Long time lurker, first time poster. Sorry in advance for the long post!
My Thoroughbred mare got her rabies shot on Wednesday, 8/17; it was injected on the left side of her neck. 24 hours later, the entire side of her neck was swollen, she refused to move, and she was trembling. She’d eaten her grain, but not her hay. As it turns out, she wasn’t able to reach down and stretch/turn/move her neck.
She’s a very stoic mare, so trainer and I were extremely concerned. Vet comes out to evaluate and is texted photos every day of progress. We put her on 2g of bute once a day and put hay in haynet so she can eat. Edema forms on that Friday, but is gone by Sunday. She was limited to stallrest Thursday and Friday, but then starts going out in paddock to help improve circulation.
Overall swelling of neck goes down by Monday, but lump begins to form. Neck is still very, very tender at this time; she flinches when you touch it at all. By Thursday, neck has large lump on it, and heat/swelling in her front fetlocks. Mare has been cleaning up grain and most of hay during this week, but is still unable to move neck/turn head and neck.
Vet comes out Friday and lances lump (slightly smaller than basketball), which had started to ooze pus through a tiny pinhole. He makes 2.5" incision and pus pours out for good 20 min, and is still continuing to ooze out. Vet says bacteria probably got into injection site when he gave her vaccine. Heat and swelling in her front fetlocks had disappeared by then.
Since Friday, we’ve been cold hosing her neck twice daily and then putting antibacterial topical solution (hot pink like SWAT, but I don’t think it’s SWAT and can’t remember what it’s called right now) around hole to prevent flies/bugs from getting in/on it. We’ve also been slathering her neck/chest/leg with vaseline so pus can drip off without burning her hair/skin. She’s getting Tucoprim once a day, and she’s going out in the pasture again with the other mares every day to keep her happy (she likes her turnout time). Hay is still being put in haybag, although she is able to graze a little. She’s able to turn head and neck now, but neck is still obviously sore.
My questions are: Has anyone had this experience before with their horse? How long did it take for the hole to close and neck/wound to heal? Other suggestions for how to keep hole clean and get to heal properly (inside out)? Any complications that arose?