Equine lymphangitis

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Equine Lymphangitis

Equine Lymphangitis Overview

Equine lymphangitis is a serious emergency condition in horses. The condition is characterized by acute progressive swelling of one or more of the horse's hindlimbs, with serum oozing from the skin. Equine lymphangitis is frequently caused by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, the causative agent of Pigeon fever in horses residing in the western United States. The disease has also been associated with infection by a number of other bacteria and fungal organisms.


Acute progressive swelling of one or both hind limbs
Serum seeping through skin
Wound may or may not be present
Nodular appearance


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Ultrasonography
  • Bacteriology


Antibiotic therapyThe type of antibiotic administered depends on type of bacteria causing the infection
Reduction of soft tissue swellingAggressive cold-water hydrotherapy, support bandaging of limbs with nitrofurazone sweat
Surgical drainage


Guarded, unless the condition is recognized and treated early and the horse quickly responds to treatment.

Scientific Research

General Overviews