can excess protein cause hind leg swelling?

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can excess protein cause hind leg swelling?

This is a discussion on can excess protein cause hind leg swelling? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Causes of horses legs swelling
  • Back leg swelling in horses

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    03-06-2012, 07:13 PM
Question can excess protein cause hind leg swelling?

Went out to ride yesterday and whiskey had both hind legs moderately swollen from hocks down, most noticeable around fetlocks and pasterns... no lameness, trotted her for 20 minutes and swelling went way down, then hosed for 20min. Went out to check on her a few hours later, and legs had started to refill. Wrapped both hind legs and let her stay out.

Whiskey wasn't ridden over the weekend, and I didn't notice them swollen when I was out with them on Sunday... swelling was much less today, and I repeated the trotting and hosing routine today, they look fine now. She is stalled at night, but is out on 5acres during the day. Couldn't find any cuts, scratches, or bumps...

The only thing I can figure is that I had given her an extra scoop of equine senior over the weekend, so she had 2 one quart scoops both nights. Is it possible too much protein caused the swelling? She was trimmed on Tuesday of last week.. only worked once last week due to weather. My trainer thinks she just torqued something... I just hate unexplained swelling.

I cut her equine senior back, other than that she is only on grass hay...
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    03-06-2012, 07:28 PM
Where does she live? In a stall, small paddock, pasture, etc? It sounds like she stocked up.
    03-06-2012, 07:31 PM
Green Broke
OP stated she is stalled at night, but out on 5 acres during the day.
    03-06-2012, 07:44 PM
Then it sounds like she's stocking up.
    03-06-2012, 07:45 PM
Yep, looked exactly like a classic stocked up case, but since she is out during the day on her pasture... which is dry lot basically ( Colorado prairie in winter)... can't figure out why she would stock up.

She is a very conditioned four year old, typically ridden four to six times a week for between 45min to an hour ...
    03-06-2012, 07:46 PM
Maybe she just wasn't moving around out there... Also, some horses just swell easier than others – Mudpie's one of those horses. Is there any heat in her legs?
    03-06-2012, 07:48 PM
Little bit of heat in one yesterday, no heat today.
    03-06-2012, 07:54 PM
Hmm... It honestly sounds like just plain ol' stocking up!

I don't think that excess protein causes hind leg swelling... the only experience I've had with excess protein was when Mudpie almost foundered because he was getting free choice alfalfa in a small paddock with no exercise... There was no swelling then, and he's one of those horses that just swells really easily.
    03-06-2012, 08:01 PM
As I read through, I am thinking that maybe the significant decrease in exercise contributed to her swelling?

Frustrating as I have a big show coming up next month and I am afraid to stress her legs... its supposed to snow the next few days so I will keep the exercise light and monitor her closely.
    03-06-2012, 08:37 PM
Yes, excess protein can cause hind leg swelling. It is a very common cause.

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