Look at the lovely cake Olivia made for me while Beau and I were at the Vets! How cute is that?! And, there was some cause to celebrate when we returned home.
After attempting the ultrasound and not having Beau stand still my vet wanted to sedate him, "fine" I said. Then she suggested that we might want to see if the surgeon wanted to have a look at him (I am lucky that my vet is attached to the Equine Clinic) before he got the drugs. We had already pulled the blood for the lab work they wanted to run- remember we were also ruling out some systemic issues (lyme and such) so we just waited for him to come have a peak.
The Dr. who did his limb perfusions took one look at him (my vet has been consulting with him all along) and one look at me and asked "what are you so worried about?!" I just about died. What am I worried about?! I'm worried since my horse has a 104 fever, his leg is swelling like crazy and I think he is dying!! That's what. Well, long story short, he suggests that this episode is not really a recurrence of cellulitis, but a case of ehrlichia (anaplasmosis) a tick born disease that mimics lyme. Among the symptoms are high fever and limb swelling.
High fever and limb swelling. Yup, there you have it! They were unable to use the blood tests to confirm as we have already started him on doxycycline (which is the treatment) but his fibrinogen was elevated, as were his liver enzymes. I think it's a little interesting that this is a disease that mimics lyme disease- and lyme is one of the things that has been "nagging" me as I have struggled with all of this.
So, the Drs. suppose that after a bite from an infected tick, this anaplasmosis developed. The already weakened lymphatic condition of the left hind made it the "target" spot for the limb swelling. The presentation of the leg is somewhat different- he has been much less tender this go round- he is sound at the walk and is willing to have the leg flexed. None of these things applied in March/April. They also said that with cellulitis you do not expect to see such fever- maybe 101 or 102, but not any higher (which was the case in March/April) but temps as high as 104 are the norm with anaplasmosis. The hope is that with 2 weeks of the doxy and bute, we will be left with a leg that will need some rehab... but it's a much better prognosis than I expected! I am still guarded but for now I don't feel like we are grasping at straws just trying to "fix" an unknown issue. I am hopeful that this is the correct diagnosis and with the proper treatment we will be on the road to recovery!
What a sweet piece of cake- and if we are on the right track, a real reason to celebrate!