Ruby is a 2 1/2 yr old filly. When Ruby got sick in January 2012, her owners were quick to call their vet and have her treated. Ruby was apparently colicing and was treated several times over a week or so for it. She was running a fever so the vet put her on Ranitidine and doxycycline. Two weeks later her legs began to swell. They called the vet and the prescription was changed to Enrofloxacin a top shelf compounded form of Baytril. Within a week, Ruby’s leg was open and weeping.
With their funds exhausted, Ruby’s owners started contacting rescues. They contacted everyone that they could find and they along with another rescue contacted Central Virginia Horse Rescue. We talked with them and with their vet and decided that Ruby was going to need more care than the owner could afford and did not have the experience to treat. We picked her up on Friday, 2/26/2012.
At this point, both hocks has open weeping wounds and were sloughing off skin. We cleaned her up and continued with her treatment. On Sunday, 2/28/2012, Ruby was down in her stall and exhibiting severe signs of stomach pain and no appetite. She had sloughed off most of the skin on her right hock.
Our vet, Alisha Oehling of Stateline Equine came out on an emergency visit. We worked on Ruby from 9 am until almost 4, getting her comfortable and then debriding her leg and wrapping it.
You can see the pictures of Ruby’s legs here. They are GRAPHIC. At this point, we don’t know if it is cellulitis which usually comes from some kind of trauma (wound, insect bite, etc) or if it is vasculitis which is usually caused by a reaction to medicine or a disease.
Right now, Ruby’s prognosis is guarded. She is on stall rest and has her entire right leg bandaged to keep the open wound clean and the swelling down. If she continues to slough skin off her left leg, it will also need to be bandaged. We have been told to expect 8-12 months of healing before the skin grows back. The wound is still infected and healing will not begin until all of the dead skin is sloughed off and the infection contained.
Ruby’s leg wounds continue to heal well. We have determined that she has damage to her gut and possibly a continuing infection based on her blood test results which have continued to decline. Her body score which improved initially has dropped again. We have tried various less expensive stomach treatments with no success instead of the gastroguard. We are currently evaluating her condition to determine what our best course of action is. We always have to consider not only the horse but also the other horses that the rescue has committed to support.
Ruby needs your help. She is on Gastroguard at a cost of over $500 per month. She is also on antibiotics and we will be changing bandages daily. Please sponsor Ruby and help us to heal her. Sponsorships start at $10 per month and go up to $100 per month.