Today my mare was standing awkwardly in the corner of her paddock, and I was a little concerned, rushed over and noted both back legs, esp her right hind were swollen/puffy around the fetlock/pastern area leading up into her cannons. Here are a couple of pictures...
I should mention here that it just snowed here in Christchurch. We don't normally get snow, but we've had two dumpings this winter already (to us it was heaps, to those who snow each year, they'd laugh at us Cantabs complaining about it all haha), and the last one was the deepest snow I've ever experienced (it literally is normally ankle deep slush, never gets the chance to settle)... anyways because there was way too much of it and my horse lives outdoors, she ended up in a flooded paddock when it began to melt. It was up to her cannons at one point so I moved her quickly into a higher area in one of her paddocks. Though there is still water in some parts (around hoof-pastern depth depending on the area) and it was obvious she was avoiding the water.
I'm not sure why, but its not the first time I've noticed it on her after the snow... she walks and trots out stiffly with it.. and then the puffiness lessens. Once she started moving around it went away a bit, and so I decided to lightly ride her at a walk only. By the end of the brief ride, it was barely there.
Am I right to think this is just from standing around doing nothing and is just fluid? Or could it be something else that I'm not aware of and need to address? It's the first time I've noticed them being that thick, but they weren't hot or anything. I am a little concerned, and hence why I turned here for advice.
She is currently obese, it's been blimmin' hard to keep riding this winter, and whatever I had managed to get off her, is back. Furthermore, with the snow and not being able to access any grass she was hay fed by a fellow grazer when I was stuck without a way there, and I believe the little madam had cried poverty when the reality was if she had enough in her belly to keep it going, she could have shivered some of it off! I'm so mean lol.
Is it something to be extremely worried over, or just fluid from not moving around much?
Thanks in advance :)