Aug 24, 2018
Another big disappointment for Danish national dressage coach Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein: no WEG Tryon for Anna Zibrandtsen and KWPN stallion Arlando (sire Paddox) who has contracted equine lymphangitis. After losing Catherine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy due to lameness, the chances for Denmark to win a medal have decreased.
On Instagram, Anna Zibrandtsen writes about Arlando:
For only 1 year ago, today, we were on the silver winning Danish team, at the Europeans Championship. This year we were on our Way to the World Equestrian Games. But my fantastic pal Arlando is so unlucky. I’m so sad to tell, that Arne has unfortunately got lymfangitis (an infection in the lymph system of the leg) close to departure for WEG in Tryon. That means, we cant work him, until he’s 100 % recovered. Therefore we wouldn’t be able to participate at WEG. We were really looking forward to be a part of the Danish team again this year. But Arne always has first priority, and we will not push him. We wish everyone at WEG the best of luck and a lot of fun ❤
What is equine lymphangitis?
Equine lymphangitis is an inflammation or swelling associated with impairment of the lymphatic system, particularly in a limb, in horses. It is most commonly a bacterial infection, although bacterial culture may be negative. Lymphangitis is commonly associated with a wound, which may be very minor. This is a likely entrance for bacterial access to the lymph ducts. The degree of lameness is variable, but may be sufficient to give the impression of a fracture. The horse may or may not be pyrexic (fevered). The limb may occasionally ooze serum.
Treatment of equine lymphangitis
The mainstays of treatment are the administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics (typically potentiated sulfonamides or penicillin and streptomycin, but doxycycline may be the most effective). If possible, microbial culture and sensitivity testing should be performed, so the most efficacious antibiotic can be chosen Physiotherapy is also important, particularly maintaining movement by walking out and massage to improve lymphatic drainage and reduce the oedema. Bandages may also be useful, as may cold hosing in the initial phase. A sweat bandage or poultice is often applied. An overly tight bandage should not be applied, as swelling may continue, decreasing circulation through the limb, and potentially causing a bandage-bow. After-care often is advised to include consistent turnout and exercise.
Success of treatment
The initial pain and lameness usually respond rapidly to treatment, but the swelling may persist for many weeks. In addition, once a horse has had an episode, it appears to be predisposed to recurrence, and may suffer from "filled legs" permanently - i.e. if left in a stable and relatively immobile, poor lymphatic circulation results in a passive oedema of the previously affected limb, that dissipates on exercise. In more severe cases, the limb may never return to normal size. In these cases, permanent scarring of the lymphatics and other tissues is likely. Treatment in these cases is unrewarding, and euthanasia may be indicated if the condition causes unmanageable lameness.
© Arnd Bronkhorst (www.arnd.nl)