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Fetlock sprain - Experience?

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  • Fetlock sprain - Experience?

    My OTTB has been off and on for 1.5 months. I figured it was an abcess and another vet said he suspected it. This was at the end of June. I brought my gelding home first of July and he is still off and on lame. Again, I figured an abcess trying to come out.

    3 day ago, however, I noticed an area of small swelling on the outside/back of his right fetlock area. Took him to vet and they took x-rays and all looked good and he said, sprain. Wanted me to apply dmso, wrap/sweat area. I have been doing that now for the last 3 days.

    What's your experience with a sprained fetlock area? I don't know why, but I just have a bad feeling about this. Thanks.

  • #2
    The one time I had a horse with what really was a fetlock sprain, it resolved very quicky with cold hosing and wrapping. There was no on again off again lameness, he just came in one day with a swollen fetlock, and was quite lame. I think it was literally two days, and he was back to normal.

    Personally, I'd be tempted to spring for an ultrasound to check for tendon damage if it was my horse.

    But I'll admit, I'm a worrier.
    "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."
    -Edward Hoagland


    • Original Poster

      I should probably add that this guy has NOT been in hard work. In fact, here in OK, it has been so hot that I haven't ridden in over a month - not to mention that he is off and on lame. We do compete in HT and had been doing so this year, but again, it is GAG only. Just low things.


      • #4
        I dealt with this in April. I cold hosed a nd iced along with wrapping and stall rest. healed in 5 weeks and we resumed light work. By the 7th week we were jumping low fences again. The stall r est and icing/cold hosing were the KEY!!
        Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org


        • #5
          I also suggest getting an ultrasound to check for tendon damage as it can effect how you rehab; and good diagnosis allows for best possible long term prognosis.


          • #6
            Is the sprain to the tendon or the ligament?

            A sprained ligament would need much more agressive treatment than a tendon, and the sooner the better to reduce the chances of it causing arthritic changes.
            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


            • #7
              My gelding had one last Spring, hind left. Never profoundly lame, just "odd". Diagnosed as sprained, very little filling/swelling, not hot. Recovery plan was stall rest, followed by limited turnout. Poulticed for 7 days, wrapped for support, cold hosing. Took 6 weeks, and returned to riding first at walk for 15 minutes, added trot, no sharp turns or pivots, built to WTC. Added jumping at week 8. We were pretty conservative, and have had no recurrence.
              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


              • #8
                That timeline sounds too long for a simple sprain. I would definitely want an ultrasound to determine what structures were involved.


                • #9
                  My fetlock sprain was a lateral collateral ligament tear.....get a ultrasound done.


                  • #10
                    My filly had a fetlock "sprain" as a yearling and is now permanently lame as a result. The official term for it was synovitis- (inflammation of the joint capsule). 30 days stall rest was prescribed and it probably should have been more. Once she emerged from stall rest the joint was reinjured from running around; and long story short- is now arthritic. So I would get a really good diagnosis and make sure to stick to the recovery program!