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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please see this link for reference - http://www.horseforum.com/horse-health/swelling-along-tendon-please-please-read-51020/

Long story short, Ricci's leg has been swollen along the tendon for a month now. No heat, no lameness, and no pain when palpated.

I talked to a vet. He said that without seeing it or doing an ultrasound, there is no way to know how serious it could be, but it's definitely a good sign that it's not painful. I told him that I had heard it may be a sprain/strain, and he said that there is almost always some kind of pain involved if that were the case. He suggested a heated poultice or liniment to wrap on it to help get the blood moving in that area.

Now, what kind should I get? Are there any brands or specific things I should look for? I've never had to use something like it before, so I have no idea what to look for. And as far as applying it, I have quilts and polos, but should there be anything between the liniment and the quilt? Should I wrap and/or put the liniment on both legs, or can I put it on just the one? How long should I keep it on for?

Please and thank you for any input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh okay, I'll see if I can find it somewhere in the local places. So I'd just massage it in and then... rinse it off? Wrap it? I should look for something with camphor then? Good deal. Thanks so much! I really appreciate it! The sooner I learn about this, the sooner I can buy something and start using it, lol.
 

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You keep looking for answers without going for what everyone, including the vet is saying -- an ultrasound will likely give you the information you are looking for. I don't know how much ultrasound costs where you are, but in my neck of the woods, the amount of money you will spend on treatments for your own diagnosis will be more than the cost of the ultrasound.

I am not one to jump on the phone to the vet at every little thing, but I too have been in the position of just "not knowing." At that point, I gave in and had the vet out. Best thing I ever did because the true diagnosis (revealed by x-ray) I never would have guessed in that case. The treatment would never have happened.

Have you priced an ultrasound?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ultrasounds here are about $200. And even then, they might need to X-ray, which is another $200. Some vets want to do a lameness eval, which somehow comes out to $90, on top of the farm call, which is at least $80. My vet said that without doing an ultrasound, he can't know for sure, but that usual treatment is to use a heating liniment or poultice, wrapping, and some confinement combined with hand-walking. He said to avoid stall rest, but minimal running is best. I think I'm more than capable of handling it myself. Not to mention, it's been a month. If it were going to get worse, it would have, but it hasn't.

I'm calling all the vets in the area and talking to them, but seeing as none of the vets have said "I need to see her right now" and are saying "It's a really good sign that it doesn't hurt," and "it's unlikely that it's anything too serious, but we'd need an ultrasound to know for sure" instead, I'm not feeling any sense of urgency.

I understand why you are saying what you're saying, because I would say the same thing in your shoes. I would walk through hell and back for my horses if I had to. But in this case, I feel very strongly that I'd pay a fortune for the exams just to have the vet say, "It's this condition, keep her from moving too much and use a heat liniment or poultice, and hand walk her twice a day." =]
 

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The swelling is mostly likely a windpuff. If he isn't lame, no heat or pain then do nothing. These fluid-filling swellings often are just blemishes, but attention should be given if they are new or associated with lameness. Windpuffs are soft, fluid-filled swellings toward the back of the fetlock joint, resulting from inflamed deep digital flexor tendon sheaths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Hmm... I never thought of windpuffs. I'm not too sure though, because the articles I've read suggest it's more common in the hinds, and is usually in more than one leg. It also says it's based around the fetlock, and while the initial swelling did seem to stem from the fetlock, now it's from the back of her knee down to the fetlock.

After some brief reading online, I'm still not any closer to knowing what it might be. My friend looked at her last night, and felt something that could be a splint on the opposite front leg, so maybe she had been slightly favoring that front leg, causing the other to fill up with fluid. She suggest standing wraps at night as well, so starting tonight, I will grudgingly keep her stalled at night for at least a week with liniment and wraps on both front legs.

It seems that the cause of most injuries in this area is caused from over-extension, which very possibly could have happened. The day before this came up, we had a run down the road, and we went a bit longer/further than usual because there was no traffic. The combination of running on concrete and running longer than she used to can definitely be the reason for that.
 

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In fact I did 2 steps: first I did a warm water compress (which also cleaned up the area), and then put it on, massages, and left it on till next time I did it. My horse had a huge bump between the front legs when she hit the post. Vet didn't suggest to do the ultrasound, but suggested this warm water/ massage/liniment combo I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, kittenval, I put some liniment and massaged it in this morning. I'll repeat again tonight, but I'll add that warm water compress as well. I'm also going to be wrapping it with a no-bow bandage and polos tonight and keep her inside.

I did some research and it seems that the treatment for almost all the injuries in that area are the same. When I brought this up to the vet I talked to this morning, she laughed and said that was very true.

Starline, that's the reason I didn't really think it was windpuffs, seeing as it's only the one leg. I'm also leaning towards a splint, because it's not necessarily associated with pain. However, JDI posted about her horse having a torn suspensory ligament, and that he was hardly off for the majority of the time before she had a vet out. So I suppose that's an option too.
 

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Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Wow... and I thought vets were expensive here!! Yikes. I didn't spend more than $150 (maybe even $100) for the nerve block and xrays on my guy and I think less than $100 for the ultrasounds and physical wellness on my mare with bowed tendons.

You are certainly trying to find every option. I hope it works for you and I agree with the vet that told you turn out is good, but minimal running. I had one of my horses "confined" to a 20 x 20' paddock for a while when she was recovering from bowed tendons, and handwalked her every day as often as I could.

Good luck. Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So the liniment I applied this morning seemed to help a TON. The swelling went down a lot, know it's a little thick, but it isn't mushy and squishy anymore. There is a bit of heat in it now that I'm not too sure about... any ideas?

I put her in her stall for the night, rubbed liniment on her leg again, and put no-bow wraps and polos on her front legs.

Unfortunately, I can't "confine" her turnout. Out of the pastures, one is smallish and mostly sand, no grass. One is grassy but pretty large. And the third is very grassy and pretty large. I don't want to cut off her grazing by putting her in the first pasture, and I doubt the footing would be helpful, it's pretty hard to walk in. And the other two are big enough for some serious play, so there's just no point, lol.

Thanks for all the good wishes, I'll be back tomorrow to let you know how the stalling went, and if it helped any. =D
 

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Actually if the grassy one is not muddy why not to let her there? That would be my choice, because grass keeps them busy and quiet (at least for my horses it works that way). It's good it's getting down. Hopefully it'll disappear in matter of days!
 

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I read the other thread and looked at the photos and I guess I missed it. Is the swelling low on the leg (fetlock area) or up higher (but below the knee)?

I have had more than my fair share of check ligament injuries and twice now the only symptom has been the swelling. Even with a severe lesion the horse was not lame and did not really care how much we poked it. An ultra sound diagnosed the injury quickly. If I had not diagnosed it and started proper treatment the injury would have continued to worsen and the lesion would have not healed well.

This does not mean the injury was nothing and could be ignored.

To me $200 for an ultrasound is well worth knowing my horses long term soundness is being taken care of.

Small space turn out (no high speed running and no sliding to a sudden stop and turning quick after getting up a full head of steam) where the horse can walk around is what the vet has suggested.

But to answer your quesiton - back on track wraps and sore-no-more. Work GREAT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Kitten_Val, she's not ready for as much grass as is in the really grassy one, and the other one, she has a TON of room, definitely enough room to get a good gallop and a couple bucks going. Plus, I'd have to separate the two, and hope Gracie got over it eventually without working Ricci up with her incessant panicking, lol. If I did separate them, that would leave Gracie in the little one with no grass, and I'm not willing to do that, either. So complicated, if only the BO had put a fence around the back of the barn like she said she would. Then I'd just put here there...

Alwaysbehind, the pictures hardly show anything. It was a squishy swelling that ran from the inside/back of her knee down to her fetlock. The thing is, it has been a month, she's been lunged, she's been ridden [when we thought it was circulatory] and if it were to continue to worsen, I feel it would have been worse by now. I'm not sure what you mean by lesion though...
 

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Alwaysbehind, the pictures hardly show anything. It was a squishy swelling that ran from the inside/back of her knee down to her fetlock. The thing is, it has been a month, she's been lunged, she's been ridden [when we thought it was circulatory] and if it were to continue to worsen, I feel it would have been worse by now. I'm not sure what you mean by lesion though...
The first time I continued to ride my horse for a couple of weeks and the swelling did not change (get worse in other words) so I finally had the vet out and it was a strain of the check ligament.

Lack of change in the swelling really tells me there is an injury in there that does need to be diagnosed.

And the last thing you want is you want is your horse to be set up in a place where there is a tons of room where the horse can run and buck.


Lesion is the injured spot on the ligament. The strain/tear.
 
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