Strange Bubble On The Knee

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Strange Bubble On The Knee

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  • Bubble of fluid on knee
  • Weird bulbe knee

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    08-03-2011, 10:05 PM
Strange Bubble On The Knee

So some of you may have read my thread about the horse with first barrel issues(which we found out was more than a barrel issue.... Thanks guys =) )

Well now we have to put working him on hold due to a weird lump on his knee.

Saturday before the show we went out to the field to get the boys (TC and Zippy) and I caught TC and as my BO was going to get Zippy he started trotting around like the dork he is. We thought he looked off but decided it was probably cause he was running around and acting silly. So I walked TC to the gate leaving my BO to get Zip. I got to the gate and my BO called and said "Does he look off to you?" I turned and Zippy was trotting towards me. He was most definitely off on the left front.

I caught him and my BO came over and we looked sure enough there is a bump on his knee. It was about the size of half a baseball. There was no heat, no swelling anywhere else. It didn't hurt him for us to push on it or mess with it. So we decided he was not going to the show and cold hosed it for about 20 minutes then put him back out into the field. We figured maybe he went to lay down and his knee bone landed on a rock making it sore because he was completely fine Saturday morning and when we went to catch him around 3pm that's when we found it.

Sunday and Monday the lump was completely gone but he was still a tiny bit off but not as bad as Saturday. So yesterday (Tuesday) I went to check him and the lump was back, only a tad bigger. The lameness was also back but again not as bad as Saturday. So I called my BO while he was at work and asked him if he was sure the swelling was down. He said yes there was no swelling that morning before he left for work. I told him it was back. He told me to get him to walk on the lunge line, then stretch the leg, cold hose for 20 minutes, stretch it again, and then put some liniment on it. So I did. He was still ouchy.

When you feel it straight on it feels like a bubble of liquid. When you run a finger from above it down onto it, it feels like a mass of some sort. I hope you can understand that description. It feels squishy when you touch it straight on but solid when you touch it while sliding your finger from above it to onto it. But it doesn't bother him at all if we touch it...just when he walks/trots.

Vet's coming out Friday.(soonest we could get...called last night when it came back. Vet said to just keep cold hosing it till then.

What do you guys think it is? Should we just keep cold hosing or is there anything else we can do till friday?

Here are some pictures of it. I can get more tomorrow if needed.
(From HIS right)

(From HIS left)

(front of both legs slightly angled)

(from slightly above it)

(From HIS left---- boots were just put on to get the flies to leave his legs alone so he would stop stomping)

(view from front of both legs)

(View from HIS left)
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    08-03-2011, 10:33 PM
Your pics didnt show up.. that's dissapointing:/. Its good to have your vet come out to have a look though!!
Hope you find out whats wrong with your horse:)
Good luck!! <3
    08-03-2011, 10:38 PM
Hmmm I'll try rposting them just give me a few seconds
    08-03-2011, 10:44 PM
In the same order as before

Hopefully these show's no good if you can't see pictures haha
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    08-04-2011, 12:42 AM
Also forgot to add earlier....there are no bug bites, scrapes, cuts, or anything of that nature in the area...completely clean.
    08-04-2011, 10:50 AM
Could be a hematoma. Is there heat in the knee? If not, than that's my guess. Your vet will have to drain it. I've seen vets drain hematomas before and then they can fill back up so back sure you keep a close eye on it for a few days after the vet comes out.

I had a horse that had a hematoma on her stiffle. The vet had to come out three times for it. Once to drain it; it filled back up. So then he put a drain in it so it could drain for 3 days was it?, and then he came back out to remove the drain. She then got a hematoma on her knee a few weeks later...She was our "problem child"
    08-04-2011, 11:39 AM
Wetrain- No there is not and hasn't been any heat at all since it first started. If it is a hematoma is cold hosing helping at all? I'm not familiar with them other than my dog had one on her ear YEARS ago and we had it removed. Is it anything like a hemangioma(sp?) because I have one of those on the inside of my leg and the only thing that makes it go away is pressure. So whenever I feel it start to act up I put my knee brace on.
    08-04-2011, 01:43 PM
It would be a similar concept, but instead of forming on the surface, a hematoma froms under the skin. Cold hosing wont help. The fluid will have to be drained in order to go away completely.
    08-04-2011, 11:06 PM
New goes away at night and comes back early afternoon.

Also a vet will now not be out until monday evening. Our vet's receptionist called saying he is in the hospital due to being kicked in the stomach and our appt would have to be canceled. She gave us the number of another vet sort of in our area. We called him and he said that since it is not an emergency the earliest he can be out is MOnday evening. Grrrr. Hope my vet feels better soon.

Also he was not ouchy today. He walked and trotted out normally.
    08-04-2011, 11:47 PM
While any proper diagnosis should be provided by a licensed veterinarian, I see no harm in a bit of internet quiz participation. Just remember, I am a farrier... not a licensed vet.

As an earlier respondent already suggested, a hematoma is a possibility. I would be inclined to suggest something a bit less severe.

Given your description and the location of the swelling at the carpus joint, I would guess this is a hygroma.

A hygroma is essentially a subcutaneous effusion, usually resultant some blunt trauma. In layman's terms... a fluid filled sac (mostly water).

A trauma to the carpal joint may have inflamed or ruptured the bursa, allowing fluid to move into cavities the trauma created just under the skin. Such injuries may or may not cause lameness and generally produce no palpable heat or indication of pain. Any visible lameness may be the result of more serious problems to the bones of the joint. The size of a hygroma can vary from one day to the next as fluid is moved into and away from the trauma site by the animals natural immune response and circulatory system.

While most hygroma's will resolve themselves over a period of weeks, the concern is any other damage that the trauma may have caused. It would be prudent to engage a veterinarian who can provide a flexural exam and radiographs of the affected area.

If during a flexural exam you should hear any "popping" noise, don't panic or presume the worst (fracture, bone spurs, etc). Sometimes that popping noise is just gas bubbles in the joint fluid being compressed between the bone condyles at points of articulation. It's the same effect you hear when someone "pops" their knuckles.

Your veterinarian may recommend a steriod injection to address any inflammation of the bursa. Some vets will want to drain the subcutaneous fluid. Others will simply choose to wait. The horse's system will eventually "wick" the excess fluid away from the affected area.

There is evidence that a hygroma present over more serious tissue or bone damage can progress into a hematoma and secondary infection. As always, consult your veterinarian.

Hoping you find this information useful and as always,


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