sprain in fetlock, not lame but awkward in the canter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-04-2015, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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sprain in fetlock, not lame but awkward in the canter

Hi I was hoping for some advice. I got a horse on loan. It's been out of work for a few years so bringing it back to work. It's 10 years old. He lacks muscle and does not yet track up in the trot. He recently slipped in a small ditch. There was a small cut and slight swelling above and below the left hind fetlock joint. This was treated and he was given rest and cold hosing twice a day. After 2 weeks The swelling has continued to reduce and goes away with turnout or slight exercise. The horse has never been lame but appears to slightly twist the fetlock on the left hind when he places it can be seen slightly in walk in the arena but not on hard ground. ( I think he was like this before the incident but can't remember). This cannot be seen in the trot. I cantered him today and it was very awkward particularly on the right rein. I got someone to watch me and they said it looks like he is fish tailing with his left hind leg. It appears that he does not want to put all his weight on his left hind leg which is more obvious at canter. I am wondering what it is; some sort of sprain and if there is anything you would advise? I wanted to call the vet but more experienced people at the yard think that because it's not lame I am being paranoid and I should just give him a weeks rest and see where it goes.
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-04-2015, 10:53 PM
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If he has long pasterns he could be weak in the hind end. The fetlock seems to rotate at the walk.

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post #3 of 5 Old 10-04-2015, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks saddlebag for replying. He doesn't have long pasterns. He is weak behind but his canter is horrendous and I think it's due to his hind limb. Just unsure what it could be and if it is linked to the fetlock area or higher up.
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-05-2015, 01:44 AM
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First & foremost, don't ride him, and don't work him on the ground, unless you have the go ahead by a good vet. Sounds like he is indeed lame, I'd suggest a chiropractic vet, or other bodywork expert.

Can't tell you what's wrong from what you've told. Could be from his slipping over & not yet healed(it's still swollen after a couple of weeks? Tho if he's kept locked up, as it sounds, that could well be the cause of it taking a while) Don't understand what 'fish tailing' means, but if he's twisting his foot and not tracking up, I'd be thinking it's not likely in his foot, but up higher in his hip or such.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-05-2015, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Loosie. He was not tracking up before and the vet said she wouldn't be concerned as it was probably due to lack of strength from being out of work. I am not working him but resting him and keeping an eye on the swelling which has now almost gone and is only present in the morning before turnout. I will ring the vet again tomorrow. We have a chiropractor coming to the barn on tue but my concern was about getting him treated if there was still concerns over the fetlock; but as you say it might be something higher up that is causing the issues but I have missed it due to being focused on the area where there was previous swelling. Just wish they could tell you what hurts. His personality hasn't changed and he is happy with me grooming him all over. Bless him.
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