Chronic Progressive Lymphedema , or CPL, is a serious and difficult disease that occurs in draft horses with heavily feathered limbs.
CPL causes the lower legs to become swollen from the accumulation of lymph fluid, which builds up and causes more severe swelling over time. CPL resembles the human disease Elephantiasis. At this time there is no cure, but the condition can be managed to an extent.
Although it is not clear, researchers believe that CPL is caused by deficiencies in elastin, a protein essential to the healthy functions of the lymphatic system and many other tissues. Early on the disease may appear to be pastern dermatitis (a.k.a. “scratches” or “mud fever”) due to the lesions it causes, but over time affected horses will have vascular and lymphatic vessel changes, as well. Below are the most common symptoms caused.
- Severe swelling
- Skin thickening
- Hardening of the skin
- Firm nodules
- Chronic secondary infections
Helpful Note: CPL swelling usually starts at the coronary band and moves up to the elbow in the front leg, and up to the hock in the hind leg, and sometimes up to the groin area.
The most effective way to keep CPL under control is using combined treatments and management practices to provide the most comfort for your horse.
7 Effective Management Practices:
- Clip feathers
- Use topical treatments
- Exercise regularly
- Bandage when necessary
- Manual lymph drainage
- Keep limbs clean and dry
- Use compression bandages with therapeutic properties
One measure that is said to help relieve swelling in horses with CPL is a set of Antimicrobial Therapeutic VersiWraps from Benefab® by Sore No-More®. The wraps are made up of ceramic-infused and antimicrobial fabric, which make them great for reducing inflammation and preventing fungal and bacterial growth.
Learn more about using the VersiWraps for CPL relief by reading Nancy’s story below:
“Totally blown away! The Benefab by Sore No-More standing wraps are 500 times better for chronic lymphedema and lower limb inflammation than a competitor’s product that I’ve been using for the last 4 years!
This was the second day in the wraps overnight and already the difference is astounding. With the #benefabstandingwraps I actually have definition in the cannon, fetlock, and pastern without any additional walking. Also, I can feel his tendon all the way down the back of his leg…
I feel one of the major differences is in the kind of ribbing the #benefabstandingwraps offer that act as little massaging fingers aiding in circulation as the horse is moving around the stall. Just an absolutely fantastic product I will definitely be buying more!” -Nancy
The VersiWraps helped to reduce the swelling Nancy’s horse had due to his CPL. This effective measure helped bring him more comfort. Best of all, the wraps are backed by a customer promise of increased mobility and less pain in three weeks.
Watch Chronic Progressive Lymphedema Top 5 Management Practices: