Hock Infection leading to kidney problem

My horse has had hock surgery (arthrodesis of the Distal Tarsal Joints) to help with a hock spur problem. The surgery seemed to go fine, except for an infection afterward. The infection never ...My horse has had hock surgery (arthrodesis of the Distal Tarsal Joints) to help with a hock spur problem. The surgery seemed to go fine, except for an infection afterward. The infection never ...

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS Univ. of GA School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lowder,

My horse has had hock surgery (arthrodesis of the Distal Tarsal Joints) to help with a hock spur problem. The surgery seemed to go fine, except for an infection afterward. The infection never reached the bone, but was very difficult to get rid of. My horse has been on Tetracycline to battle the infection. The infection seems to have sub-sided, but now my horse in urinating frequently and has a loss of appetite. My vet has done a kidney enzyme test and shows them to be "high"? The vet has reseeded the horse with healthy bacteria from a solution using a healthy horses manure to help his intestines and stomach. The horse is coughing sometimes and it sounds like fluid is in his lungs. What is causing the frequent urination, weight loss, and loss of appetite? Should we be giving him something else to help his kidneys and liver?
Please help!

Thank you
Heidi Lowthorp

Heidi,

The first thing is to take your horse off the tetracycline. Tetracycline can exert an antianabolic effect which can cause an increase in the BUN and/or hepatotoxicity, particularly in patients with preexisting renal dysfunction. As renal function deteriorates secondary to drug accumulation, this effect may be exacerbated. Horses who are stressed by surgery, anesthesia, trauma, etc., may break with a severe diarrhea after receiving tertracyclines (especially with oral administration). The transufunation ("reseeding") most likely is of little help. Once he is off the tetracycline I would have his blood values reevaluated and re-examine the situation.

Thanks, Dr. Lowder

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