Tonight I went to ride my OTTB as usual. He was out in his field with his buddies, all normal. I brought him and and let him graze, then cross tied him. I noticed his left front ankle looked larger than normal. I felt it and it definitely felt swollen in the back area of the ankle. I didnt feel any difference in temperature from his other legs. It was evenly cool. But the ankle is swollen. I called my trainer and she said to lunge him and see if he is lame. He walked fine, but at the trot, he is slightly "off". Not much, but its there. I cold water hosed the joint for 20 minutes and put him away. Trainer just called and said that she gave him some bute and wrapped his ankle. She said that many times these things just work themselves out quickly. He may have stomped at a fly too harshly or gotten a kick from a buddy. She said let's give him a day or two and check it again.
My OTTB has never been lame! How long does something like this usually take?
On cross ties, he wasnt holding one foot up. He seemed normal, but you can see the swelling.
Any chance we can be back to normal in a week?:-|
Assuming a minor bruise or sprain, we typically do icing/cold hosing for the first two days, and no work for 3-5 days. After that, you just need to take it day by day starting with light work to see if any swelling returns.
No way of guessing how long it will take to get better if you have no idea what is actually wrong.
My trainer called with an update. (She is a vet-tech) She said that the swelling on the back of his fetlock was almost completely gone when she took his bandage off this morning. She cold hosed him for 25 minutes and applied a linament and another bandage. She gave him another dose of bute.
She explained that because he had a bandage on, we dont know if the swelling went down naturally, or because of the bandage. Therefore she said she would like to repeat this process until Friday, with no work (he spends days inside due to heat and strolls outside in his paddock at night when it cools down) Then we wait 24 hours to see if any swelling comes back. If not, he can start light work.
Does this make sense? She said that windgalls can sometimes present this way. I had thought those were small, like the size of a quarter. His swelling was more generalized in the back of his fetlock, but limited to that area.
I forgot to mention one thing! This presented 24 hours after he had his feet trimmed. His farrier comes every 6 weeks and he only has front shoes. I wonder if he may have done something while being shod.
Yes, that does make sense.
Wrapping and reduce swelling.
Hope things go well.
I would personally suggest that if he's not going to be forced into running around by paddock mates he's better off out full time(he will be fine with heat), or at least during the day instead of night. This is because free movement is very important for a horse's health & soundness and it's also possible the prob is due to lack of movement(tho agree with AB - impossible to know without proper diagnosis). Studies have shown that horses move about very little over night and even those who are locked up only at night move about during the day a lot less.
'Windgalls' seem usually to refer to swelling of the fetlock due to arthrosis and are usually just at the back of the fetlock, above the proximal sesamoids. They can present as larger tho, so probably not something to rule out without proper examination. If there's a chance of this, I'd personally be inclined to get an ultrasound or at least radiograph done & boot him when required rather than keep him shod.
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