Can Abcesses Grow On Fetlocks?

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Can Abcesses Grow On Fetlocks?

This is a discussion on Can Abcesses Grow On Fetlocks? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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  • 2 Post By trailhorserider
  • 1 Post By cowgirl4753

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    08-09-2013, 02:27 PM
Can Abcesses Grow On Fetlocks?

Hey, My horse has a lump on the top inside of his fetlock. Yesterday night it was about the size of a marble, and this morning, my BO texts me and says its about the diameter of a loonie. I hadn't noticed anything before yesterday. Could this be an abscess? Its a tad warm, but not super hot. Not hard either. Anyone have any clue what it could be?
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    08-10-2013, 11:05 AM
In theory I guess an abscess could occur almost anywhere, however, I think it is more likely you have a windpuff. It is a fluid filled swelling in the fetlock joint area. It can be the result of an injury or hard work but once they are no longer fresh they are more of a blemish than anything. Google "windpuffs horses" and see if that sounds like what you have.

Do I dare ask what is a "loonie?"
EponaLynn and rideverystride like this.
    08-10-2013, 11:19 AM
Lol a loonie is a form of currency in Canada. It is the equivalent of $1

Oh and its a coin!

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EponaLynn likes this.
    08-10-2013, 11:23 AM
Green Broke
I agree with Trailhorserider - most likely a wind puff. Just keep monitoring it in case it is something else.
    08-10-2013, 06:40 PM
I googled it and that's actually what it looks like. And yes a loonie is 1 Canadian dollar and its about 2.5 cm across. So windpuffs are a permanent thing? Or do they eventually dissipate?
    08-10-2013, 08:14 PM
I believe they are kind of permanent. In my (albeit limited) experience they can go down if the horse is out of work, but then when you work them again (or keep them in steady work) the windpuffs are there to stay.

I read on the internet somewhere that they don't have much success draining them because the tendon sheath, or wherever the windpuff forms, is stretched in that spot so even if they were to drain it it will fill back up with fluid. So I think most people leave them alone. I really don't know about treatment options honestly because I have never tried to treat them.

My Mustang is an ex-roping horse and he has them on all 4 fetlocks. But he is sound. My Foxtrotter, when I first bought her, didn't appear to have windpuffs but as soon as I started riding her steady they showed up on her hind legs. I doubt I caused them that quickly, so that's why I think they were there all along but because she was out of work they didn't show up again until she started working again.

It could be that if the injury is fresh there is still a chance of it going down. I don't know if wraps might help on a fresh windpuff? Maybe someone else would know.

PS. Thanks for the info on the "loonie." I had no idea what that was!
    08-10-2013, 09:55 PM
Well I don't mind them being there, they just scared me when I saw random lumps on his fetlocks! :P He's still quite sound, enough so to spook while I was leading him and trot off on me! XD Yea, probably shoulda re-thought about using loonie as a unit of measurement considering all the people from the Us and other areas on the forum haha

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