Getting a Jumpstart on Joint Infections
You know the feeling. The uneasy one that rises in your chest as you see your horse’s swollen limb, sudden lameness, and pained expression. Something is definitely wrong, but it’s unclear exactly what. You call your veterinarian, and then you wait. Your mind races with possible diagnoses: Hoof abscess? Cellulitis? Fracture?

An infected synovial structure will be on your veterinarian’s list of possibilities, especially if there is a wound near one of them. These sensitive structures include joints, tendon sheaths, and bursae—fluid-filled structures encased by synovial membranes that produce lubricating fluid to facilitate movement. Unfortunately, this fluid is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, as well, so infections can become quite serious. Many of these structures are near the skin surface, so even a superficial wo

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