Osteomyelitis of the pelvis caused by Rhodococcus equi in a two-year-old horse

Stuart C. Clark-Price, Bonnie R. Rush, Earl M. Gaughan, Judy H. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 2-year-old female Quarter Horse was evaluated for hind limb lameness, fever (40°C [104°F]), and lethargy of 2 weeks' duration. Hypoproteinemia characterized by hypoalbuminemia and hyperfibrinogenemia was detected. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed thickening of the right dorsal colon wall. Treatment was instituted for putative right dorsal colitis. Lameness evaluation localized signs of pain to the lumbar vertebrae or pelvis. Radiography performed with the horse standing and nuclear scintigraphy revealed no abnormalities. Ventrodorsal pelvic radiography revealed a focal area of bony lysis and proliferation involving the cranial portion of the pubic symphysis. Aspiration yielded purulent exudate containing Rhodococcus equi, which was susceptible to erythromycin. Treatment included surgical debridement of the abscess and oral administration of erythromycin and rifampin. The horse's hind limb lameness completely resolved within 20 days. Infections of the pubic symphysis should be considered when lameness localized to the pelvis is associated with fever and an inflammatory leukogram.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-972+952
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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