I have a 15 month gelding. In the last day or so he has developed some fluid on the front of his knee. He is not lame and there is no heat. He also doesn't react to palpating. He is on 24/7 turnout with two mares. It has gotten a little mucky recently with the rain/snow. I will probably give my vet a call tomorrow, but thought I would ask here if I should be panicking.
Just the one knee. As for the amount of fluid ......the "pouch" covers pretty much the entire front of the knee and protrudes about 1/2 to 3/4 inch more than the other knee. I can cup it in my hand (and jiggle it around). There is no swelling on the sides or back of the knee area.
I just spent a fortune having a similar knee looked at. He wiped out on concrete and has the scaps to prove it. He was not lame, no heat. Vet did digital x-rays, injected dye in, did another x-ray with the knee flexed and thus proved that it wasn ot in the joint. Just a big haematoma, he said, with a grin. Put a needle in it and dripped out the fluid, injected some naquazone and steroid in it, kept it wrapped for two days and then it looked fine. Until a week after he DID IT AGAIN!! Now it is all big again. I suppose I have to go back again and have it drained. I damn well feel like leaving it to nature this time.
Tried oral naquazone, didn't do anything. Sigh. This guy is an accident on hooves.
My 3yo came in from the paddock with the same thing. Swollen in front, squishy, no heat, not lame. I rode him as norma, then about 2 weeks later, the swelling was long gone but now lame. He ended up with a soft tissue (not major) injury/ strain of some sort (which did not show up in u/s or x-ray). Sometimes horses bang their knee on something hard, or they get kicked, which causes the hygroma there, but no major injury. DO keep an eye on it, DO have your vet look at it, but DON'T panic.
I'm sure, with his young age, that it is pretty minor. I should have rested my horse a little longer, and because I didn't, I probably caused it to become something bigger than it was.