I have an eighteen year old horse whose hind leg completely swelled up to the hock about two weeks ago. There was no heat and no lameness. I didn't call the vet out as the swelling went consistently down with rest and walking and he was acting completely fine. Ever since then,though, he has had this pocket of fluid remain under the back of his hind left fetlock. It is soft and there is no heat coming from it. He is sound on the leg. He has been resting that particular toe recently though in his stall. Can horses get windpuffs below the fetlock near the pastern or coffin joint or is this something I should have my vet look at since he's had this for awhile now? Thanks in advance.
I vote no. "Windpuffs", a broad category describing small, soft swellings, are usually the result of work and show up after heavy excercise and more or less permanent once they occur. They usually reduce in size when the horse is not working that hard but come back with heavy work. Usually considered normal wear and tear on older horses. I once read the very old name comes from the fact they puff up when the horse is winded.
Yours seems to be leftover from a non work related massive swelling episode in an older horse. You might want to investigate the cause further as this is recent and followed the whole leg blowing up. The fluid is leftover from whatever caused the swelling and you should follow up on that with your vet.
It will probably eventually go away but I'd be more comfortable with an older horse knowing what was going on.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
Thanks to everybody for the advice. My vet is coming out later this week. Crossing my fingers that everything is okay. I forgot to add to my post that this swelling sometimes reduces Almost completely in size but it seems to always refill back. Does anybody have any ideas of what this might be?