Is it possible for a soft tissue injury to be totally sound?
The vet will be visiting mid-next week, but until then I have nothing to do but worry. How likely is it, or even possible, that a decidely swollen inside lower front leg is a soft tissue if the horse is sound and does not seem to palpate? (It's hard to tell on palpation- it's the exact area I squeeze his leg to pick his feet up) Seems a little warm, but not hot, and there is an accompanying minor scrape that I initially attributed the swelling to several days ago...
He's sound in hand, under tack, tight circles, etc.
The vet will be able to tell you a lot more than any of us people of the interwebs, but FWIW, I was taught to palpate the leg with it flexed. As I understand it, this is for 3 reasons:
1) The slack it creates in the tendons makes it easier to feel deeper structures
2) Palpations of weighted legs often create resentment even w/o injury (false positives)
3) You don't run into the pick up foot cue misunderstanding you mention
Maybe you're already doing it that way but are getting a reaction that you don't think is a pain response?
In any case, sounds like your intuition is that it's not a soft tissue injury. IME, some of them can be very subtle w.r.t. gait abnormality and palpation (esp. the s-word which I shall not utter so as not to alarm anyone unduly before the evidence is in), so having the vet out is a conservative next step. Hopefully it's just a bruise from interference and it will resolve completely to your satisfaction before you generate a vet bill!
Good luck and don't fret too much until the vet comes!
Thank you dayglowmaple! I have been palpating with weight on the leg, so I will try without tomorrow
I would say at this point I'm wishfully thinking it can still be attributed to the scrape! This same horse injured an s-word in a different leg 5 years ago and thinking about doing it again has me very depressed. Part of the reason I'm curious is the last time it presented very differently than what I have now. It was also not a terrible rupture back then.
Well my guy decided to buck around in the pasture and actually kick our round bale holder with his back leg. Hit right above fetlock. Just a little scrap but was swollen and didn't seem painfully. His swelling was up that back tendon and vet was worried he may have broke his splint bone back there. Luckily he did not and vet wrapped leg with furazone and DMSO. Took off wrap next day then polo wrapped both back legs for 4 days and 3 days of bute. Swelling is about gone and he seems fine. Hopefully your guy will be just as lucky.
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole
When my mare Sadie injured her deep digital flexor tendon it presented with swelling and no noticeable lameness (I didn't ride after seeing the swelling, I just called the vet because I had a bad feeling about it). She does also tend to swell up any time she gets a scrape on her lower legs, but that time there was no scrape, and it just seemed different to me, so I wanted an ultrasound done.
I wish I could quantify what made the tendon injury swelling "different", but mostly it was just a feeling, sorry. Hopefully your horse's swelling is just scrape related, and not serious.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."