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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1986 Dec 15;189(12):1600-3.

Cellulitis associated with coagulase-positive staphylococci in racehorses: nine cases (1975-1984).


Nine Thoroughbred racehorses were admitted with cellulitis (of one or more limbs) associated with coagulase-positive staphylococci. The right hindlimb was affected in 4 horses, the right forelimb in 2, the left hindlimb in 1, and both hindlimbs in 2. Typical abnormalities included high values for rectal temperature (9 horses) and heart rate (5 horses), hyperfibrinogenemia (7 horses), leukocytosis (7 horses), and neutrophilia (6 horses). The staphylococcal isolants were speciated in 3 horses and classified as Staphylococcus aureus. Complications included skin loss (5 horses), laminitis of the affected limb (2 horses), laminitis of the contralateral limb (4 horses), osteomyelitis and sequestrum formation (2 horses), and bacteremia (1 horse). Five horses were euthanatized because of the severity of the complications, ie, laminitis in 4 horses and severe skin loss in 1 horse. The remaining 4 horses were discharged from the clinic. At follow-up evaluation (mean, 16.7 months), the swelling in 3 of the horses had completely resolved. One horse returned to racing; of 2 used for pleasure riding, one was mildly lame. The remaining horse was not lame, but was used for breeding because of persistent swelling of the affected limb.

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