Wind Puff

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Wind Puff

This is a discussion on Wind Puff within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    07-24-2008, 03:01 AM
Wind Puff

Does anybody have experience with wind puffs?

I've had Starship for 3 months now and when I got him they told me the knee condition is purely cosmetic, it doesn't bother him at all, it just looks weird. I had a vet look at it as well and he told me the same thing.
If you follow the link you can see what I mean with "weird" and that it really doesn't get in his way. I was informed to pay special attention to warming him up and cooling him down, he gets supplements for arthritis and I hose down his knee a few times a week.
When he was still racing they had to give him shots in his knees about every 2 years, he would not want to trot anymore, that's how he shows he's hurting, he goes straight from walk to canter.

I try to tell myself that if it aint broke, don't fix it, but it just bothers me. Does anybody have experience with this, is there anything I can do?

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    07-24-2008, 05:51 AM
Green Broke
Did you vet check him before you bought him and the vet said it would be fine? Did you use their vet or your own (if you did a check)?

Wow, that's pretty intense looking. I'm familiar with them but no where on that level. Might get a second vet opinion just to be sure.
    07-24-2008, 11:08 AM
WInd puffs is a term used to mean a stretched area where fluid from the tendon collects and is a term associated with the fetlock area of the horse. They usually come up in young horses in training and is a warning sign of excess strain. They just look like tiny bumps on either side of the fetlock joint, usually on the higher part of the joint. THey are soft swellings, and can cause little to no lameness at the time. They don't go's (and I'm just making a comparison here, it's not exact) like a varicose vein, only in this case it's not a blood vessel that sags, it's the tendon sheath. Besides rest or cutting back on the work load in the immediate time frame and maybe some icing/hosing at the time, they are pretty much a permanant blemish, but usually don't cause any problems.

What I see on your horse is a "popped knee' . I'm just going by some photos, and I'm NOT a vet. But popped knees are more serious as that's going to continue to calicfy and stiffen that joint over time, seriously limiting his mobility. Arthritis is going to be a major issue as well. You see this with horses that are "calf kneed" or "back at the knee" more and esp if they have careers that pound the joints (racing, jumping, roping cattle). You may be able to manage it just fine and keep riding him, but it would be in his best intrest for you to NOT do a lot hard stops or any jumping. It's not just a "comsetic issue" as a wind puff would be. A lot of times the cartilage and ligaments are damaged or it's a bone chip and the leg is attempting to heal it by calcifying the whole joint. If it were his hock , we'd call it a "bone spavin" as the way the joint tries to heal itself is very similar. This is a serious issue, not cosmetic. It will interfere with the mechanics of his leg, like fusing your wrist together.

I trim a really old horse that has both knees that look like this(he used to be a roping horse and had "calf knees") and I literally have to sit cross legged on the ground and can only pick his feet inches off the ground to trim, because they don't bend any further and he will collapse if you try to make them. I have to prop his foot on a tiny block of wood and work one handed. He can swing his legs fully forward, he just can bend them back. He's very good about being patient as I work in that awkward angle. The owners ride him some..just walking now. He's old, retired and is more pasture mate than anything.

Turnout and walking is good exercise to help with the arthritis.Making sure his hooves are trimmed and the toes never get long will help. I hope you can find more information and have everything I mentioned checked out with a vet , of YOUR choosing. X-Rays are in order.
    07-24-2008, 12:55 PM
I didn't buy him, he was "free to good home". He has won a lot of money on the race track, he raced even with his knee looking as it does now (won his last race when he was 11 and the rest of the field much younger). Because he is too young for retirement and loves working too much I have him now, should it become impossible to ride him I can give him back and he will be turned out to enjoy the rest of his days.
We don't jump (tried it, but almost killed us both, not his thing) and ride dressage, which does not include hard stops.
It was my vet who looked at him, I trust his previous owner but hadn't seen anything like that before so wanted to make sure he is getting the best care possible.
He gets new shoes every 6 weeks and I use the same farrier who took care of him during his racing days.

I would prefer not to do anything too invasive since it really doesn't seem to bother him, he is a very hard worker and the happiest horse, but is there something I can do to make it look better?

Will definitely do some research on popped knees and calf knees!

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