What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Lymphangitis in Shire Horses

Table of Contents

As a horse lover and hostler, it’s important to be aware of potential health problems your equine friends might be at risk of.

One serious condition that can affect shire horses is lymphangitis – but what is it, what are the signs and symptoms, and how can you spot when something isn’t right with your beloved horse?

In this blog post, we’ll look closely at the causes, treatments, and prevention of lymphangitis in shire horses so you know exactly what to watch out for when caring for these amazing animals.

What are the signs and symptoms of lymphangitis?

Lymphangitis is an infection of the lymphatic system that occurs when bacteria gets into the skin through a wound or scratch. It usually affects larger, deeper lymph vessels and can cause inflammation, redness, tenderness, and swelling in the affected area.

Other symptoms may include swollen and enlarged glands, pain in the lymph nodes, and high fever, as well as fatigue, chills, and/or sweating. If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention quickly because left untreated this condition can lead to serious complications.

Be sure to tell your doctor any details about recent injuries so they can get to the bottom of what might have caused your lymphangitis.

What is sudden lymphangitis in horses?

Sudden lymphangitis in horses is a serious condition that should be treated quickly by a veterinarian. It’s caused by the entry of bacterial organisms into the horse’s lymphatic vessel walls, causing large inflammatory swellings on the limbs and lower abdomen.

The disease can spread rapidly and cause severe tissue damage. Clinical signs include fever, significant swelling, heat around the affected area, and pain with movement.

Treatment includes antibiotics and supportive therapy as well as providing rest for your horse to help them recover more quickly. If this condition isn’t attended to quickly it can lead to permanent lameness or even laminitis so it’s important to take action right away if you notice any of these symptoms in your horse.

What is the best treatment for lymphangitis in horses?

With any kind of infection in horses, the earlier it is caught and treated, the better. One major kind of infection that you’ll want to be aware of is called lymphangitis, which can affect the legs, throatlatch area, or chest of a horse.

Treatment for this should typically involve antibiotics prescribed by a vet to help clear up the symptoms; additionally, veterinarians may also recommend keeping the affected areas clean and applying cold compresses to reduce swelling.

As lymphangitis can have serious effects on horses if not caught early and managed correctly, it’s important to learn effective prevention methods and recognize its signs so you can give your horse the best opportunity for recovery.

What are the early signs of lymphangitis in horses?

Lymphangitis in horses is an infection of the lymphatic system, which can cause fatigue, fever, and even lameness. The early warning signs of this medical condition are quite noticeable and can help owners get the proper treatment for their horse before it becomes more severe.

Owners should be on the lookout for swelling in the legs or lower body, as well as redness of the skin that may indicate inflammation of the lymph vessels.

Additionally, horses may display outward symptoms such as a heightened temperature (particularly if touched), increased heart rate and respiration, coughing or labored breathing, low appetite, and drainage from wounds or open sores.

By keeping an eye out for these symptoms during regular checkups and maintenance visits to your veterinarian, you’ll be able to take prompt action if your horse develops signs of lymphangitis.

Can a horse recover from lymphangitis?

If your horse is suffering from lymphangitis, there’s no need to panic! This common condition affecting the lower legs can generally be managed with a combination of rest and antibiotics.

Since left untreated, it can cause severe complications that can have serious impacts on both the horse’s health and performance, seeking your vet’s advice as soon as possible is recommended.

A successful recovery largely depends on taking preventive measures early, typically giving horses a break from exercise for a month or so following treatment to give their body time to heal properly. With the right measures taken in good time, your horse will be back on its feet in no time.

How do you get rid of lymphangitis in horses?

If your horse is dealing with lymphangitis, the best plan of action is to identify the underlying cause and treat it. It could be due to an injury or infection, so consult a vet to determine what’s causing the issue.

The vet may perform diagnostic tests such as a CBC, chemistry panel, and skin culture before deciding on a course of treatment. Treatment often involves antibiotics to eliminate the infection and improve any skin lesions or nodules that have formed.

Cleaning the area at least once daily will help prevent re-infection by bacteria or other agents. Lymphangitis can be uncomfortable for horses, so keep an eye out for changes in eating habits or lameness levels – if any arise, contact your veterinarian right away!

How does a horse get lymphangitis?

Lympharyngitis, often known as ‘cracks’ or ‘strangles’, is a potentially serious throat infection affecting horses. It’s caused by a contagious bacterium that reproduces quickly in the delicate tissues of a horse’s upper airways and can cause inflammation, fever, and considerable discomfort.

It’s one of the most frequently diagnosed equine illnesses in the world. Even more alarming is how quickly this contagious disease can spread through close contact with other animals.

That’s why early recognition and prompt veterinary treatment are vital for the successful outcome of this illness. By understanding how it’s transmitted and providing good hygiene practices for your horse, you can help protect them from contracting lymphangitis.

Should you walk a horse with lymphangitis?

Walking a horse with lymphangitis can be a great way to improve its condition in some cases. The motion helps get the fluid moving which can reduce swelling and even support healing.

However, it is important to ensure that you are doing it properly and always consult your veterinarian to make sure walking their specific horse is recommended before beginning such a regimen.

It should be done slowly at first and any signs of discomfort should be monitored closely in case it increases the inflammation or impedes healing. 

By being aware of the potential risks while being proactive in helping your horse, you’ll have the best chance of making lasting improvements and getting them back on track.

What supplement helps lymphatic drainage in horses?

If you own a horse, you know how important digestive health is. Just like humans, horses need the right things in their diet to stay fit and healthy. One overlooked supplement in terms of helping your horse’s digestive health helps with lymphatic drainage.

A great supplement for this purpose is enzymes derived from proteolytic bacteria, which help break down proteins so they can be further digested more easily and quickly. 

This supplement should be used as directed, of course – and it should come as part of an overall plan that includes minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients all formulated for optimum nutrition for your horse.

Incorporating this into your horse’s daily routine could help take their digestive health to the next level – resulting in better overall performance for years to come!


Shire horses are a majestic breed of horse that is famous for their size and strength. While they are generally healthy and strong, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of lymphangitis in these animals.

Dealing with it quickly can make a world of difference in treatment outcomes. By recognizing the early signs, such as redness along the horse’s veins, limping, lethargy, loss of appetite, or swollen lymph nodes, you can swiftly take action to get your Shire horse the medical help it requires.

Fortunately, there are effective treatments available if caught early enough. Pay attention to your magnificent Shire horse and stay alert for any health changes so you can act accordingly!


Matthew Flor

Matthew Flor

Hi, y’all! My name is Matthew Flor, and I’m from Ocala, Florida.
I’m a horse enthusiast, and one of my favorite breeds is the Shire horse.
In this blog, I’ll be sharing information about these amazing animals – everything from their history to their unique characteristics.

About Me

Recent Posts

About the Shire | Horse Breeds