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Windpuffs??

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  • Windpuffs??

    I have a slight concern about what appears to be windpuffs on my mare's hind legs.


    History: Recently purchased the mare and transported her approximately 16 hours from Canada to the US. She just turned 3 years old, and is an App x TB.

    We transported her ourselves; she did not have any swelling at the time of pick-up. Her pre purchase exam was clean. She hauled like a dream. I know the breeder/seller and have known the horse since birth. She has always had excellent nutrition, lived out in pasture growing up (did have experience being stalled as a yearling for professional in-hand training and showing). She has not been pushed AT ALL, and has only been sat on two times with a saddle. I believe these "windpuff" occurrences are related to her new environment and routine.

    At my current barn, she is stalled at night and turned out into a pasture that is very large (acres..) with a few other mares. The barn does have a concrete base, though the stalls have rubber matts and bedding. She is turned out for approx 10 to 12 hours per day. She does play with the other mares - they all get along well and there is no aggressive chasing or kicking taking place. Due to her young age and the adjustment to her new home, I have recently in the past week or so started to work her a bit more. Lunging over poles, groundwork, nothing REALLY intense though. Her lunging manners are excellent and she does not pull on the line.


    The "windpuffs" are present on the side of each hind fetlock, and within the past two days I noticed they are also present on the side of both hind hocks (this is new). Her front legs are clean. There is no heat and do not appear to cause any pain. She is completely sound. Previous owner did mention she had slight hind windpuffs/swelling when she was stalled at shows as a yearling.



    So - are these acting like windpuffs or potentially something else? I am not extremely concerned as she is 100% sound, and there is no heat. Any extra steps I can take to help resolve them?

  • #2
    interested to hear what others have to say...I've never seen windpuffs on the hock, only the fetlock. My mare definitely gets them when she's been standing all day, but they go away with work. Do yours go away with work?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Initially yes - I would be at the farm by 5 am to do stalls and turnout. She would have the 'windpuffs' above her fetlocks every morning. By PM turn-in/feed time they were reduced or nearly gone.

      She arrived on 6/1. I have noticed that more recently they tend to reduce less than they initially did - and the hock 'puffs' appeared. However, we just had a very rainy storm Sunday and turnout was pretty wet; they didn't move around or play as much as normal. It has also been nearly 100*F and extremely humid the past few days too. Not sure if that is a factor.

      [I put "windpuffs" in quotes because I don't know what exactly they are, or what else to call them..]

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Senszuri View Post
        I have a slight concern about what appears to be windpuffs on my mare's hind legs.


        History: Recently purchased the mare and transported her approximately 16 hours from Canada to the US. She just turned 3 years old, and is an App x TB.

        We transported her ourselves; she did not have any swelling at the time of pick-up. Her pre purchase exam was clean. She hauled like a dream. I know the breeder/seller and have known the horse since birth. She has always had excellent nutrition, lived out in pasture growing up (did have experience being stalled as a yearling for professional in-hand training and showing). She has not been pushed AT ALL, and has only been sat on two times with a saddle. I believe these "windpuff" occurrences are related to her new environment and routine.

        At my current barn, she is stalled at night and turned out into a pasture that is very large (acres..) with a few other mares. The barn does have a concrete base, though the stalls have rubber matts and bedding. She is turned out for approx 10 to 12 hours per day. She does play with the other mares - they all get along well and there is no aggressive chasing or kicking taking place. Due to her young age and the adjustment to her new home, I have recently in the past week or so started to work her a bit more. Lunging over poles, groundwork, nothing REALLY intense though. Her lunging manners are excellent and she does not pull on the line.


        The "windpuffs" are present on the side of each hind fetlock, and within the past two days I noticed they are also present on the side of both hind hocks (this is new). Her front legs are clean. There is no heat and do not appear to cause any pain. She is completely sound. Previous owner did mention she had slight hind windpuffs/swelling when she was stalled at shows as a yearling.



        So - are these acting like windpuffs or potentially something else? I am not extremely concerned as she is 100% sound, and there is no heat. Any extra steps I can take to help resolve them?
        deeper beds and banked sides will help, dont just relay on a mat and concrete as the floor is rock hard so to support her bank the sides and give her a deep bed you want a 2ft sides with a good foot of bedding in the middle

        Comment


        • #5
          Quit lunging your youngster, keep her outside round the clock if you can. It does sound like she has windpuffed in the ankles and thoroughpins in the hocks. Fairly common occurance from stressing/straining young unfit legs. Lunging or round penning is really stressful and a common cause of joint stress. I did just a couple of roundpen sessions with a 4 yr old that had catching issues and he has permanent thoroughpins both sides of both hocks.

          Your horse is a BABY, let her grow up without the lunging. I do moderate ponying (this is straight lines) for months and begin saddle work when they are four. DON't Lunge.

          http://www.smartpakequine.com/health...oroughpin.aspx

          chicamuxen

          Comment


          • #6
            My older mare stocked up really badly for a while when I moved her to a barn with concrete floors, even with mats, so that could absolutely be a contributing factor. She also looked worse when it was hot out, so again, that could explain the recent increase in swelling.

            Did you have hock x-rays as part of the PPE? OCD can aso cause swelling in the hocks of young horses.

            I've also seen some horses with less-than ideal hock conformation get bog spavins or thoroughpin without being worked too hard and still remain sound.

            If it were me, I'd probably have rads done if they weren't done as part of the PPE (though I'm a worrier by nature), and if they don't show anything I'd probably leave her out as much as possible. My mare's back home now, out almost 24/7, dirt floors under mats in the stalls and run-in, and her legs look much better.
            "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

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi

              Is there any chance that the previous owner had just had her feet trimmed before you picked her up, and the angles were suddenly lower (possibly broken back) than they should be (low hind heels, long hind toes)?


              The reason that I ask is that I have a mature horse who has wind puffs (because of age and level of training) that are exacerbated when a farrier trims the hind heels too low and leaves the toes too long. When the heels got chopped off, the pasturn angles became broken back and the hocks strained (hock angles straightened because of chopped heel) (thankfully no bog spavin occurred). Poof! Bigger windpuffs over night! I had to immediately use a wedge pad on the hinds to get the angles correct for this horse, and to relieve his discomfort. As quickly as the windpuffs got bigger overnight, the windpuffs suddenly lessoned. This horse is now a 20 yr old FEI horse and is totally fine now. His windpuffs are minimal for a big horse his age and level.

              Even now, if the hind angles are for some stupid reason at all too low, the wind puffs instantly get bigger.

              Just a thought....



              .

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by chicamux View Post
                Quit lunging your youngster, keep her outside round the clock if you can. It does sound like she has windpuffed in the ankles and thoroughpins in the hocks. Fairly common occurance from stressing/straining young unfit legs. Lunging or round penning is really stressful and a common cause of joint stress. I did just a couple of roundpen sessions with a 4 yr old that had catching issues and he has permanent thoroughpins both sides of both hocks.

                Your horse is a BABY, let her grow up without the lunging. I do moderate ponying (this is straight lines) for months and begin saddle work when they are four. DON't Lunge.

                http://www.smartpakequine.com/health...oroughpin.aspx

                chicamuxen


                To clarify, she has been lunged a total of 4 times in just under one month's time. The first two lunge sessons totaled 5 minutes each at a walk. The second two did not exceed 10 to 15 minutes. The majority of the work was done at a walk with a little trot over poles. This swelling occured before she started any type of "work" (if you want to call it that) whatsoever. The majority of our time together is spent with groundwork and grooming.

                Thank you for the link, that was very helpful.
                Last edited by Senszuri; Jun. 20, 2012, 11:08 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Should get radiographs. Look for negative plantar P3 (lateral view) and also check M/L P3 alignment with ground (A/P view). Check sacrum and lower back for mild tenderness - palpation.
                  Flexion tests . . . suspensories.

                  Often these subclinical presentations (not obvious to the untrained observer) accompany windpuffs and precede clinical symptoms (obvious lameness).

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I definitely think the concrete stall is a huge drawback. It is less than ideal, even with the mats. The farm uses pelleted bedding, it is a little more difficult to comfortably bed like I would with shavings. Because this horse is used to being in the pasture 24/7, this is a huge adjustment to being stalled at night. I am going to talk to the barn owner tomorrow about having her on pasture board by the end of the month. (not sure if that will be an option for various reasons, but I am willing to strongly explore the possibility.)

                    She has very nice conformation and is well bred, so I do not think poor hock conformation is a contributing factor at all.

                    She did get trimmed the day before we hauled her home. She was trimmed approximately 3 weeks prior to departure, and long story short ferrier got the schedule wrong and did her AGAIN the afternoon before we left. Same farrier she has always had, as far as I know angles were not dramatically changed. More or less she just cleaned up her hooves, no real "trim" happening. Her toes are not long. By nature her heels are a little low (vet talked to me about that during the PPE. Nothing to worry about, it's how she has always been) but there were no changes out of her norm at this trim. She has never been shod.
                    Last edited by Senszuri; Jun. 20, 2012, 12:48 PM. Reason: can't spell! ha

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A "ferrier" is a ferry boat operator.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
                        A "ferrier" is a ferry boat operator.
                        I guess I'm more concerned about my horse than my spelling. Fixed it!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The extra stall time and concrete floors (with what sounds like less than adequate bedding) are IMO the main culprits of the windpuffs. If at all possible I would start using shavings and put 6-8 inches of bedding down, minimum. Preferably more.
                          An alternative is adding a second layer of mats, although mats are expensive, usually $30-40 per 4'x6' mat and difficult to handle.
                          Or you could try to get her out on 24/7 t/o which would probably benefit her more than extra mats or deep bedding.
                          come what may

                          Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Senszuri View Post
                            . . . By nature her heels are a little low (vet talked to me about that during the PPE. Nothing to worry about, it's how she has always been) . . .
                            You seem to be confident about this. You confirmed it with x-rays in the PPE?

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
                              You seem to be confident about this. You confirmed it with x-rays in the PPE?

                              Unable to attend the PPE due to distance, the conversation I had with the vet reflecting her professional analysis of the horse in the PPE is what I had based my purchase decision on. She expressed her opinion on her conformation and 'slightly low heels' (vet's description) with very little concern. Her flexion tests were clean. I have her full medical & nutrition history as I have known her breeder for several years. I chose not to have x-rays in the PPE, fully understanding some conditions are not visible through flexions alone. Moving forward if she should require films I will without hesitation do what is necessary for her. Because there is no heat and no lameness I am looking to gain more information from others experiences. I have been lucky enough to have not had this problem with any previously owned horses.

                              I will also post pictures tomorrow.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Senszuri View Post
                                . . . Because there is no heat and no lameness I am looking to gain more information from others experiences.
                                My experience is that a lot of people ignore windpuffs until clinical symptoms present as though this is "normal" for stall kept horses.

                                The stuff I've tried to bring to your attention (possible negative or low ventral P3) and sacrum discomfort is not something you will find unless you specifically look for it on radiographs and specifically palpate key areas to rule it out.

                                Also in my experience, when this sort of thing is ignored until it causes clinical lameness, the damage done is not reparable and ends the horse's useful career.

                                I hope I'm crying wolf. But you won't KNOW THAT unless you look for the wolf while it is still STALKING YOUR HORSE.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
                                  My experience is that a lot of people ignore windpuffs until clinical symptoms present as though this is "normal" for stall kept horses.

                                  The stuff I've tried to bring to your attention (possible negative or low ventral P3) and sacrum discomfort is not something you will find unless you specifically look for it on radiographs and specifically palpate key areas to rule it out.

                                  Also in my experience, when this sort of thing is ignored until it causes clinical lameness, the damage done is not reparable and ends the horse's useful career.

                                  I hope I'm crying wolf. But you won't KNOW THAT unless you look for the wolf while it is still STALKING YOUR HORSE.

                                  You have been very helpful and I appreciate your input! My trainer is going to take a look at her on Sunday and I will try to get her on full turnout asap if possible. I will put a call in to my vet to get his opinion as well. I would agree that the majority of horse individuals I have talked to have brushed windpuffs off as cosmetic - that was partially my reason for posting this thread. I do not know the extent of damage (if any) that can occur from them and if she does in fact have them.

                                  Can someone explain the difference between a windpuff, a bog spavin, and a thoroughpin? My understanding is that a windpuff is present in the fetlock, while a bog spavin and thoroughpin are present in the hock? Please correct me if I am wrong. Beyond that their descriptions online sound very similar to me.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If she's got low heels and windpuffs, I'd get a good vet out to look, take pictures (per Tom's recommendation) and take a close look at her hoof angles. I brushed off windpuffs in my trail horse while he was a reiner and in the end he's now retired to trail horse due to what turned out to be suspensory damage caused by working too hard with low heels / long toes.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Senszuri View Post
                                      . . . I would agree that the majority of horse individuals I have talked to have brushed windpuffs off as cosmetic . . .
                                      The only thing cosmetic is their knowledge.

                                      But I'm sure they will be happy to sell you another horse when this one breaks down.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Update:

                                        The temps (100*F) and humidity finally went down today. I got to the barn before turnout and even after being stalled at night the puffs on her hocks were nearly gone. I have not done anything to treat them/have not changed our routine.

                                        The puffs on her fetlocks were still there, but by the time I brought her in this afternoon they were also sinificantly reduced.

                                        Still absolutely no heat anywhere, and she is still 100% sound.

                                        Comment

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