Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dawn's Not Quite Right, and Another Vet Visit

This morning, Dawn had a new small area of swelling on the bottom surface of her neck several inches below her chin, and by this afternoon it was larger, extending for about 5 or 6 inches down her neck.  And several of the pleated areas on the side of her neck were hot and clearly sore to the touch.  And although she didn't have a temperature, her demeanor was slightly depressed and she wasn't herself - she was quieter than normal and not as bright-eyed.  I called the vet, and fortunately, our regular vet was on call and came very quickly.  She agreed with me that swelling and heat shouldn't be returning after 4 days on antibiotics, and that it was clear that things weren't heading in the right direction.

So Dawn will be switching to a new injectable antibiotic tomorrow (details later), and tonight the vet, in addition to drawing blood to check her status, also sedated her and gave her DMSO through a nasogastric tube to help the inflammation and swelling.  We've bumped her bute back up to 2 grams morning and evening, and I'll also be doing a DMSO sweat on the pleated and swollen parts of her neck.  Once she's recovered from sedation, she can eat her normal rations and hay, and can go to turnout.  The vet said the DMSO should make her feel a bit better by tomorrow.

I think she's going to be fine, but this cellulitis (or vasculitis - the vet said it could be either) is hard to get under control, and takes careful watching.

13 comments:

  1. Cellulitis is a bear. Good luck. It's been a number of years since we had to deal with it but I still remember the penicillin shots and the worry.

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  2. Oh darn, I'm sorry to hear that. I hope the treatment works and she's back to being her beautiful self quickly.

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  3. So sorry about the additional complication. Hopefully your girl will be back to her sassy self in no time!

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  4. Poor Dawn. She must feel miserable. I hope the new treatment works for her and she heals quickly. Good luck.

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  5. Oh no! I hope that this new setback is controlled quickly and both of you find some relief. Good Luck!

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  6. Had cellulitis last month myself. Painful beyond description, I was sick, sick, sick. My ear and entire side of my face were swollen and hot. Tell Dawn I know how she feels and will be thinking of her.

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  7. Poor Dawn. I hope she is feeling better soon.

    What causes the cellulitis to occur?

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  8. My one experience with cellulitus (it wasn't my horse), involved a LOT of two steps forward, one step back type stuff and many changes of antibiotic and steroids. It was a long, difficult ordeal for the owner, but this mare made a complete recovery in the end. I hope Dawn does not have such a difficult path, and moves swiftly to the complete recovery--good wishes to you and her both.

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  9. Val - my understanding is that cellulitis is an infection/inflammation, most commonly in a leg, that results from the introduction of strep or staph bacteria under the skin layer, often from a very small would or scrape. Some horses can get it from having scratches (mud fever) or from an injection site. In Dawn's case, we think it was due to the wasp stings she got on her neck several days before the swelling developed.

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  10. Horses, just like children, it's tough on us when they're sick.

    Dan

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  11. Poor, poor, girl. Wishing you and Dawn all the best with this. Hope the new medication does the trick quickly.

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  12. I hope Dawn is feeling better after the latest treatment. Lucky that your regular vet was oncall. I think I'm going through something similar with my dog - a sort of staph infection that keesp coming back a couple weeks after we stop meds. For the 3rd time this summer she is back on antibiotics and prednisone. "Bacteria hotspots", as the vet described, keep popping up when we go off meds.

    I do hope Dawn kicks this infection soon.

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  13. Hoping the treatments work sooner then later, poor girl!

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