Soft swelling in fetlock/lumps - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-22-2018, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Soft swelling in fetlock/lumps

Hi!
My 3 y.o. gelding had mud fever and the vet suggested that I clip the leg to treat it. Though I knew that the leg was slightly swollen, after clipping I noticed that the swelling is not even. The fetlock is swollen at particular places - there is a pocket like swelling on the inside of the fetlock and another "pocket" or a lump right at the place where ergot should be. Swollen places are very soft, fluid filled, they are not sensitive and doesn`t seem hotter than the rest of the leg. But they are not decreasing after exercise and maybe (really just maybe) they are getting a little worse with bandaging. Could this be related to mud fever (he still has it a little) or is it something more serious?
I will call my vet tomorrow and try to get him to come and take a look, but honestly I don`t think he`ll come. At least not in the nearest future, all the horse vets are super busy. :/
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-22-2018, 05:10 PM
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Has his skin healed?

Is this something you can take pics of? Most swelling I see from this is more "stocking up" type... sounds like there is something else going on. I would at least call even if they don't come out they may have advice. He may need antibiotics or something.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-22-2018, 05:21 PM
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I would get good clear pictures and text them to the vet. Nothing gets their attention faster than pictures:)

Also mud fever can sometimes lead cellulitis, which is serious if left un-cared for.

Watch for the legs to start stocking up from bottom to top. The legs could swell with liquid to where they look like you want to poke them with a pin to let the liquid out:(. If let go, liver damage could happen. This doesn't happen all the time but sometimes happens when bacteria get into an open sore. Humans can also develop cellulitis from bacteria entering an open sore or wound.

Anyway, text pics to the vet:)
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-23-2018, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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No the leg hasn`t healed up yet - this is one of those never ending mud fever stories ( a very mild one though - he has 4 sores exactly). I am treating them with antibiotic ointment at the moment and I was washing it with something similar to Hibiscrub but now it is too cold to do that.
Anyhow, I called my vet this morning and he of course can`t come, but he asked me to make a video of his leg ( to see not only the swelling but also how soft exactly are those swollen spots and what the horses reaction is when I touch it). I`ll post some pictures here as well so you can see what I`m talking about.
I hope he`ll be able to tell what`s wrong with my horse`s leg and I really hope it is not the cellulitis - it does sound scary! :O
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Last edited by smaile; 02-23-2018 at 02:36 AM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-23-2018, 12:41 PM
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^Sounds like the vet is trying to rule out cellulitis too. Cellulitis presents more like stocking up in the mild stages, the problem is if it gets bad it gets really bad (tree trunk legs) and can make the horse seriously ill, you're obviously vigilant and your horse obviously isn't at that point so great to stay on top of it but try not to panic!

A good vet won't leave you hanging regardless of how busy they are. I like the video idea. He may also want to change the treatment for the mud fever (I say scratches) themselves if he thinks something more proactive needs to be done, or maybe a course of antibiotics just to be safe, etc. Let us know what he says!
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-23-2018, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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So here are the pictures. I am very bad at this, but with the black color I circled the lumps and green is where the mud fever sores are. The lumps seem to get harder also. And, as you can see, there is also general swelling on the inside of the leg. I sent them to my vet as well as a video where the swelling and lumps are more clearly visible. And it 100% isn`t painful - he didn`t even flinch when I poked around the lumps and swollen part.
Now I`ll just have to wait which is the hard part. Today he was in neighbor country treating some horses and he said he`ll be back home late at night, so probably he`ll answer me tomorrow at best. So if anyone have any experience or opinion about this, I will gladly hear it out! At least I will have something....

20180223_155322.jpg

20180223_155342.jpg

20180223_155653.jpg

P.s. I don`t know why the hoof looks so long in the front view picture, but it really doesn`t look like that in real life and I swear that he had an appointment with the farrier about 4/5 weeks ago.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-23-2018, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogiwick View Post
^Sounds like the vet is trying to rule out cellulitis too. Cellulitis presents more like stocking up in the mild stages, the problem is if it gets bad it gets really bad (tree trunk legs) and can make the horse seriously ill, you're obviously vigilant and your horse obviously isn't at that point so great to stay on top of it but try not to panic!

A good vet won't leave you hanging regardless of how busy they are. I like the video idea. He may also want to change the treatment for the mud fever (I say scratches) themselves if he thinks something more proactive needs to be done, or maybe a course of antibiotics just to be safe, etc. Let us know what he says!
Haha, I am really, really bad at not panicking when it comes to my horses. The most embarrassing story is from couple years ago when I thought that my late term pregnant mare have ruptured placenta and it`s leaking (after hearing some stories about child birth from my stable mate), because when the mare was sleeping, something wet came out of her lady parts. I went on full panic mode and got hold of my repro vet (who doesn`t even live in the same country) and told her that she MUST come at all costs because my mare is dying and the foal is dying and well I cried on the phone a lot. Well she came... Turned out that the foal was pressing on her bladder and she just peed a little when she slept. That was a very embarrassing and expensive vet visit.
And when it comes to this vet, that I am showing the leg to, we have very few competent vets here and this one is particularly good with horses legs. It is normal to wait couple of months for a visit (for any of the "good list" vets) and at the time you are waiting you need to constantly remind about yourself and the visit (visit also can happen at any given time, you have to be at home and ready all the time ) So yes, when it comes to emergencies we just have to load our horses and take them to nearest clinic (3+ hour drive for me). And in cases like this one - when the problem is too mild to take the horse to clinic but too serious to just leave it, it is not too easy to get someone to figure out what to do. But well, I am persistent.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-23-2018, 04:38 PM
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No worries. I've dealt with plenty of sick horse, no problem...but my own? I had the vet tell me "I'll come out if you really want me to but I don't know what I'm going to do...." lol. We have all been there, no worries. It's a great story though!

One thing that stands out to me is that both black circles have green circles in the middle. So I'm guessing it's directly related to the skin issues. My guess is the vet may or may not prescribe antibiotics and will tell you to keep on doing what you are doing and monitor.

Nice clip job!

The fact that you can't see in the pic is reassuring- he doesn't care and you can barely even tell so chances are good he's not dying ;D.

Hopefully the vet will respond soon and put your mind at ease.
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-24-2018, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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So my vet replied today and he thinks that it looks like slight tendon sheath enlargement that might have resulted from overstraining the leg (I might be a little lost in translation but well, something like that). He does spend a lot of time running after my other horses and trying to get them to "play" so, yes, it might be it. Anyway he told me to just closely monitor the leg and check if the swelling doesn`t get bigger. Apart from that there is nothing I can do, just wait for a veeeery long time for the lumps/swelling to go away. :)
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-24-2018, 05:56 PM
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So mild windpuffs?

Is it muddy there? It's very muddy here right now and the footing is horrible I feel bad even turning them out! (but what is the alternative?).

Not that he couldn't of strained his leg on good footing but when the footing is bad it's so much more likely.

Glad he wasn't too worried and here's to hoping it's completely uneventful...and that the mud fever gets better! Thanks for updating
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