Swelling in hind legs... should I be worried?

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Swelling in hind legs... should I be worried?

This is a discussion on Swelling in hind legs... should I be worried? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Why would both hind legs on my horse be swollen?
  • Swelling in lower hindleg horses

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    08-21-2011, 03:42 AM
Swelling in hind legs... should I be worried?

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 :)
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    08-22-2011, 01:58 AM
Anyone able to help? Or should I leave this down to common sense? Haha.
    08-22-2011, 02:02 AM
Have you tried walking her, and cold hosing those legs?
    08-22-2011, 02:25 AM
Katze; Thanks for the reply, I did both those, as well as my mare is currently living outdoors in wintry paddocks with some water in them. Yesterday we had to walk through cannon deep water to my shed, so she has been hosed and watered, haha! The swelling went down after walking around as stated above so I rode her and it was almost gone by the end, the stiffness too... guess as a horse Mummy, we can panic over the smallest things and post silly threads, hehe.
    08-22-2011, 02:38 AM
I posted a similar concern, and haven't had any responds....please lmk how this turns out.
    08-22-2011, 02:51 AM
Certainly will Tokoneki! I'm hoping going by common sense is enough, but it was just quite concerning, so I just want to double check... let's hope we can get some advice :)
    08-22-2011, 08:36 AM
Green Broke
My guess is she is stocking up, the same as a horse put into a stall when they aren't used to it. She's been just standing around, in cold water & both of those things can decrease circulation. Circulation in the lower leg is helped by the frog pumping the blood out. When you make her move the circulation improves & the extra fluid gets put back into circulation decreasing the fluid. I think she's fine.
Try to keep her on dry ground where she will be more inclined to walk around.
    08-24-2011, 01:38 AM
Thank you Natisha... this is what I believed it was, thank you so much for clarifying my dubious thoughts!

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