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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2012

    Default Is This A Windpuff?

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    down the road from bar.ka


    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.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    SF Bay Area, California


    I'm with findeight on this. My horse has a windpuff although she is not old. It was, however, caused by a trainer overworking her in poor footing.

    My mare only had swelling around the fetlock area, not all the way up to the hock when it occurred. I would consult a vet.
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005


    No! Not a windpuff. Can't even think of what it could be. Not a normal place for any swelling.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2012


    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?

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