Giving My Horse Penicillin???

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by The Wolf Queen, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. The Wolf Queen

    The Wolf Queen Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I have a horse that got kicked by one of my other horses about a week ago and his knee area started to swell. The swelling went all the way down but yesterday he jumped a fence and the knee is swollen again, not as badly but still. We have a friend who told us to give him Penicillin. So im going to go buy the shots and I was wondering how often I could give him the shots??? Also I was trained that when you give a horse a shot (IVs not included) you pull back on the needle a little bit, and that when you do that there should be blood in the syringe to make sure its in his blood, but I just read something else that said there shouldnt be blood so WHICH IS IT??? My vet, my horse trainer, and my farrier all say the same thing (that there should be blood in the syringe), but are they wrong? I dont want hurt my horses because I heard the wrong information. Help please [​IMG]
  2. vyshtia

    vyshtia Songster

    Sep 1, 2009
    Norco, CA
    You give penicillin IM, NOT IV. To be clear - there should be NO blood when you aspirate.

    If there is no infection, there is no need to give penicillin. Swelling from blunt injury is not an indicated use of penicillin.

    It really sounds like you are given a lot of bad information here and should not be doing this. Well...your horse doesn't need penicillin anyways. The knee area is swelling from soft tissue damage/inflammation (according to your description). You only give penicillin if there is an infection from predominantly gram-positive bacteria. This would be like if you took antibiotics because you twisted your ankle.

    To reduce swelling in your horse's knee, you need to limit his movement. Cold wraps would do good...and you can wrap in liniments to sweat it out. I hate to go into details without seeing the injury - you should talk with someone who's knowledgeable and has seen the injury. But NOT if that person tells you to give Penicillin IV!
  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I didn't have too much tim eto read completely through the post, but it doesn't sound like your horse needs penicillin. If there was never an open wound, it is not likely that the area is infected.

    I think your best bet would be to put the horse on stall rest and cold hose the area for 15-20 minutes daily. This helped reduce the swelling on my horses fetlock when she twisted it. See if he gets better in a few days to a week or so. However, if you see him get worse or the swelling does not go down, you might want to have a vet in to take a look at the area. Hopefully the area was just aggravated by excessive movement and the swelling with come down with some rest.

    As for the blood in the syringe, it really depends on whether the shot is intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous. I don't believe you want to see blood when doing an intramuscular or subQ injection. An IV injection you would definitely want to see blood in the syringe before pushing the plunger. I'm not sure what penicillian is, but I think it is intramuscular, in which case you would NOT want to see blood. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
  4. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    Penicillin is an intermuscular injection and you do NOT want any blood in the syringe, you only want that if you are trying to give an injection in a vein, but the others are RIGHT!!! Who told you to give penicillin for this injury? It makes no sense to me either, and unless you have clear instructions from your Veterinarian, STOP NOW.

    Please get a vet to look at this, it sounds like youve gotten some very bad advice so far. You probably do want to run cold water over the swollen area esp if there is heat in it, and afterwards, you may want to wrap the lower part of the leg NOT THE area that was kicked though!!! This is so as to reduce swelling below the injured area because excessive swelling can cause some damage of the joint capsul etc of the fetlock, but ONLY IF you know how to put on leg wraps properly. If you have any doubts about that do not wrap, because done wrong it can do more harm than good.

    //edit// ok, I just re-read your OP and if it had reduced already but blew up again after more stress, I'd just hose it with cold water, run a hose over it for 15-20 min, dry it off, let it rest a while, (few hours) check it again, if it is hot and swollen again, re-hose if you can, repeat. repeat. repeat.

    You can hose it a few times a day for probably several days, and that will probably do as much good as anything. Unless there is some kind of open wound that is clearly infected, why on earth would you give penicillin? No No NO NO. Keep the horse in a stall where he can be comfortable but not move too much, and will not be able to attempt any more jumps, and let it get some rest. Walk him/her gently as he/she improves and the swelling reduces and do not ride or let him get a lot of exercise untill there is no heat in the joint and the swelling stays down after walking. Then, keep checking so you see if the swelling starts to come back. If it does, go back to just walking on a lead, no riding or pasture exercise.

    At least talk to a vet and see what he recommends for swelling, (bute (Phenylbutazone) may be useful but don't overdo with it. In excessive quantities it is bad, hard on kidneys and liver, but for a specific period of time, is useful to reduce swelling and to keep comfortable... do not use it for more than a couple weeks it also masks pain too much and pain can be a good guage to injuries)
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    What they said. You prolly shouldn't be giving penicillin for this, and you CERTAINLY shouldn't be giving it by following various peoples' casual instructions for how to give the injection. Horses end up dead that way.

    It is not a good idea to give procaine penicillin (specifically) without a darn good reason, because some small but very nonzero number of horses can have a serious, sometimes fatal reaction to the shot. Some horses are allergic to penicillin. Others react to the procaine in the formulation (especially if you have been imprecise or wrong in the location/way you did the injection), and can become suddenly violent in ways that can seriously injure themselves or their handlers. I have known two horses over the years that've died (within minutes) of penicillin shots. So while rare, this does happen. Only use penicillin when it is really necessary.

    Good luck, please listen to the advice you're gettin on this thread,

  6. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    You need to give him Bute for inflammation. Cold water bathes.
  7. txredneckmedic

    txredneckmedic Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    If no infection no penicillin. Im currently giving mine penicillin for a open wound that he reinjured and got infected. It sounds like yours needs stall rest, some wraps and some bute-paste
  8. The Wolf Queen

    The Wolf Queen Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    vyshtia What I ment was that shots NOT including IVs were supposed to have blood. IVs are cuz they need to be in the vein. But I got the problem solved so thanks for all the help everyone.
  9. vyshtia

    vyshtia Songster

    Sep 1, 2009
    Norco, CA
    Quote:Not sure what you mean. I will try to clarify further.

    IV = Intravenous = Into the vein
    IM = Intramuscular

    They only time you want to see blood when you aspirate is when you mean to be in the vein. The reason why you aspirate when you give non-venous injections is to make sure you haven't hit a vessel by accident - so you do not want to see blood when you aspirate.

    Glad you got your issue resolved.

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