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Horses that swell up from every little nick and cut?

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  • Horses that swell up from every little nick and cut?

    My mare is a bit like this, and I have a horse on trial at the moment that has this same problem. She was fighting the horse next door and kicking at the fencing, and now I am having a heck of a time getting her hind legs down completely.

    That said, has anyone ever had a horse with this problem where a vet actually diagnosed something? Anyone deal with a horse that seemed to have this problem and "fix" it?

    This particular horse is a big, sensitive, growing 3 year old. The owner knows about the issue and has battled it herself, but luckily at her place the horses are out 24/7 (so the swelling is controlled also by movement). With me she is stalled so I am trying to get her out moving as much as possible. My biggest concern is the thought of dealing with this long term, or that this may point to some underlying inflammatory or immune system issue.
    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

  • #2
    How does she act when her legs are swollen? Does she shows any signs of pain?

    Unfortunately, I saw several career ending injuries from horses kicking each other thru the paddock pipe fences. If the horse will not like his/her neighbor they will continue to bicker... some horses are confrontational with any of their neighbors, others will settle down after a month.

    Most barns in my area deal with this now by installing electric tape between the paddocks or attaching rubber mats on the pipe fencing, or wrapping keystone Steel & Wire around the pipe paddock fencing. Wood is not good, that only leads to more damage.

    You can ask your BO if she can do that for you. I’m sure you'll have to pay for that, but still... If BO is not open for that, you may try kicking chains or wrapping her legs for a month.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      DA, she has been moved to a padded cell, so I fixed the kicking/playing with the mare next door problem. There is no pain, she is sound. She just swells from every single nick and cut or bruise. The owner knows this about her, and wraps for every little problem. My question is why is she so hypersensitive in the first place, she didn't kick hard and hardly scraped her legs but they blew up. She also has some scar tissue and hard swellings on her front legs from old (minor according to the owner) injuries.
      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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      • #4
        Is it hot and humid there? When it gets like that here the horses swell up at nothing. Doesn't bother me, I think it has less to do with a problem than that's just the way they react in the heat. On the other side though, some horses just do swell up at nothing. It's going to be more about their heart whether it bothers them or not. Some horses are tough as nails and some aren't.
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        • #5
          *raises hand*

          Have one of those....although the swelling is a lot at first, even for minor scrapes, it resolves within a reasonable amount of time. Same horse also had bad case of scratches/fungus about 6 months ago. Maybe some are just more skin sensitive

          This horse isn't reactionary in other ways - i.e. never had vaccine reaction, reaction to wormer, hives, etc.

          There are worse "issues" a horse could have -

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          • #6
            I agree with Vbunny. I got one like that too, however it's much worse in hot & humid weather, just a needle prick could get him swelling up. However in winter when temps are freezing, it doesn't happen at all, eventhough -with his playful nature in the snow- he cuts himself on a few occasions.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
              DA, she has been moved to a padded cell, so I fixed the kicking/playing with the mare next door problem. There is no pain, she is sound. She just swells from every single nick and cut or bruise. The owner knows this about her, and wraps for every little problem. My question is why is she so hypersensitive in the first place, she didn't kick hard and hardly scraped her legs but they blew up. She also has some scar tissue and hard swellings on her front legs from old (minor according to the owner) injuries.
              urm-- when in general not finger pointing
              when people tend to wrap or bandage there horses for no apprant reason they are actually doing more harm than good, as then in time the horse hasnt got the how shall i say natural conditioning for hardening up his legs so any nick or supperfiscal cut turns into legs stocking up

              also the marks you say on the legs - now one reason is becuase it may or may not have injured iitself but most are what we here in uk call pressure marks that turn into tissue swellings then into cuts or scars so the hair turns white

              and this is due to a-- doing bandages boots or wraps up to tight so stopping the circualtion
              and b- when competeing not changing bandages for each eilment
              by that i mean from say x/c to sj etc each eilment you must remove bandages or boots clean and dry the legs before the next dispiline as when bandages are wet from going through they restrict, and cuase pressure points on the legs if not taken off and let to dry on the legs
              boots on the other hand collect dirt and debria so again can cause legs problem by the dirt still being in the boot and chaffing the leg as it moves again causing unnessacary pressure,

              c- by having the banages directly on to the leg, when one wear bandages one should put a protect cover underneath the bandage ie like gamagee or protect wrap, or wod of cotton wool, or orthaband which is a bandage made of cotton wool,

              also people that have horses out 24/7 and then suddenly bring the horses in
              then the horse might stock up, this is becuase outside is earth and it flexible as in it gives goes from hard to soft to firm etc

              the floor in ones stable could be concrete thre fore the horses thats not used to it may stock up as the floor doesnt give
              hence why when a horse is on box rest a concrete flloor is ideal as then its gives more stability on the leg thats injured
              and when ones on concrete cement the the beds should be deep and sides banked to protect the horse from hip hock and elbow sores or from getting cast
              mats however , people tend to think less bedding when in truth you shuld treat the mats the same was as you do a hard floor like concrete as the mats are hard the olny reason people have them is it easy to clean but can still cuase the same thing a like hip hock and elbow sores if the beds are to small

              so in answer what the owners done is wrap the little horse up in cotton wool and done the horse no favours now the horse will succomb to any little nick
              rather than clear it up by alllowing the horse to move to dislodge the sinue liquqid thats forms pus or infection disburse naturally like as in a bruise you cold hose and turn out , no need to wrap the horse or little nick,
              one would wrap or bandage for simple supperfical cuts and nicks or brusies
              one would just cold hose keep the wound clean and shove the horse out so the wound if say at the top of the leg goes down the leg and out the foot
              when i say out the foot doesnt mean its going to be an abcess all it means is the infection disbruses and then dis appears rather than saying thay same bruise if not cold hosed would go up the leg and possibale into the blood stream then the infection is in the leg and harder to deal with so need a vet for anti botics
              and this can happen if its something simple and you have bandaged the leg to tight then its possible it goes up into the blood rather than down and out the foot

              i hope that answer your question

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              • #8
                I rode one like this as a kid. This DWB gelding was a sound, tough man's field hunter and really "game" eventer. But the dude puffed up way more than necessary for any cut or abrasion. We just planned on cold hosing early and often for things that we would have ignored in other horses. And that was mainly for cosmetic purposes.
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                • #9
                  My horse exactly. Whether he just knocks himself (no cut) or cut, he gets either an egg shaped hematoma or what looks like a splint but isnt, or what looks like bucked shin but isnt.

                  He's never been lame. One of hte earlier ones I had a vet come out because I thought it looked like the start of a tendon injury. She ultra sounded and said it was just superficial swelling under the skin that pushed the check ligament out.

                  He also in hot weather seems to get thicker, for lack of a better word. His tendons feel bigger and smushier, but no lameness. Another vet said it is possible that some horses just swell easily. I still don't know if it is anything to worry about yet.

                  Next time the vet comes out I will ask more detailed questions. As this is all new to me to. My horse is 17.2 5yo.

                  I wouldn't wrap. I just clean it out really well and cold hose. Sometimes I'll put some Surpass on it too or DMSO.

                  On a side note... his is worse with heat/ humidity. The first hot day this summer I arrived and his RF leg was freakily mis-shapen from swellings all over the cannon bone. Turns out it was the boots being twisted. A few weeks later, he developed 2 white fur spots. I'm certain it was from that. I will never turn out in boots again.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    To answer some questions, it has been freezing cold here lately, so I thought that would help, it didn't. I did not wrap for a few days, trying just cold hosing and hand-walking/exercise, but it did not do enough. Now the swelling is just the pastern, so I gave her a gram of bute last night and did not wrap, I'll see what it looks like tonight.

                    This is just her. Every little thing I guess makes her swell. And to answer the one poster, she was on 24/7 pasture living until she came to me, it did not matter, she would still have swelling issues when she did hurt herself, and has two small places of proud flesh on the front legs where small cuts turned ugly.

                    I just thought maybe someone actually had a diagnosis. My vets say "I don't really know". One vet I use is concerned about there being some low grade inflammation somewhere in the body making her super-sensitive. But it's all just guessing. Maybe some horses are just that way.
                    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                    • #11
                      Have a 23 yr old TB who has been like that ever since I have owned him (20 yrs). Now he has had chronic lymphangitis in one hind leg for the last five or so years. It is controllable and he was sound with it (now unsound, but that is arthritis related). Had a long and productive show career.

                      IMO horses like this are prone to lymphangitis and I would recommend being pro-active about nicks and cuts and guard against infection. If infection sets it, deal with it agressively.

                      While we may not want to wrap for every nick and cut for regular horses with these kind, I think, we do.

                      JME. YMMV.

                      I just want to add that this same horse is prone to hoof abcesses, thrush and eye infections. Maybe related...maybe not....

                      He is my "special needs" horse lol.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Had one like this as well. I tend to believe that he might have had a weaker immune system, since he also got eye infections and thrush and skin stuff fairly regularly.

                        What I did notice that he was much better for much longer after a course of antibiotics for one episode of leg swelling from hoof to groin.

                        Animalintex is your friend if you decide to wrap. It's really too bad that bandaids don't work for horses.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vbunny View Post
                          Is it hot and humid there? When it gets like that here the horses swell up at nothing. Doesn't bother me, I think it has less to do with a problem than that's just the way they react in the heat. On the other side though, some horses just do swell up at nothing. It's going to be more about their heart whether it bothers them or not. Some horses are tough as nails and some aren't.
                          I have one that swells when he so much as stubs a toe.

                          He stuck his hind leg through a fence last week and came out with two teen scratches. His hind leg is still stocked up every day when I arrive home. I wrap him in polos when I ride and he's back down to normal tight legs when I'm done.

                          As a youngster (3-4 y/o) I could not wrap him after a hard work out. I would take the standing wraps off an within an hour his legs looked like the stay puff marsh mellow man.
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                          • #14
                            I just thought maybe someone actually had a diagnosis. My vets say "I don't really know". One vet I use is concerned about there being some low grade inflammation somewhere in the body making her super-sensitive. But it's all just guessing. Maybe some horses are just that way.[/QUOTE]

                            how odd that vet said that, might as well change to another vet as it could be a nthing and a no of things you be wise to get your farrier out mate as ina quaified farrier not a trimmer asthey often deal with more legs than vets and as they are
                            the proper cares of the lower limb action, so and they a tad cheaper than a vet to
                            so see what he says then if you need to go down the rad road with vets and farrier then thats what you do so have a word with your farrier as he knows you and your horse a tad better

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