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Pastern and Fetlock swelling-- vet says infection

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  • Pastern and Fetlock swelling-- vet says infection

    My mom called up not knowing what to do with my TB gelding. He was limping badly with heat and slight swelling in his FR pastern, all below the fetlock. There are no wounds anywhere on the hoof or leg and he keeps lifting it up to people (which he never does with injuries since he thinks he's completely independent). His hoof has been poked at and it doesn't faze him anywhere (from what I've been told). Under my instruction, right now he's being cold hosed, buted, and given treats. I'm not having anything wrapped now, but if its' needed I'll get my neighbor to do it (since I don't ttrust my parents' wrapping skills). I don't think it's too serious from the information I've been given, so I don't want to send him to the vet unless he needs it.

    Any ideas? TIA!
    Last edited by TBlitz; Oct. 25, 2008, 02:59 PM.

  • #2
    Sounds like it could be an abcess. I'd have your mom soak the hoof in epsom salt and try to have your farrier come and see if there is an abcess so he can open it up if there is.


    • #3
      Sounds like an abcess to me. My vet doesn't give bute for abcesses since she thinks it prolongs the irritation instead of getting it out.


      • #4
        Could be an abscess and it could be something more serious.
        I would soak the foot and let the horse rest. Look for any areas on the bottom of the hoof and the coronary band for drainage.
        If he doesn't get better in a day or two, call your vet.


        • #5
          I would be really cautious with heat and swelling in the pastern. My horse got that wound up with a torn collateral ligament of the pastern, he was only very subtlely short strided of his right front.


          • #6
            Abcess is my first guess. Check to see if he reacts to hoof testers, or ask your farrier to look at him. I will bute for abcess to keep a horse moving around, and not stock up in the other 3 legs (or banamine). If he isn't reactive to the hoof testers, I'd probably want a vet to look at him, if I couldn't be there myself.


            • #7
              I second collateral ligament...my mare this issue w/ heat in the pastern area on her RF...and discovered a 70% tear

              hope it is just an abscess...

              you can only diagnose CL via U/S...


              • Original Poster

                I got a call that the swelling has expanded to the fetlock and just above it. He's limping around pretty badly even with bute. He will be visiting the vet in the morning when my farrier is also there so that they can work together to figure it out.

                It's so hard for me to not be there with him Jingles appreciated for my (retired) horse of a lifetime!


                • #9
                  Jingling in Virginia! Most of the time, by the time I figure out I am dealing with an abcess I am so relieved that I am happy about it. I hope you find it's *just* an abcess as well.


                  • Original Poster

                    Blitz came back from the vet and was given antibiotics. They think there's just a higher up abcess (one that may burst at the coronary band *yuck*) or some kind of spreading infection from getting his feet done just under 2 weeks ago (he's been lame since a couple days after it, but we thought it was just a stone bruise).

                    Since he's a very easy going guy, we set up a temporary small paddock on flat and soft ground to get him away from the rocky hills in his pasture. The yearling is throwing tantrums since he's not getting any special treatment . I'm hoping to fly back next weekend and see my boys, but I'm going to have to wait and see about getting a ticket.


                    • #11
                      I'm just curious -- did he react to the hoof testers anywhere?


                      • Original Poster

                        No, he did not react to hoof testers.

                        He had a giant abscess blow out at his coronet band and after a week is still limping a bit. He is also very sore to touch around where the abscess blew out. At his appt yesterday, the vet extended his antibiotics another week (along with foot soakings).