Swollen Knee? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 07-09-2020, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Swollen Knee?

Hi all,

I have come across my first horsey-injury as a new horse owner (after taking a break from ownership for a while). My mare was in training off-site and upon pick-up the trainer pointed out a swollen knee. She was turned out alone so we are not sure exactly what happened here, as I am not seeing any lacerations or anything. I am assuming it was bumped on something? Or she was just worked too much in training? She is rather goofy and playful so who knows. Any who, there is no heat or lameness whatsoever. Vet recommended (via phone) cold hosing, Bute, turnout (which is the only option anyways as she's on 24/7 turnout and no stalls here) and didn't seem concerned. Trainer and neighbor (both are much more experienced in horse health than I) did not seem concerned either and said to keep riding her as normal (which is only around once a week anyways). However, that was a week ago and I've just left the farm again incredibly frustrated that it doesn't seem to have gone down. What else should I be doing? With my work schedule I am only able to get to the farm once a day. Is there any kind of topical anti-inflammatory I need to be looking into? I have read about a few anti-inflammatories on other threads but a little hesitant and not sure what would work. Bute again? Obviously, I will be seeking the opinion of another vet here this week if I can't figure anything else out. Beginning to feel a little crazy that no one else seems to be worried about this. I am less concerned about if the knee just always LOOKS swollen (we do not show or anything) and much more concerned that it will become or already is a larger issue.

I've *attempted* to upload a photo below.

2E5AE0C2-1532-4A24-BB3F-C2D2A545FB28.jpg

Any advice helps, please note I am not very experienced in this area and will be calling out another vet if needed. I just wanted opinions on here as well. Thanks!
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post #2 of 22 Old 07-10-2020, 01:35 AM
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Wow, that is a big knee. I don't know what caused it, but I would be worried about it as well. I think I would definitely get that seen by a vet, and I'm not a person whose first response is to call the vet. Now what a vet could actually do about it, I don't know. But that would definitely make me worry some.
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post #3 of 22 Old 07-10-2020, 01:56 AM
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How old is your horse? My old mare eventually had a knee twice, three times that size when she was in the late stages of arthritis. It started when she was about 15 years old with mild swelling in the knee, eventually looking like yours, all the time. The mild swelling came out of nowhere- no heat, no lameness. Vet said it's just one of those things, between genetics, her extremely hard, early started using life before us and her general hot, active lifestyle she had some arthritis coming somewhere, eventually. By the time she was 28 it had nearly completely calcified and she walked with a stiff-kneed hitch in her step but was generally still active and with meds, other vet interventions and supplements she was still pretty pain free. We did injections a few times and the vet opted out of it due to what he was assuming was some moderate allergic reactions and inflammation, followed by a weird lameness.

But from all I learned with her, and with a few other joint injuries- joint stuff definitely warrants a pretty quick vet visit. I would send the photo to your vet and see what they say.
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post #4 of 22 Old 07-10-2020, 02:45 AM
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I would give her time, cold hosing, and Bute as an anti inflammatory.

She needs the hose on for at least thirty minutes preferably twice a day.
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post #5 of 22 Old 07-10-2020, 06:58 AM
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A week and still that large a swelling would have me making a vet appointment and some pictures taken.
The horse has been getting bute all this time?? Cold-hosing??

It could be nothing, but it also could be something and that is one large amount of uneven swelling appearing.
You at this point need to know positively if there is soft tissue damage, fracture sustained, chips....
Hope for the best but know to prepare for the worst and to take care of the horse for optimal healing done.
Keep us posted please...
..
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post #6 of 22 Old 07-10-2020, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhattaTroublemaker View Post
How old is your horse? My old mare eventually had a knee twice, three times that size when she was in the late stages of arthritis. It started when she was about 15 years old with mild swelling in the knee, eventually looking like yours, all the time. The mild swelling came out of nowhere- no heat, no lameness. Vet said it's just one of those things, between genetics, her extremely hard, early started using life before us and her general hot, active lifestyle she had some arthritis coming somewhere, eventually. By the time she was 28 it had nearly completely calcified and she walked with a stiff-kneed hitch in her step but was generally still active and with meds, other vet interventions and supplements she was still pretty pain free. We did injections a few times and the vet opted out of it due to what he was assuming was some moderate allergic reactions and inflammation, followed by a weird lameness.

But from all I learned with her, and with a few other joint injuries- joint stuff definitely warrants a pretty quick vet visit. I would send the photo to your vet and see what they say.
She is only 7!
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post #7 of 22 Old 07-10-2020, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
I would give her time, cold hosing, and Bute as an anti inflammatory.

She needs the hose on for at least thirty minutes preferably twice a day.

Bute daily? I work a 9-5 and the farm is a ways away from me so she's only been getting hosed once. I think I am just going to have to head there in the mornings now before my shift as well. Any opinions on if I do Bute and more serious cold hosing through the weekend and bring the vet for a visit Monday?
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post #8 of 22 Old 07-10-2020, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
A week and still that large a swelling would have me making a vet appointment and some pictures taken.
The horse has been getting bute all this time?? Cold-hosing??

It could be nothing, but it also could be something and that is one large amount of uneven swelling appearing.
You at this point need to know positively if there is soft tissue damage, fracture sustained, chips....
Hope for the best but know to prepare for the worst and to take care of the horse for optimal healing done.
Keep us posted please...
..

Hi horselovinguy, I was advised cold-hosing and Bute for a few days, I guess it was expected to go away. Continued the cold hosing afterwards, no changes. I'm glad I went ahead and posted this here - I'm going to go ahead and have the vet out I believe.
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post #9 of 22 Old 07-10-2020, 08:17 AM
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Yup, vet time. I would have gotten a vet out sooner, however, I don't mess around with joints. If she could have gotten pricked by something, even just a thorn and small splinter sticking out on a fence that let infection get into that knee, she is a ticking time bomb. There might not even be a wound that you can see, but if it was there and that knee is infected, things aren't going to look good.

No heat is good, but has she had her temperature taken? I don't rely on feeling for heat when it's summertime, everything is warm. I would begin taking her temperature daily, and know what is normal for her, so if it ever turns feverish, you know an infection is happening.

Here is a veterinary article on Synovial Infections: https://www.vet.k-state.edu/vhc/serv...infection.html

Hopefully it is something simple, and she just banged her knee badly in turnout, but you never know with horses.
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post #10 of 22 Old 07-10-2020, 01:14 PM
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A good hour under the hose would be fine especially twice a day.

If she is good being tied then I would get a longish bandage (tail bandage is ideal) drape the hose over her back from the left, wrap the start of the bandage around the hose about 3" from the end, then wrap the rest around her forearm a few inches above the knee, going over the end of the hose, then turn the water on.

The water doesn't need to be fast, just enough that it runs over the swelling.

Many years ago a horse came from the vets to convalesce after having a bone chip removed from the knee. Hosing took it down but it would blow up again, this went on for months. An old family friend told me to get some large cabbage leaves and wrap the knee with those. The hard stems were removed and the knee bandaged. (The Horse was stabled for this and bandage changed twice a day.

Knee went down in a matter of a couple of weeks much to the vets surprise! The horse had normal knees and many years later, long after he had retired from international show jumping, I met him again and he had many lumps and bumps on hos legs but no swollen knee!
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