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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2009

    Default diagnose me! Seemingly straight foreward swelling not so straight forward?

    picture it:

    xc schooling sunday. Horse doesn't take any odd steps, but a couple big jumps.

    routine check in AM on monday. Horses left hind is very swollen around fetlock and about 1/2 way up cannon. Hot. Difficult to determine if sore (horse is super good about picking legs up). Lameness NOT detected
    . Routine: icing, poultice.

    tuesday, not much better after overnight poultice. Let out to hand graze, took off bolting for about 4-5 minutes. Crap! Caught, iced, wrapped again. Thought for sure that would finish it off. Some swelling apearing @hock.

    wednesday...seemingly slightly better, more localized at fetlock. No heat. Sound.

    what the?? Swelling, but not lame? Running around on it, but not making it more acute? Any thoughts? Next stop, vet.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2010
    North AL


    Can't wait to hear the explanations, because I am dealing with a similar situation, although the swelling is localized to just above the fetlock on a hind.
    Horse isn't lame, swelling won't go away, I ice, I massage,I DMSO. Nothin'
    So after 3 weeks- I ride?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003


    If you are lucky a twisted fetlock that probably had nothing to do with your jump school.

    If you are unlucky, a low suspensory or even a mild bow. Mild bows are deceptive on hind legs.

    Hope you are the lucky type, my fingers are crossed for you..let us know what the vet says!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2005


    Maybe the horse hit the fetlock on something and your dealing with a blunt force trauma. I agree the vet should see the horse in case it's something that requires a specific treatment.

    Check and make sure all the nail clinches are showing on that hind hoof just to be safe.... If he stepped on a nail I'd expect him to be really lame, but I'd check anyway...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2010


    I honestly have EXACTLY the same at the moment. Swelling just above the front of the rh fetlock, and around the back of the fetlock. Hot to touch, but not evidently sore. He's happy to flex, and not lame on it. First day walked him, then hosed and bandaged. Today hosed and poulticed (didn't have poultice yesterday). If it's not cleared by Monday the vet is coming out. He's such a clown in the paddock, I don't doubt he whacked it on something in there

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2002
    RHE, CA US


    My advice is this: if you have a sport type horse, call the vet right away. If there is something wrong, the sooner you start to treat the better the outcome!

    I had the same type of issue on my horses inside right hind about a month ago. No heat, no lameness, just puffiness above and on his left hind fetlock. Iced, hosed, wrapped with EPF5 for several days. No change, although it seemed to go down a bit when worked. I just figured it was a windpuff or cosmetic lump since he never showed any signs of lameness or pain. He was even load bearing on it, would still rest the other hind leg. Lucky for me, I decided to take it easy this summer, so we have only been trail riding, with the occasional turnout in the ring so his work load has been pretty light. He never seemed lame, even in turnout - he would blast around bucking and galloping without a lame step (even when he was trotting while turned out).

    My vet came this week for vacs and took one look at it, palpated it, had him jog. After xrays and ultrasound - diagnosed with lower branch suspensory desmitis with an avulsion fracture of the sesamoid bone (that means a bone chip basically). I am now on rehab of 30 mins of hand or trail walking only for the next 3 months, since it is a fairly mild tear. The chip may or may not come out. It's a waiting game. Rest is pretty much all I can do for him, since it wasn't a newer injury. It is better to be safe than regret what you could have done if you had only known.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2010


    Saddith - thanks for that post. I was starting to wonder if the vet would laugh at me if I called him out for my guy. There was heat the first day, but now it's gone and only the puffiness is still there (as you say, I'm starting to think it might just have become a windgall now). And he didn't take a sore step at all. But after what you've said I'm definitely going to call the vet out, even if just to put my mind at rest!

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