Rocky Bay Equine Newsletter, August 2017
Ahhhh, those long summer days!

What a great time of year!  We hope you are all having a fun and rewarding summer of riding and showing and enjoying your animals.   

A horse with a sore leg means no riding today.  There can be a number of different reasons for the soreness to occur including foot trauma / abscess, tendon or ligament injury, foreign object like a nail in the hoof.  Recently we have seen a number of cases with a sudden onset of swelling in one leg and significant lameness.  The rule – outs in these cases are fracture, soft tissue trauma and bacterial cellulitis.  Fortunately bacterial cellulitis is the most common cause and also comes with a favorable prognosis with proper treatment.  Bacterial cellulitis as the name implies is a bacterial infection that typically lodges in a single leg and triggers a significant body reaction that results in remarkable swelling of the affected leg and pain.  The onset is sudden rather than gradual.  A fever of greater than 102 or higher often accompanies the swelling and pain.  This is a helpful piece of information as a fracture or soft tissue trauma rarely causes a fever.  The swelling associated with bacterial cellulitis will generally involve most, if not all of the leg ,from the foot all the way to the elbow or the stifle.  The site of bacterial infection can be identified in some cases as a small puncture or scratch somewhere along the leg.  In other cases no entry point is found, and the cause is more likely to be an internal circulation of bacteria that happen to lodge in a vulnerable location in the leg. Successful treatment involves the use of antibiotics to combat the infection, NSAIDS to manage the pain and fever and topical agents to mitigate the swelling of the leg.  Treatment time ranges from a week in many cases to several weeks in the most stubborn cases.  The key is identification of the problem and working with your veterinarian to resolve the issue so you and your horse can get back to doing what you enjoy most, going for a ride.


How do you go about cleaning your tack and other leather goods?  Jacki Murphy brought to our attention that saddle soap, often used to clean leather also has a sealing quality to it that does not allow the penetration of oil after cleaning.   A cleaning agent that will also allow penetration of oil or conditioner into the leather is Castile soap.  Castile soap is a vegetable based cleaner that works well to remove dirt and grim from leather without sealing it.  Once the leather has been worked thoroughly with the Castile soap, apply an oil, such as neatsf oot oil to re-hydrate the leather.  Oiling leather is best done intermittently, as it can be hard on the stitching.  Finally, after the oil has had time to absorb into the leather, finish with a damp cloth and a small amount of saddle soap.  This will remove any remaining dirt and debris and seal the leather for protection.  Thank you Jacki for the great tip!

Rocky Bay Equine Veterinary Services     (253) 858-4529    (360) 876-1544
Vaughn / Gig Harbor, WA 98394           find us on Facebook