I board my horse with some very nice, uninformed elderly gentlemen. They have an 18 year old "paint" which is actually a paint crossed with some sort of draft. He's 17 hands and some change, and just big.. stocky, thick, and round. He was diagnosed by their farrier to have ring bone, but the horse is shy so I can't get close enough to him to check. I know he needs to see the vet, but these guys don't want to do it. Anyway, he has swollen ankles, probably due to him being overweight, and he has been getting more and more lame. I was wondering if pultice and wraps would be a good idea if I could catch him? He's already been getting Bute and isn't in pain, but he is pretty crippled. I think taking the swelling off would help, but I'm not sure. Any ideas on how to take the swelling off would be appreciated!
What can or should be done depends on how much of the "swelling" you are seeing is swelling and how much is build up of bone in the area where chronic trauma and stress is causing changes. A veterinary exam including x-rays would be the place to start. Joint injections in the area may be used to stop the inflammation, along with NSAID's like Bute but the underlying cause of the problem needs to be addressed.
Poor hoof balance is the biggest factor in the development of ringbone. If the hooves aren't balanced, it causes excessive and unbalanced stress on the joints in the feet and legs.