Lymphangitis in horses is an inflammation and/or swelling associated with impairment of the lymphatic system, particularly in a limb. The main functions of the lymphatic system are to prevent the accumulation of fluid, to help fight infection and to repair injuries, to transport, and to supply the cells with, nutrients and to remove waste e.g. damaged or dead tissue.
Inflammation of the lymph vessels usually occurs after infection has entered the body through a cut or wound. Lymph vessels get damaged and can no longer drain lymph fluid from the affected area. This also means that the body cannot fight infection as well as it can with a healthy lymph system.
Clinical signs include swelling, yellow fluid seeping from the skin, reduced mobility, increase in temperature and general distress.
Can Equissage help?
Yes it can.
However all cases of lymphangitis need to be taken seriously to try and prevent permanent thickening plus of course to restore properly balanced fluid regulation in the body. So treatment should be effected under veterinary guidance as the condition can rapidly deteriorate.
The deep cycloidal massage of course promotes activity within the body encouraging good blood flow which is an aid to healing and helping to encourage the movement of the lymph fluid. Whilst Equissage does not actually replace physcial movement of the limbs such is the depth of the massage combined with the "vibration" that occurs throughout the body (even the extremeties) that circulation is stimulated without actually causing additional discomfort to the horse.
Also, due to the discomfort generally, the horse will tend to stand awkwardly and in a unnatural stance which in turn creates additional tension and discomfort particularly across the back. It is well-known Equissage helps the back muscles. If the horse can be encouraged to stand more correctly, then automtically more weight is taken on the hind limbs which helps with the gravitational pull. Plus the toxins created by the necessary antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, etc. are readily removed.
Use the Pad twice a day on a No.3-No.4 setting. The temptation is to use a higher setting but this will not aid quicker healing and in fact could hinder it; lymph vessels have been damaged, there is inflammation and this in turn spreads to the surrounding tissues so there is a situation of general congestion as the normal flow of all fluids is disrupted. Thus using Equissage too vigorously may add to the congestion by actively promoting circulation to an area where fluid movement is restricted; a lower setting, being more gentle will help a more effective cycle of removal of the unwanted and replacement with "clean" fluids. .
Depending on individual cases, the horse may tolerate the use of the Hand Unit on the hind limbs but if the skin has ulcerated, below the hocks, then restrict use to above the hock.