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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2006
    SE VA

    Default Do windpuffs change size? Or maybe not windpuffs?

    Background: Increase in my 7 yr old gelding's workload in the last month (going from ring-work only to incorporating hills/trails/xc jumps, etc)

    ~ 2 weeks ago: developed what I would describe as windpuffs above one of his hind fetlocks - no lameness

    Now all 4 legs have some swelling above the fetlocks. No lameness, no change after work, but from day to day the swelling changes. The fronts are more windpuff-y, small oval-shaped soft swellings (with squshiness comparable to a vein).

    His hinds, however ,are more "solidly" swollen above the fetlocks, and changes on which one is more swollen (sometimes the RH, sometimes the LH) - squishiness more comparable to stocking up instead of very soft.

    Vet will be out in a few days anyways so I will have him check, but does that sound like windpuffs still?
    "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2004


    They do change size. An unusual flair up (increase in size) with heat may indicate an injury in its early stage and should be checked out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Deep South


    ... _. ._ .._. .._

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 27, 2008


    Here is my situation. My large wbx has always had windpuffs on both hind legs. While I was away at Rolex, I got a call from the BO saying he was horribly lame on the right hind. He had a shoe put back on, and I figured it was a hot nail. This is also the leg with the larger windpuff on it. My trainer had been riding him for me and mentioned the area seemed firmer than in the past. When I got home, I treated it like an abscess. I noticed horse had a hard time flexing his pastern area, and was really uncomfortable with me touching it. Vet came out and ended up blocking the pastern area. He walked sound. He suspected a torn collateral ligament. X-rays showed an old injury to the area. The best was yet to come. Once the ultrasound was done, the vet showed me a large tear in the collateral area. He will be back on the 16th to do another US. He thinks the prognosis is good. Horse is now weight bearing and no longer on Equinoxx. The leg stays wrapped-swapping out dry or poulticing. The swelling has gone down significantly. At his worst, he walked like he had a broken leg. This horse is allowed in a small paddock because he is well behaved. He is out of work for at least 6 months to a year. I am gutted over this, but I am trying to feel positive. Good luck, I hope you have a good outcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2007


    Yes, windpuffs can change in size from one day to the next. My rule of thumb is they should be slightly smaller after work (due to increased circulation) and they should never feel hot. Also, stomping at flies will cause an increase in the size of windpuffs which may explain them getting bigger this time of year. Try really spraying the legs down with some fly spray especially at dusk and see if they go down some.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2001
    Washington, DC


    Agree with the above. I have a horse who came with huge windpuffs behind and as long as they are slightly smaller after work and never hot I do not worry about small changes in size.

    He did develop one up front after I owned him and it feels/look very similar to the ones behind. I had the vet check it just in case but it is a windpuff and it mostly stays the same, slightly smaller after work, slightly bigger if a lot of stomping of flies or horse has to stay in for any reason. Squishy, no heat.
    The big man -- my lost prince

    The little brother, now my main man

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Silvana, WA


    My gelding has them in his hinds. They change in size depending on how much turnout he's had, fly stomping (as mentioned) and the weather (get bigger when it's warm and humid). As long as they're not terribly firm and they aren't hot I don't worry about them.

    If his feet were recently done (or are due) you might want to check angles there. When I got him my geldings toes were long and his heels were underrun, as we've gotten better angles on his feet the firm swelling above his fetlocks has disappeared and he's left with "normal" windpuffs. Just food for thought.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 26, 2006
    Charleston, SC


    My horse has very small windpuffs all around (especially when its hot and he's been in). BUT, last year his left hind tendon sheath swelled above and behind his fetlock on the outside. It was noticeable, and warm. After a year of trying to get it down, and manage it conservatively, I took him to NC State. They performed a tenoscopy and found his annular ligament constricted, cleaned up adhesions, and noticed a synovial mass that they could not remove. They did NOT see any tearing in the SDFT or DDFT. Since the surgery he still has the windpuff, but its no longer as fat and tight (its kind of like a deflated balloon now) and he's sound. They said since he had the initial injury (think goofing in the pasture) he will always have a larger puff on that leg on the outside, the tendon sheath got stretched out permanently.

    My long winded point is, symetric wind puffs seem ok, but if one gets 'fatter' than the others, there is more going on! Watch the footing, I have found that too deep or too hard can both make the puffs fatter!
    Last edited by dbamford; Jun. 7, 2011 at 08:39 AM. Reason: clarify

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