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fluid and heat in legs - no known cause... Ideas?

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  • fluid and heat in legs - no known cause... Ideas?

    Went to the barn last Friday to ride, bent down to put polos on and the horse had poofy legs! The front left leg was warm/hot down to and including the hoof, with a large amount of swelling - the leg was the normal size but you could not feel/see any ligaments. The right leg had some swelling, but you could see some of the ligaments. Warm heat through and down to the hooves. The swelling is located where you would apply front jump boots/polos. No heat/swelling in the knee or pastern. Heat runs from just below knee and can be felt in the front of the hooves. Swelling is fluid-like, but is not 'pooled' anywhere or at the bottom of the leg - even swelling.

    He was turned out all week including that day (I came in the evening). We trotted him in the indoor and he was perfectly sound. Seriously perfectly sound. Did some sensitivity testing (squeezing/pressure) and had minor if not a reaction just to our prodding.

    First thought was the horse was stocked up, but he just came in from turnout! Swelling went down Saturday and Sunday (almost gone) but swelling came back Monday. Sunday he was left in (but was hand walked in the indoor). There is no heat/swelling in the back legs.

    I cant think of the last time the horse was 'lame'. Anyone have any brainstorms/ideas as to whats going on? I tried to be as descriptive as possible.
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.
    -Winston Churchill

  • #2
    From what my vet just described to me...that sounds what like strangles purpura (sp?) could be...could your horse possibly been exposed?

    or ...Lymphangtis? which could be caused by anything from scratches-to tick borne illnesses...i would check a temp for fever and have your vet come and do bloodwork to rule things out

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    • #3
      Having seen Strangles and Lymphangitis I wouldn't immediately suspect either of those. However, I would be worried about Potomac Fever- and founder caused by it. This is an issue for the vet.

      Also, imho, real heat in more than one foot (i.e., not an abscess) always warrants a chat with the vet.

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      • #4
        I've never seen PHF this time of year, and never without fever, loss of appetite, and diarrhea--the fever is what causes laminitis.

        My guess would be cellulitis or possibly a virus of some kind.

        Regardless, it sounds like time to take vitals and call a vet.

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        • #5
          I would be wondering about a bacterial infection. Are there any cuts? Is the turnout muddy?

          If so antibiotics would be the treatment.

          Ask your vet.

          Dan
          www.dmwarmbloods.com
          http://www.facebook.com/pages/DM-War...3105523?ref=hl

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          • #6
            Sounds like cellulitis. You will have to get the vet to take a look and prescribe antibiotics if that is the case.

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