I've been reading a bunch of info on the internet, and it looks like everyone puts them in a confined area, wraps it, calls out the vet or gives bute.
It sounds like a sprain...and they can be anywhere from very minor to making the horse 3 legged lame. For major sprains, this is my routine...
- Confine the horse to a stall or small paddockto keep it from running around and something with good footing.
- Unless it's already cold outside (like around freezing), cold water hose (10 minutes) or ice (20 minutes) the fetlock area. If you have one of those neat splint boots that you can put a cold pack in, they work well. An ice pack or bag of frozen peas wrapped with an elastic bandage works well in a pinch. Do this 3-4 times a day as long as you feel the heat/swelling. With sprains, usually the 2nd and 3rd days are the worst.
- You can give bute to help with the pain and swelling, too.
You should start to see some improvement after the 3rd day...if not, that is when I call a vet. Bring the horse back slowly..tendons take a long time to fully heal. With a bad sprain, I'll start a little hand walking after 5 days and see how it progresses.
Good luck...it's hard to see your horse hobbling along, but they typically look a lot worse than they are.