Swollen legs..? :/ - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-28-2010, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Swollen legs..? :/


I'm not really sure what to do so I have decided to ask you guys.

Recently, my horses back legs have swollen up. Its only his back legs, but its from the hock down to the fetlock joint. I've obviously seen this before, so my first thought was that he probably did a little too much work the other day, so I gave him a rest, where I only walked him. However, after walking him half an hour, the swelling fell. Not completely, there was still a little left, and more closer to the fetlock joint, however it had definitely fallen. So i walked him half an hour more, but it didnt fall completely.
However, now he's had for several days..! It will fall almost completely after I ride, but it will be there the next day when I take him out of his stall.
So I don't think it's because he's been worked hard..? I don't know.

I don't know if I should give him complete rest for several days and see if the swelling falls.. After all, it does fall after I ride him..! It just comes back after he's been standing still. So perhaps that's not what I should do.

Maybe it has nothing to do with the amount of work he does? Again, I really don't know. I have experienced swelling in the legs before, a lot, of different kinds, but never this..

I hope someone has experienced this before, or can help me.

I haven't called a vet because he is not limping nor does he seem to suffer from it in any way, so I don't want to pay a huge bill if it's not serious.

"When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes." -Shakespeare
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-28-2010, 08:16 PM
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It sounds like he's just stocking up. My horse's hing legs swell up like tree stumps if he stands in a stall for more than a few hours. After exercise, the swelling goes down. As long as there's no heat or discomfort, I don't think it's dangerous. Hopefully others will weigh in.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-28-2010, 08:56 PM
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It also sounds like he's stocking up to me, too. It can be caused by many things: lack of exercise, stall confinement & overfeeding. Some horses are just more predisposed to it than others.

The best thing to prevent it is more exercise/turnout. You could also use standing wraps everytime the horse is stabled, but according to Cherry Hill, the horse may become dependent on them - so unless you can put them on properly everytime you put the horse in the stall after a ride, I'd pass. Cold hosing can also help, if done before and after a ride, 10-15 minutes each time.. it's supposed to decrease the likelihood of fluid pooling in the legs after rides.

Mom to 3 bays: Beau, Daisy & Cavalina
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-28-2010, 08:59 PM
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Yeah, it sounds likely to be 'stocking up' to me also. Horses have evolved for free movement & a lot more exercise than most domestics get these days. It is not good for them to stand around for hours at a time, as in being cooped up in a little stall. I'd take it as an indication you need to keep him in a healthier environment - out with company 24/7 which will allow & motivate movement. If he's kept in a natural environment & it continues to happen, then I'd seek vet's advice.

I think stocking up is also related to diet & nutrition from memory. Perhaps magnesium deficiency & too much rich feed.... but don't take my word for it, I'd ask a vet or nutritionist about that.
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