellulitis, however I DO NOT want to hear any of your horror stories. Thank you in advance. 😉