Something's wrong with Lacey? Maybe...?
So yesterday something seemed a little "off" with Lacey. She seemed a little draggy, if that makes sense, in her hind end. Like, usually She's pretty bouncy on those back legs of hers but yesterday her gait seemed a little different, from the ground.
So, I figured that since I had been keeping her in the lower pasture and that her back fetlock/pastern area was basically caked in mud, perhaps that caking was pulling on her hairs and feeling weird. So I tacked her up (I figured the best way to let her legs dry off was to go for a gentle ride), rode down to my house (her place doesn't have a hose, it has an automatic waterer, and no hose), and washed off her legs. I would have just brushed it off but the mud was wet.
I didn't notice anything weird on her legs, like nothing I would think of as scratches or something, but at the same time, she has some weird scarring on her back legs which makes it difficult to be sure what is normal and what's not.
Then I noticed that her pasterns seemed a little swollen. She didn't act like they hurt, they just looked swollen. So I took her for a short ride and she was basically being a beast. She kept wanting to canter, so I let her a little bit, just to see, you know? And she was fine. At first she had seemed a little stiff (usually she's pretty not stiff) but she was definitely loose, limber, and ready to go by the time we got back. Also, her gaits felt fine and she was perfectly happy to go, she just felt a little stiff to begin with.
I opened up the upper field and closed the gate to the lower one so that her legs would have a chance to get+stay drier, in case the mud is the issue.
Today when I went up to feed her, she seemed more uncomfortable... It might have been just because it's supper rainy today and her pasture is a little slick but I'm not sure... Her pasterns looked mildly swollen again so I took her out of the field and, at a walk, lunged her in a circle around me so I could listen to her hoofbeats to make sure she's walking fine (since she looked weird in the hind end at a walk in her pasture) and they sounded normal (and looked normal)... So I took her back in the field and walked her around for a bit (in the rain, she was mad) and when I took her back to her run in/the shed, the swelling in her pasterns was noticeably lower... Then, I thought of checking them for heat and her fetlock/pastern area was noticably warmed than her front feet. Her front pastern/fetlock area was normal, cool rain, temperature but her back ones were warm to the touch...
She's eating with gusto and her personality is normal, she just seems a little...extra careful with her back legs. I'm about 100% sure she doesn't have a fever, I didn't take her temperature but she didn't feel extra warm at all. Just normal Lacey temperature.
I did work her pretty hard last week, perhaps it was too hard... And I had started to give her two of her glucosamine cookies just to see if that seems to do more for her, perhaps the mollassses in them is too much like that...so I just gave her one today.
Should I be worried? How many days should I let this continue before I call the vet and have them come figure it out? Right now I don't think it's an "OMG call the vet" thing yet but I'm thinking that if she's still like this by Thursday/Friday I should get the vet over here? Or if she gets worse? Do you have any suggestions?
Could it be scratches? That would be weird if it was since she lived with much deeper, nastier mud at her last place of residence and she was fine... This mud is just like 20 feet of impossible to get around swampy-ness. But she liked to go hang out on the other side so her legs dried out regularly...
I would give her some bute or something but I don't have any...
Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
Last edited by Wallaby; 03-29-2011 at 09:13 PM.