Swollen legs in 3 out of 7 horses?
 
 

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Swollen legs in 3 out of 7 horses?

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  • Hinds legs stocked warm
  • Yearling qh with swollen hind fetlock not lame

 
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    08-28-2011, 11:53 AM
  #1
Started
Thumbs down Swollen legs in 3 out of 7 horses?

I am sorry this is sure to get long winded but we'd really like to pick everyones brain here.... cookies for those who read threw!

Eight days ago my appendix QH gelding had a minor scrape to his leg, I noticed it but it required no attention. A day later his left hind leg was severely swollen. From the gaskin muscle down was well over twice the normal size, so swollen at the ankle that there was a roll of swelling over his ankle. No definition in his leg. My immediate thought was somehow he'd gotten an infection, cellulitis, etc.. He was not lame, other than the awkwardness of walking with a fat leg. After chatting with my vet over the phone I gave him a penicillin injection for four days then continued him on a lighter feed threw antibiotic (which he is still on for three more days). In the first four days he also received bute and had many cold hosings and Epsom salt leg baths. His swelling quickly went down and he is nearly back to normal now. She suggested walks or light riding, which is what we have been doing.

Yesterday my Foundation QH mare had four swollen ankles, this is highly un-usual for her however she is twenty five and has been on several long rides this week so I cold hosed and thought little more of it. This morning when I went out to feed the crew I checked on her and she now has a very stocked up/swollen left rear leg as well. From just above the hock down, she is not as swollen as the gelding was, she has just a little definition left in her leg but none the less it is very swollen. I have assumed the same treatment for her until I can get ahold of the vet tomorrow.

I was just about to head inside when Quarter Horse #3 here walked up from the round bale with a swollen left rear leg! Again, more similar to the mare but very noticeably swollen from just above the hock on down. All three horses are not limping, off or lame other than the awkwardness of a fat leg. All three horses do not want the leg cold hosed, hold it up and act like its painful to the touch - but no limp. Same leg?!

The four Thoroughbreds are fine.
Everyone eats the same thing, the hay is the same as it has been.
Grain did switch from Tribute Solutions 14 to a lower starch/sugar Tribute feed last week.
No new horses in/no horses have gone anywhere.
The other two do not have visible leg injurys but that doesn't always mean infection cannot get in, I suppose.

This just does not seem possible.

     
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    08-28-2011, 12:42 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Well I just lost everything I typed.

You're not alone, but it seems the majority of us with this mystery issue are in the southeast where high heat/humidity have been going on for months on end.

This is my reply on another thread (#4)Mud fever??

What about shavings? Do your horses come in at night? That was the first thing my vet asked me but it turns out I use the same shavings he does.

Both my horses had really high heat in their ankles, but neither one was running a fever, weren't lame, sore, off their feed or their disposition.

To repeat myself, I have never seen anything like this. My only thought is that our exceptional high heat either triggered something or we have ants or some kind of ground mites that we've never had before (again maybe brought on by the extreme weather).

I had put my Arab on TucoPrim because I had an old tub in closet. Vet's seem to vary on the antiobiotic aspect. My vet said not to waste the TucoPrim, so I took the Arab off of it even though the swelling in his ankle went way down quickly.

I did not start the TWH on TucoPrim and the swelling went down in the TWH's ankle but not as fast as the Arab and it's still puffy. Howeverrrrr, nothing happens fast with the Walking Horse unless it's when He spins at the sight of a Tri-axle dump grinding up the hill and gives me change for a dime

I hope others come in that have dealt with this mystery "stuff". Maybe there's some kind of funky fungus and/or bacteria that is on the loose, again brought on by the extreme weather conditions some of us are living in

Forgot to say my horses are on 22 acres and these two will wander into places the other two won't.
     
    08-28-2011, 01:05 PM
  #3
Yearling
I got a call to go dig a hole to bury a horse yesterday. Sounded very similar to these stories. They hadn't put the horse down yet when I left. Back feet were real hot. Hope somebody can tell us what it is!
     
    08-28-2011, 01:39 PM
  #4
Foal
It sounds like Stocking up to me, usually brought on by lack of excercise..


I am posting an article, Hopefull this wil help...:

Stocking up is associated with stall confinement, lack of exercise and overfeeding, specifically grain. Certain horses are predisposed to stock up, others next door are fine. Once turned out for exercise, the swelling usually disappears. The plain and simple cure for stocking up is more, regularexercise. This does not mean harder or longer rides when you do ride but more opportunities for the horse to get exercise during the day, every day. Many horses do not do well in stalls full time.
It takes a lot of time, supplies, bandage washing, and expertise to apply and monitor standing bandages. If that's the way you want to go, be sure to get competent coaching. Generally a horse's legs will tend to become dependent on the regimen. So for a chronic problem, do you want to commit to a lifetime of standing wraps? When applied correctly, standing wraps can result in reduced swelling. But if done incorrectly, they could result in tendon problems (from uneven pressure or abrasion), stall kicking (if bandages are uncomfortable or slip) etc.
There is no need to use sport boots, because when you ride the stocking up problem is eliminated. I've seen many problems occur with improperly applied sports boots. Also neoprene concentrates heat against the skin - stocked up legs are already swollen and warm so you don't want to enclose and exacerbate the effect of the heat.
Generally you don't want to increase heat to an area of swelling and since liniment increases heat to the skin superficially, it is not a good idea.
Running cold water on stocked up legs is the best advice you received and will do the most good, next to providing regular exercise.
Hosing with cold water either before or after a ride would be ok. The thinking is, before a ride reduces the swelling the horse has when you take him out of the stall.
Hosing after a ride: when the swelling has disappeared from exercise but his legs are warm, if you run cold water on his legs before you put him away, it usually tends to decrease the tendency for fluids to pool in his legs as would happen if you "put him away warm".
If you choose to hose your horse's legs with cold water after each ride, however, realize that just a few minutes won't do any good - you need to do about 10-15. And daily periods of wetting his skin, hair and hooves can invite lots of new problems - like skin fungus or a weakening of the hooves from repeatedly wetting and drying. Horses hooves are best when strong and hard, not soft and wet. If you hose, be sure you dry the horse's legs and hooves very thoroughly before you put him back into the stall.
Bute is an anti-inflammatory drug that is good for reducing swelling but if this is a chronic condition, you can't put the horse on bute for life, so don't consider it at this point.
X-rays are not something that would even cross my mind for stocking up.
Although I have shared my opinions with you, as you have found out you can get as many opinions as people you ask! My disadvantage is not being able to see the horse, facilities, management, and his conformation and work in person. Ultimately you and your vet will have to sort out what sounds the most logical to you since you know the horse, his environment, and your own situation the best.
In summary, the number one "cure" is to provide more regular exercise. If your horse could live in a turn-out pen with a roof at one end for shelter from sun, rain, etc. He might never stock up. Do you have that sort of facility available? Some stables include turn out (1-2 hours per day) as part of board and that might be enough exercise. But standing for 22 hours or more per day in a stall just allows the fluids to pool in the lower extremities and certain horses just aren't equipped with the internal physical apparatus to pump the fluids out of the tissues without exercise.
As far as therapy, cold water hosing is my pick. It’s a good idea whenever you’re treating horses to always start conservatively.
     
    08-28-2011, 05:26 PM
  #5
Yearling
I can't speak for the others, but the situation I saw wasn't stocking up from lack of excercise. I've seen that alot though. But this is different; possibly caused from hay. The folks that had the horse I saw are very respectable and experienced horse people. They've eliminated lots of theories. The mare bloated up and her back feet were hotter than the front. She was to the point where here hind feet were beginning to slough the wall. Which is not a typical founder. She was on alfalfa and I'm wondering if it had a chemical (arsenic) on it that didn't get diluted by the rain. Because we haven't had much rain. Or if a neighboring field's overspray got on it. Any ideas?
     
    08-28-2011, 05:51 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Lee    
It sounds like Stocking up to me, usually brought on by lack of excercise..


I am posting an article, Hopefull this wil help...:

Stocking up is associated with stall confinement, lack of exercise and overfeeding, specifically grain. Certain horses are predisposed to stock up, others next door are fine. Once turned out for exercise, the swelling usually disappears. The plain and simple cure for stocking up is more, regularexercise. This does not mean harder or longer rides when you do ride but more opportunities for the horse to get exercise during the day, every day. Many horses do not do well in stalls full time.
It takes a lot of time, supplies, bandage washing, and expertise to apply and monitor standing bandages. If that's the way you want to go, be sure to get competent coaching. Generally a horse's legs will tend to become dependent on the regimen. So for a chronic problem, do you want to commit to a lifetime of standing wraps? When applied correctly, standing wraps can result in reduced swelling. But if done incorrectly, they could result in tendon problems (from uneven pressure or abrasion), stall kicking (if bandages are uncomfortable or slip) etc.
There is no need to use sport boots, because when you ride the stocking up problem is eliminated. I've seen many problems occur with improperly applied sports boots. Also neoprene concentrates heat against the skin - stocked up legs are already swollen and warm so you don't want to enclose and exacerbate the effect of the heat.
Generally you don't want to increase heat to an area of swelling and since liniment increases heat to the skin superficially, it is not a good idea.
Running cold water on stocked up legs is the best advice you received and will do the most good, next to providing regular exercise.
Hosing with cold water either before or after a ride would be ok. The thinking is, before a ride reduces the swelling the horse has when you take him out of the stall.
Hosing after a ride: when the swelling has disappeared from exercise but his legs are warm, if you run cold water on his legs before you put him away, it usually tends to decrease the tendency for fluids to pool in his legs as would happen if you "put him away warm".
If you choose to hose your horse's legs with cold water after each ride, however, realize that just a few minutes won't do any good - you need to do about 10-15. And daily periods of wetting his skin, hair and hooves can invite lots of new problems - like skin fungus or a weakening of the hooves from repeatedly wetting and drying. Horses hooves are best when strong and hard, not soft and wet. If you hose, be sure you dry the horse's legs and hooves very thoroughly before you put him back into the stall.
Bute is an anti-inflammatory drug that is good for reducing swelling but if this is a chronic condition, you can't put the horse on bute for life, so don't consider it at this point.
X-rays are not something that would even cross my mind for stocking up.
Although I have shared my opinions with you, as you have found out you can get as many opinions as people you ask! My disadvantage is not being able to see the horse, facilities, management, and his conformation and work in person. Ultimately you and your vet will have to sort out what sounds the most logical to you since you know the horse, his environment, and your own situation the best.
In summary, the number one "cure" is to provide more regular exercise. If your horse could live in a turn-out pen with a roof at one end for shelter from sun, rain, etc. He might never stock up. Do you have that sort of facility available? Some stables include turn out (1-2 hours per day) as part of board and that might be enough exercise. But standing for 22 hours or more per day in a stall just allows the fluids to pool in the lower extremities and certain horses just aren't equipped with the internal physical apparatus to pump the fluids out of the tissues without exercise.

As far as therapy, cold water hosing is my pick. Itís a good idea whenever youíre treating horses to always start conservatively.
While that's a good assumption, it's not the case with my two. I have dealt with stocking up back when I had to board and a different horse had a cement stall.

My horses don't get grain, they have 22 acres of hills they cover nearly every day (water is only at the barn so they have to move to come up for water), both horses came in from the pasture a stubby mess, and the big Walker has the run-in stall that is attached to the 24 X 100 paddock, so he can come and go as he pleases to eat grass in paddock all night.

Pastures have been bushogged four times already with #5 coming before we're too far into Fall, so if they are getting into toxic weeds, I would think at least two legs would be affected instead of one on each horse

Both horses have bumps on their legs that look like massive outbreaks of poison something-or-other. Reminds me of a big fat outbreak of poison sumac I once got. That's why my vet thinks either ants or some kind of ground mites that have been busier than usual due to our extreme weather conditions.

My other two horses don't eat in quite the same areas as these two and they are fine. They all migrate to a general area together but, I notice these two go into certain places of that area, the other two won't.

The Arab is 8 days into his outbreak - the ankle is just a tch swollen (which is less than a tad:), the heat is gone, the hair is tufted where every bump used to be but the skin is flaking off as opposed to peeling back and oozing like scratches would do. He is not losing his hair, it's just tufted from the bumps.

The Walker is 6 days into his outbreak. He is following the same pattern as the Arab, meaning his ankle swelling has gone down but The Man on The Galloping Horse" could still see that ankle is puffed up. He still has quite a bit of heat in the ankle. However, it no longer "rolls over" the front of the joint from being double the size it started out.

He also has the bumps on top of bumps and tufted hair where the bumps are drying up. No oozing on him on that leg. He does have a minor case of "real" scratches on his white fetlock joint on the other rear leg.

That's the other thing, it's the dark legs on both horses - not a piece of white hair to be found.

While I could see this might interpretted as Stocking up, it isn't because they came in the from the pasture looking like this. I check my horses every single night when they come in and again, in the morning, before turnout.
     
    08-28-2011, 06:06 PM
  #7
Foal
Do your guys have clover in the pasture?...my friends horse is realy affected when he eats clover,..We had to move our horses away from the barn for a month to get rid of the clover...Could that be a factor mabye??....could they have been stung by wasp or bee's....Im just throwing thoughts out there, Im not questioning anyboby's horse knowledge..

Have you tried MSM for the swelling??...It works great..also, do they have a digital pulse??, that was the first sign in my friends horse telling her something was off..
     
    08-28-2011, 07:26 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Lee    
do your guys have clover in the pasture?...my friends horse is realy affected when he eats clover,..We had to move our horses away from the barn for a month to get rid of the clover...Could that be a factor mabye??....could they have been stung by wasp or bee's....Im just throwing thoughts out there, Im not questioning anyboby's horse knowledge..

Have you tried MSM for the swelling??...It works great..also, do they have a digital pulse??, that was the first sign in my friends horse telling her something was off..
The clover's something I have wondered about but I'm not sure it's the answer.

We have an abundance of Hop clover this year and all four horses are STILL coming in with Slobbers every night. We've been here 8 years and this is the first time my horses have ever had slobbers.

Even my hay has hop clover in it but they don't get slobbers from the dried hay.

Just when their slobbers start to slow down, we get a hard rain and they will come in drooling by the buckets. It can get so bad they will either leave a huge amount of liquid in their hay tubs and I have to clorox them, or I have to shovel a massive pile of wet shavings out the corner they stood in. That's been going on for about six weeks now. The Slobbers are gone by morning, which is how I know it's not the Hop clover in the hay but out in the pasture.

Mr. WTW said we will put weed killer down next year, no matter how much it costs. 2-4-D recognizes all clovers as a weed. We've only done that once in the eight years we've been here, but it appears to be time again since diligent bushogging isn't the complete answer

They could have gotten stung by bees but I sort of dismissed that because I would've thought their noses would've been stung. The Arab's "stuff" is on his front leg where he would have easy access to rub at the bees, unless he just took off running when he got stung.

MSM <sigh> lollol They are already on chondroitin/msm for some arthritis issues, so it may already have been helping and I didn't realize it. The Arab is 25 and the TWH is 16.

Digital pulse is something I did not check -- thanks, I think - lol lol I will have to do that tonight and while I'm at it, I might as well take the laser heat temp gun with me to see how much fever really is in their ankles. I forgot about the heat temp gun until you mentioned digital pulse

At least they are on the mend. Pretty soon all the "just one more things" I have to do at the barn will have me sleeping down there.

My other two horses are insulin resistant and, as a result, now have some allergy/immune issues and need their own special care. It's a good thing they are my life-line to sanity and not just about being used<---at least I think they are still my life line to sanity

Keep the ideas coming -- I am not dismissing anything -- even though I might think something, it still helps to hear others say it
     
    08-28-2011, 07:41 PM
  #9
Banned
Did you just bring in new hay over the last week or two ?
     
    08-28-2011, 08:57 PM
  #10
Started
Wow, what a puzzle.

Stocking up, good guess but defiantly not. (I wish) We do not confine any of the horses here to a stall and they are locked out of the barn all together in the summer over night hours. These two horses are ridden down the road/trails six days a week. Secondly, I have never seen a horse "stock up" this bad, particularly in the geldings case, I have never seen a leg that size in person. He looked like the photos of cellulitis you can pull up on google. I thought to snap a picture and never managed to do so.

Spyder, I did put up some this year second cut alfalfa mix squares last week however the horses are all still eating the round bales. I pick up a couple of round bales each week and dump them out, they are off from the same fields as usual (a first cut version of the squares) but they've been eating this since late May when he cut it.

As far as trying a supplement for the swelling this is well beyond that :) The mare is on smartflex sr (glucosamine/chondroitin, yucca, msm) and acv due to her age. The gelding is on a yucca, devils claw, msm supplement for swelling in a join that never leaves. The third horse is on corta flex for his hips.

Clover is a good thought as well but there is little in my hay and with all of the horses here the five acres fenced is very mowed - in addition no clover.

Which is why I am so puzzled! I am curious to hear if others have had anything similar, like walkinthewalk.

These horses had no bumps or bug bites, nothing out of place but severely swollen legs. VERY hot swollen legs that they did not want touched or cold hosed. As I meantioned, the gelding is nearly back to normal over a week later... which if it was cellulitis I think this would be very quick to see the swelling go down? But I have no "personal" experience there either.
I plan to address the other horses the same way I did him as it seems to be working. Penicillin for four days, Tucoprim for five days, cold hosing and bute.

Hoping to speak with my vet tomorrow to get her thoughts now that it isn't just him, its two others as well. Also keeping my fingers crossed that this "treatment" works on them as well.
     

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