Horse's hind leg extremely swollen - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-11-2012, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Horse's hind leg extremely swollen

Friday morning me and my sister went out to the farm to feed our horse when we noticed her standing funny. When we called her she didn't come to the gate which isn't normal so we went in put a rope on her and tried getting her to walk when we noticed her left hind leg was severley swollen. it isn't her ankle its right above her ankle and up. we tried getting her to move but she wouldn't she won't put any weight on that leg she holds it up or rests it on her toe. we called the vet and the vet couldn't feel if something was torn or broken because her leg was super swollen. he tried to get her out of the small pasture she is in and into shelter near electricity to give her xrays but he could not get her to move she will only hop around on her own will. she does hop around to get food and water because when we go to check on her she is always in a different place. The vet wrapped her leg and gave us bute to try and stop the swelling and ease the pain and said he is coming back tomorrow (monday) to see if she has improved and then try and get x rays. However she has not improved at all she still wont put any pressure on that leg and it is starting to really worry us. We're afraid she will damage her right hind leg from putting all her weight on it. She eats fine but just looks depressed. she does not have a temperature. Has anyone else gone through something like this with there horse? anyone know what it might be or what we should do. thanks
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-11-2012, 02:39 PM
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Wow, poor horse. No, sorry, can't help you out here. You did the right thing by calling the vet asap, hopefully everything is ok in the xrays. Keep us posted.
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-11-2012, 03:49 PM
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Hate to say but sounds like her leg is broken. Let us know how it goes after vet comes monday. Best of luck spirit88
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-11-2012, 04:28 PM
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You don't know if it is broke or not. Calling the vet was good, ex-rays will tell. I know it is frustrating but you just have to be patient until then. If the distance to electricity is still an issue tomorrow, do you have extra electrical cords on hand? If not, try to find some just in case.
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Last edited by goneriding; 03-11-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-11-2012, 04:47 PM
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We had a mare like that who had actually fractured her Splint Bone and required surgery to remove the bone below the fracture. If it's a cannon bone fracture then the horse will need fusion surgery.

Generally a torn ligament will only swell up on one side. And if she ruptured a tendon I would imagine there would be less swelling actually, and she might be more willing to walk on it.

It's VERY important to get radiographs, x-rays, and/or ultrasounds ASAP. I know moving a horse with a potentially broken leg is agonizing for you (maybe even more so than for the horse) but you need to be able to efficiently assess the situation. You're going to have to MAKE her get there, possibly with the light tapping of a whip if need be to keep her going. Take your time but she doesn't know what's best for her in this situation, just that it hurts when she walks so she doesn't want to move. She doesn't know that if she gets to her shed that you'll be able to diagnose her and get her on the rode to recovery.

If you're concerned about her other legs I would suggest standing wraps to give extra support and attempt to prevent laminitis (what Barboro died from).

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post #6 of 11 Old 03-11-2012, 04:58 PM
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At least it's a hind leg. I mean, that the horse puts 60% of its' weight on the front two legs, so being one legged behind is not as hard on the horse as being one legged in front.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-12-2012, 03:11 AM
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Going by the degree of swelling I would also suspect a break somewhere.
I've dealt with both a torn ligament and a ruptured tendon, and while the level of lameness was the same, with the horse on 3 legs, the swelling was not great. In both instances the swelling was mostly limited to the site of the tear, and upon palpatation it was clear that there was a tendon/ligament tear.

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post #8 of 11 Old 03-12-2012, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for responding to the post. The vet came by today and took x rays. We noticed she was using it a little this morning so while my sister shook a bowl of grain I was able to slowly guide her out with a rope, so we were able to get her out of where she was and near electricity to get the x rays done. she improved over night. this morning she was putting pressure on her leg and she is starting to use it a little when she walks she isn't holding it up as much any more. Since we were able to get her out of her paddock we put her in a smaller area which is flatter and better suitable for her condition. We have not heard back from the vet yet about the X rays but i'm hoping to hear from him first thing tomorrow morning. He was glad to see her using that leg and is hoping it isn't anything serious. He didn't unwrap her leg so we don't know how much the swelling went down but he put his hand down the cast and said he thinks it has gone down a little. I'm still really nervous and I don't know what to think at this point but All this waiting to hear is driving me crazy! I just want to know what's wrong so i can help her. I'll be sure to keep you all posted about the X rays and hopefully it is good news. Thanks again
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-15-2012, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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We got the xray results back. She fractured her splint bone. The vet said its the bone that's not necessary. It was a clean break but it is displaced so she is most likely going to have to get surgery done and the vet said they will probably just remove that bone. He said it may heal with out surgery but he doesn't really know so were probably gonna look into getting the surgery done. She is putting weight on it and walking much better on it so that's good. Has anyone gotten a surgery like this done? how did it go? has anyone had a horse with the same injury before and has it healed on its own or did you get surgery done? The only reason the vet said it may be better to get the surgery done is because the bone she broke is displaced and hes not sure if it will heal on its own because of it. Any information on it would be greatly appreciated thanks.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-15-2012, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yourcolorfuladdiction View Post
We had a mare like that who had actually fractured her Splint Bone and required surgery to remove the bone below the fracture. If it's a cannon bone fracture then the horse will need fusion surgery.

That is what happend to her she fractured her splint bone. How did the surgery go?
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