Heat in the fetlocks

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Heat in the fetlocks

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    12-08-2009, 12:28 PM
Heat in the fetlocks

So, a few days ago I was out free lunging Ice in the round pen and we were taking a break. Almost as soon as he stopped he propped his foot up, which although it was the same leg that he likes to rest (his right), I still got kind of paranoid and wanted to make sure he wasn't injured. Nothing was swollen or out of place or anything like that, but the back of his fetlock was pretty warm. I checked his other legs, and his other back fetlock was warm, but not as warm as on that right leg. His front fetlocks weren't warm at all. He moved forward without hesitation, and he wasn't lame. I went out the next day and lunged him again, this time with splint boots on, thinking that maybe he was banging himself, and the same thing happened. They aren't warm when he's at rest, so whats going on here? Keep in mind its not the whole fetlock joint, just the back part where it sticks out.
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    12-08-2009, 01:40 PM
Sounds like he's over doing it. I'd take it easy on him for a few days, just walk, maybe a little trotting, but no sharp turns or running. He may be hurting the soft tissues in the leg, so I'd really just let him rest for a few days and then try again, at an easier pace. The heat is a warning sign that he's working harder than he's prepared to in those particular conditions, since it's not all four feet heating up the same. Maybe cold hose him if there is some heat, or a liniment brace.
    12-08-2009, 02:11 PM
Thank you--We recently started cantering him in the round pen/during lunging after he took off into a canter while I was on his back. I personally took this as a sign that he was physically ready to start cantering, since previously we could smack him with the lunge whip and he would just trot faster. Its been a little wet/mucky out, but he's lived in Florida all his life, and raced in similar conditions (he is an OTTB) so I didn't think it would be too much of an issue. Most of the cantering in the round pen he does do however is on his own accord (its been a little chilly, so he goes a little nuts).
    12-08-2009, 03:24 PM
Being off the track, its quite possible he has some old sesamoid fractures, or something called osslets, where there are tiny fractures in the little bones in the fetlock area that begin to calcify. Of course, I certainly can't say for sure just off some increased heat in the area description on the internet.

I would probably go ahead and suggest using some polo wraps, if you are handy at applying them, to offer some support when you do exercise him. Then just give him some extra warm up time before moving up to stronger exercises, etc. Then the cold water afterwards, if you detect any heat. Any time he comes up lame, lay off the exercise, but some light to moderate exercise is usually better than no exercise at all.
    12-08-2009, 03:44 PM
Bah, I royally suck at wrapping polos--would SMB's offer the same support?
    12-08-2009, 07:06 PM
Excuse the double post--I talked to one of the trainers at my barn, and she agreed. She also said that because of the funky weather, a lot of the other horses are getting stocked up, which would explain the sudden flair up.
I lunged him again today, just some easy stuff lots of trotting. When I went to take off his splint boots (he has them on all four) the front fetlocks were a little warm as well, but only on the one place.
    12-11-2009, 03:52 PM
Warm is not bad as long as there is no swelling period. Feel them every time you work him to get the baseline of what is normal. Then you will be able to know when they are hotter than normal.
    12-12-2009, 12:09 AM
I know something is wrong....when everything else around it was cool, there was a dot maybe my pinkie nail sized of heat coming out of his joint. When he was worked, it wasn't warm in the same way the rest of his leg was warm.
    12-13-2009, 10:13 PM
Bump....anyone have experience with this?

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