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Swollen Hind Legs? What is going on?

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  • Swollen Hind Legs? What is going on?

    Rode my horse at an arena I have never been to before on Sunday. Monday, both my horse's hind legs were swollen, the right more than the left. While riding I didn't do anything unusual - just walk, a little trot and canter. We did practice obstacles that were set up, but she didn't get hurt on anything. I checked her legs thoroughly and can't find any soreness or cuts/scrapes. The swelling isn't spongy but rather firm with minimal heat. She isn't lame and doesn't seem a bit concerned. It does go down a little with turnout where she can move around a bit but this is so not normal.

    Any ideas what this can be before I call the vet?
    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

  • #2
    Sounds stocked up to me. Does she get plenty of turnout. This usually happens when a horse is stalled.
    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


    • Original Poster

      yes, she has a large paddock attached to her stall with free indoor/outdoor access. She has never been stocked up before and for it to come on so suddenly is a little concerning.
      Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


      • #4
        Try cold hosing and some massage. I wouldn't worry too much about it unless she's lame, there's heat or she's running a temp.
        Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
        Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
        "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


        • #5
          Are you in a tick infested area? Does she seem lethargic? Any temp? Could be Ehrlichia.

          Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments


          • #6
            It does sound like stocking up from riding on new footing. If you trot for ten minutes and it goes down 50% or more then it is stocking up.


            • Original Poster

              No ticks in western WA (one good thing about living here). The footing was not that different from what she's used to. In other words, she goes out on various different footing types from cantering or trotting along trails in the woods, to sand arenas, to open countryside with hard or soft footing and she has never stocked up before. I will try totting her this afternoon and see what happens.
              Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


              • #8
                Has her feed changed? Are there any new spring weeds in her pasture? This is usually the culprit for any of mine, for some reason, the white legged ones in particular. I think it is proteins, and I tend to get good results from cutting their grain a bit.
                Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                • #9
                  Any diet changes?

                  My mare will stock up if she's fed anything with flax in it. Go figure...
                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                  • #10
                    Witch Hazel and standing bandages for the night (feel free to soak the legs), the WH will soothe and help draw out edema. I agree with looking into diet changes if her turnout time is adequate.


                    • Original Poster

                      Diet has not changed, however, her legs were not as stocked last night even with no exercise so I am thinking she may have kicked the stall wall and the concussive force may have something to do with it? I don't know.
                      Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                      • #12
                        Try light exercise (walk, trot) and hydro-ing all four legs. May just be temporary and probably a result of something recent - maybe the base of the footing was too soft or too hard for the horses. Base issues are hard to tell and it all seems to be on the mend anyhow.

                        Even with Stall Kicking, I'd hydro all four legs for that too... just keep the water temp similar not too warm nor freezing cold. From the upper joints down; it's a nice massage for the horse and she will probably enjoy the spa treatment.


                        • #13
                          One thing you should figure out how to do is to see if her flexor tendon sheaths are stocked up. This is something you can easily have your vet show you how to do. It is a more subtle sign, but can indicate an underlying inflammatory response. I had a mare with inflammatory bowel disease and we had to check those daily for months. When we took her completely off corn products, her IBD and symptoms went away.