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Equine Health Resource

Osteomyelitis

Synonyms: Bone Infection

Osteomyelitis is the inflammation of bone caused by infection. It is more common in foals than adults.

Bone can become infected when it loses its blood supply and a piece of bone dies. The blood supply for bone typically enters from the outside covering, and if this is scraped away or damaged during wounding, the underlying bone may die. This is a chronic and troublesome complication most common in equine limb wounds.

Bacterial infection of a joint can also extend into underlying bone. Osteomyelitis worsens the prognosis of joint infections, making them very difficult to treat.

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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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