Our lovely Sapphire developed cellulitis a few weeks ago in her left hind leg. Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that occurs underneath the skin, often from a small wound. Unfortunately, Sapphire is just not as able to fight off infection due to her age, and while we do inspect the horses daily, sometimes a very small cut can end up becoming a larger issue with horses like Sapphire who have compromised immune systems.
We had the vet out, who put on a “sweat wrap” on the leg and gave us some antibiotics and steroids. We have been rinsing the leg with a cold hose everyday and walking her daily, and while the leg was no longer as tender, and she seemed comfortable walking, the swelling was just not going down. This week we had the vet out again, who put her on a different antibiotic, and wrapped the leg again. Thankfully, the swelling does appear to be going down, although we still need to continue giving her the antibiotic for another week. We need to continue with the cold bath and hand walking for another week as well.
If the swelling does not go down by the end of next week, we will need to consult with the vet again to determine another course of action. Thankfully Sapphire seems comfortable, even though the leg is a bit swollen, and the biggest issue we are having is dealing with her eating the antibiotic. We’ve been trying to get her to eat it in her grain, which worked for a few days. Then we tried holding the feed bucket in front of her while she ate; then we put a bunch of molasses in the grain; for the next few days we are just going to dissolve it in water and put it in a syringe and give it to her like we would a wormer as that seems to be the easiest course of action. Overall, however, Sapphire seems to be in good spirits and seems comfortable, and we are hopeful that she will soon get over this temporary issue, and will be back to pushing Tamahome and Ruby around the paddock.