Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Lymphangitis

Contributor(s): Nicola Menzies-Gow, Vetstream Ltd

Introduction

  • Cause: restriction of lymphatic drainage usually in a hindlimb secondary to cellulitis   Cellulitis  ; maybe associated with infection withCorynebacterium pseudotuberculosisor with the fungal infection known as equine histoplasmosis   Histoplasmosis  (or epizootic lymphangitis) caused byHistoplasma capsulatumvar.farciminosum.
  • Signs: hindlimb lameness, soft tissue swelling of a limb which is firm, hot and painful; may be serous ooze from skin.
  • Diagnosis: ultrasonography; bacteriology.
  • Treatment: broad spectrum antibiosis; NSAIDs; gentle exercise and pressure bandaging.
  • Prognosis: guarded; swelling can be persistent.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosishas been cultured from some cases.
  • Bacterial infection often suspected but not isolated.

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

  • Minor skin wounds on distal limbs.
  • Flies such as horn flies (Haematobia irritans), stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans), and houseflies (Musca domestica) may play a role as mechanical vectors ofC. peudotuberculosis.

Pathophysiology

  • Poorly understood.
  • Cellulitis   Cellulitis  (following minor skin wound and bacterial infection)   →   inflammation of the lymphatic vessels   →   obstruction of lymphatic drainage.

Timecourse

  • Sequel to cellulitis   Cellulitis  .
  • Can be chronic and recurrent.

Epidemiology

  • Several cases of ulcerative lymphangitis can occur in a group of horses and the condition may be endemic on some farms.
  • Increased number of cases in specific years may be associated with climatic conditions favorable for enhanced breeding, hatching and survival of various insect vectors suspected of mechanically transmitting theC. peudotuberculosis.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references fromPubMed andVetMedResource.
  • Oomen A Met al(2013)An atypical case of recurrent cellulitis/lymphangitis in a Dutch Warmblood horse treated by surgical intervention.Equine Vet Educ25(1), 23-28VetMedResource.
  • Abu-Samra M T, Imbabi S E, Mohmed K A & Karib E A (1980)Ulcerative lymphangitis in a horse.Equine Vet J12(3), 149-150PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Romero J M & Dyson S J (1997)The Diffusely Filled Limb.In:Current Therapy in Equine Medicine.Ed: N E Robinson. ISBN 0-7216-2633-5.


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