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20 year old stocking up for first time and wont go away

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  • 20 year old stocking up for first time and wont go away

    I went out to the barn today and my 20 year old paint's legs were huge. I have had him for almost 15 years and have NEVER seen him stock up, even when he was on stall rest for 4 months from a fractured stifle/femur; not even then were his legs swollen. We randomly have horribly icy winters and they've occasionally (sadly) been in stalls for 5-7 days at a time with no issues other than angry horses.

    He's on Tri-hist. Nearly his entire body was covered in hives last week so we started him on it again. He also got dex for 4 days. That has been gone for about 4 days I'd say now this. I just don't know what's wrong with him when aside from his stifle injury he's always been healthy.

    I saw it at 2, cold hosed him and walked/trotted him for about a 1/2 hour. He was turned out most of the day and moved around on his own quite a bit. His front legs went mostly down but by the time I brought him in were still fairly stocked up again. His back legs were still very stocked up from the fetlock down. Earlier it was almost his entire leg. Any ideas?? His turnout routine hasn't changed at all so it just doesn't seem like a lack of exercise thing. I'm not sure what other physiological causes there could be to stocking up. I called the vet and she said to do what I was doing and she'd come out and draw some blood, etc. Sometimes I can't even get her out for a month so I'm not sure how soon she'll be able to get out. Help!?!

  • #2
    Corticosteroids can cause fluid retention. (dex is a corticosteroid)

    No heat? Not running a fever?

    I'd be inclined to turn him out 24/7 if possible or let him run in/run out of stall if possible. See if more movement helps. Hand walk/longe a couple of times during the day if poss.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • #3
      Last week my 9yo mare developed "bowed tendons" bilaterally in the fronts overnight - classic banana-shape, fooled even the farrier. Vet decided it couldn't be bowed tendons - she's on broodmare duties, that the edema must be the result of infection somewhere. No heat in the legs, and her highest temp was 101.5 on a 108-deg day. Started her on antibiotics, also cold-hosing her legs, ice boots, etc. Next day the rears had looked as if they'd started "bowing". Edema started resolving but it took abt 4 days for it to go away completely. Bloodwork did not show anything. She and her 4mo old colt have 24/7 access to pasture.

      Keep checking legs and feet for heat, also digital pulses.

      You're braver than I am ... I'd be petrified of dex for 4 days for fear of laminitis. Hives must have been very bad to warrant that. I had a mare come out in hives several years ago ... vet gave her an antihistimine shot. There was no change. Just for the heck of it, I left a fly sheet on her 24/7, also face mask, for several days and the "hives" that were covered up all went away, but she had new ones on her neck. Her pasture had pine trees along one fenceline. We put her in a different pasture and the "hives" went away.

      Hope you can get some answers.

      Tarn in OK


      • Original Poster

        Nope, no fever today. The thermometer was MIA yesterday of course, but it was 99.7 this morning. No heat at all. It is definitely the worse in his bad leg though... the one that he tore his ligament off his femur and took part of the femur with it. No idea if it's because of the way he holds it now or if it has something to do with that old injury. The vet can't get out until Tuesday (which she is) so hopefully in the meantime it will go down. 24/7 turnout just isn't an option right now. They've been stalled their entire lives. We've tried leaving him out overnight before and he ran himself crazy and colicked. I guess I would rather try and figure out the stocking up without colic added to the mix. He'll be moving home to my house in a couple months (he's at my moms now) and will have a dutch door leading out to a pasture 24/7.

        His hives were horrible. He is very allergic to begin with so whatever it was just hit him like a ton of bricks. He was having some respiratory distress as well... nothing life threatening, but he has respiratory issues to begin with.


        • #5
          My 14 YO has the same type of thing going on. Stocked up behind, no heat, no lameness, no temp, happy, and wanting to work. The swelling went down with work, but not as much as just stocking up would go. The vet came out, I ran about 50 laps around the ring (he is SO learing to lunge!!!), we did flexions, he's completely sound, no injuries, nothing. Dx was mild cellulitis, she put him on SMZ's with cold hosing and poulticing daily. She thinks he'll be fine, and said it could have been caused by anything from the little hock sores he has to the heat and humidity.


          • #6
            Hopefully it's a side-effect of the Dex and with cold hosing, will resolve before the vet sees him next week. My mare really seemed to like the sprayer nozzle pulsating the water on to her legs.

            Probably not an issue if all four are swollen, but my friend's horse would stock up any time his "rain rot" or "scratches" started flaring.

            Any digital pulses?

            I hear you on the respiratory issues ... my gelding was dx'd with COPD 10 years ago (think they call RAD now). He's been well maintained on wet hay (he picks it out of a tub of water). He would not eat Tri-Hist, I've had better luck with Ani-Hist ... more palatable. I was not able to disguise the Tri Hist enough to get it into him.

            Tarn in OK


            • #7
              my bm's mare came up stocked up on the hinds only the other day. no heat, no discomfort, no real reason. she was stocked up pretty significantly for a few days, cold hosing and exercise brought it down a bit, but then she'd stock right back up. And, she was living out 24/7 during all this too.

              What she finally figured was there is a patch of weed growing in her paddocks, don't know the name, but it stings sort of like nettles. The branches have tiny sharp barbs on them. Generally the horses steer clear, but this mare likes to use it as her toilet area. We assumed that she had been going in and out, and between the dew soaked mornings and irritant of the weed, it just caused a reaction. Owner said she's got a lot of allergies in general, and this has happened to her before.

              As we were scratching our heads, she was thinking of doing standing wraps and stalling her overnight, but I offered for her to try my "back on track" pillow wraps instead and leaving her out. I'd bought them on sale at TOTD, but never used them and was curious for a field test. Well, something worked. Next day stocking up was gone and hasn't returned since, though nothing has changed in the mare's lifestyle or environment.

              We're not entirely sure it was the BOT, as the stocking up had started to go down on its own that evening anyhow before she applied them, but it was interesting nonetheless.
              Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


              • #8
                Back on Track are great products. When your horse is stocked up you should really hose with cold water for a minimum of 20 minutes and when dry, do a standing wrap. The leg needs support for the fluids to move up to healthy tissue.
                http://www.talloaksfarm.net ---"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts." --- Winston Churchill


                • #9
                  Ditto. Get the vet out ASAP. It could be more than "stocking up", it could be cellulitis and that isn't something to mess around with if you want a full recovery. Stocking up should go away with exercise, this sounds like more than just plain stocking up.
                  Last edited by LookinSouth; Aug. 28, 2009, 10:42 PM.


                  • Original Poster

                    Sorry, maybe I mispoke. He is having NO breathing problems right now. He did previously that were related to whatever allergic reaction he was having with the hives which were a different incident. It went away as soon as we gave the dex. He gets a cough during the summers which is why he's on the Tri-hist but is fine as soon as the first frost hits so it's obviously some summer related allergies of some sort. He's breathing completely normally and even though he's not worked because of his bad leg he still outworked me when we were walking and trotting with no problems breathing, coughing, etc.!


                    • #11
                      Had a strange issue with something like this happening with several horses in a barn I worked at several years ago. Horses broke out in hives, had random stocking up. Turned out it was from an odd clover toxicity from a new kind of pasture clover that had grown due to a substantially cooler/wetter summer. A lab panel would be a good idea.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Movin Artfully View Post
                        Had a strange issue with something like this happening with several horses in a barn I worked at several years ago. Horses broke out in hives, had random stocking up. Turned out it was from an odd clover toxicity from a new kind of pasture clover that had grown due to a substantially cooler/wetter summer. A lab panel would be a good idea.
                        I'm thinking this might be it. It just didn't dawn on us that we got new hay before all of this happened. I got off the phone with my mom and we pieced together the timing. She said she thinks there may be a clover in there that we think might be alsike. She's taking it in to someone to analyze and I'm calling the vet.


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by Movin Artfully View Post
                          Had a strange issue with something like this happening with several horses in a barn I worked at several years ago. Horses broke out in hives, had random stocking up. Turned out it was from an odd clover toxicity from a new kind of pasture clover that had grown due to a substantially cooler/wetter summer. A lab panel would be a good idea.
                          Also... can I ask you what they did for the horses and what the outcome was?