Last month, our lovely Sapphire developed some swelling along her leg. There didn’t appear to be any cut or heat, so we wrapped it, thinking maybe that she had cast herself. The following day, however, the leg was *MORE* swollen, so we knew that there was something else going on, including cellulitis (a bacterial infection that is under the skin). We had the vet out, who confirmed the diagnosis of cellulitis, and wrapped the entire leg and started Sapphire on antibiotics and steroids. She could not find any cut, just like we could not, but she did say it could have been a very small cut that healed quickly, but that got infected nonetheless. Older horses like Sapphire whose immune systems are somewhat compromised because of their age or other health issues are often at risk of cellulitis.
We handwalked Sapphire for 10-15 minutes per day and, once the wrap came off, also rinsed it with cold water for 15 minutes every day. Sapphire quickly became more comfortable walking on the leg, but after about ten days, the leg was still swollen. We had the vet out again, who started Sapphire on a different type of antibiotic and continued the steriods. She also wrapped the leg again, and we continued the handwalking and cold water rinse.
Thankfully, after a few more weeks, we are pleased to note that Sapphire’s leg seems to be back to normal, and she seems to be feeling much better! She is trotting and cantering in the arena now, and the leg no longer seems to be bothering her at all. We are happy to see our beautiful princess back to normal!