On 29th January 2021, one of our vets, Grace O’Donovan, was called out to a stallion that had become stuck down in his stable overnight. Macho had become stuck in the corner of his stable but was also suffering from lymphangitis of his right hind leg, making it difficult for him to stand up. The highly skilled animal rescue team of West Sussex Fire and Rescue were quickly in attendance to assist getting Macho to his feet. Macho was heavily sedated and moved onto skids so he could be moved to an area where we could assist him in standing up. Macho was extremely painful on his very swollen right hind, so a decision was made to assist him when he stood up using strops and a tractor.
Lymphangitis is an extremely painful condition causing inflammation of the lymph vessels and lymph nodes, usually in a hindlimb. Generally, but not always, there is a break in the skin or dermatitis which allows infection to get through the skin and into the lymphatic system. Once the infection affects the lymph nodes and lymph vessels it restricts the drainage in the leg causing the leg to swell. Lymphangitis is characterised by a ‘tree-trunk’ leg, pain when feeling the lymph nodes at the top of the leg, a high temperature and the horse can often appear ill, depressed and off their food.
Early intervention and treatment is essential in these cases.
We are pleased to report that Macho was released into the care of his own vet and is making a good recovery.