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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, Last sunday my 8 month old paint ran through a barbwire fence. (it was a new pasture and he didn't see it) He cut his left front leg very superficial on the outside between the knee and elbow. I took him to the vet and the sewed him up, gave him another 7 way, antibiotic injection, banamine, and wrapped the leg. He has done really well until yesterday. I removed the wrap, he was bothering it, and things looked good. Small amount of serousangeous drainage from it but just a very very slow dribble. I decided to leave it unwrapped (he isn't too thrilled with me messing with his leg) and he has been confined since the incidence. I checked it four hours later and he hadn't bothered the stitches and looked really good. This evening I noticed the inner knee (opposite side and below initial injury) on same leg is swollen. It is very hard and feels bony (not squishy) and is not warm to the touch. He had his last dose of antibiotics this morning. It looks like his bone is sticking out and is not swollen anywhere else. He is going to be tall as he is already 15 hands at 8 months. He is not lame and I can't tell if he is sensitive to touch because he moves away when I mess with his legs in general. I have only had him for one month. I immediately called my vet and left a message. I haven't heard back yet. I do have him on a foal growth morning and night and alfalfa/grass 70/30 blend free feed. I am going nuts waiting on my vet and scouring the internet looking for something that resembles what is going on. Does epiphysistis occur in both knees or just one? Could he have just hit his knee on something? I will give him some butte in the morning and hopefully my vet will have called me by then. Anyone have some ideas? It was dark and so I don't have any picture yet. So worried about my little guy!!! Anyone have any similar experiences? Thanks
 

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My guess would be he whacked his knee. Unwrapping his knee could allow it to swell more.
Do you have a pic?
I would rewrap unless it seems sore. Maybe bute. Wait for vet.
 

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I will be surprised if the stitches hold, especially since you left it unwrapped.

Best way to monitor infection is to take his temperature daily or twice daily. Any rise will indicate infection. Otherwise, follow the Vet's instructions on care. I would certainly keep any sutured leg wrapped until the stitches are ready to come out. Since they were weeping, that could be 2 weeks or even longer -- that is if they do not rot out first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am doing the best I can....I was a vet tech for years and know what I need to do just having a hard time doing it. 8 months old can sometimes be a difficult age. This little guy is halter broke but his leg is sore. I sent pics to the vet and she had me stop by for a sedative. It took twice the dose before he allowed me to Doctor his leg. It actually looks pretty good where the stitches are but was worried about the hard bone like swelling on the opposite Side. It is draining some fluid like pus and I took out the lower stitch so it can drain better. I did manage to get it rewrapped and give him his butte. He has been on antibiotics and we will keep him on it and keep him confined. Thanks for your comments. It is stressful when they injure themselves and you just want the best care for your budget. I already spent $400.00 and can't afford to take him every time just to rewrap. If you have a weak stomach don't look at the pics.
 

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That corner there is icky. The bottom spot looks pretty good. It looks better after you cleaned it. (I would clean the gunk that ran down his leg too, gross, but not great for his skin either). Not too much to say there. I would definitely be keeping it wrapped though.

I was actually asking for pics of the knee "bump". From what I can see of that area it looks normal, but swollen. Is it right where the wrap stops? That could irritate it. I wouldn't stress too much about it, just keep a close eye and talk to the vet when you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks...these are the only pics I have of the bump on the inside of that knee. It is egg size and hard. No warmth, lameness, or cut on that Side. Good knee extension and flexing. The stuff running down the leg is betadine scrub not blood or pus. :) thanks I hope it will be okay soon.
 

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Lol ok, just checking :)

My horse scraped the entire length of his back cannon kicking over a dutch door. When holding him for the vet I noticed his knee was swollen in a very similar way (except in the center) we figured he must of fallen forward onto his knee. The vet said it was just soft tissue and he was never sore/lame and aside from the swelling no heat, and hard. It took awhile but it disappeared completely. So that is where I am coming from. It is possible he whacked his leg against his other leg or a post or a rock if he fell/whatever, so that is what I am leaning towards. Have you heard from the vet yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks...he may have whacked it he isn't very happy that he is by himself and the other horses get out of sight he feels he is getting left behind. I am used to dealing with my arabians and this is my first quarter horse paint. My arabs would never strike at me with their back legs or front legs and they have been really hurt at times. Never had a problem treating or wrapping their legs ever. They might get scared and I can deal with scared. But this little guy has been worked with since day one. My other horses were not handled till 6 months and the other was one year old. He is usually very sweet but he hasn't hesitated on trying to kick at my head. Yep the vet got these photos before you all did and told me that if the swelling gets worse to take him in. Otherwise just butte, antibiotics, and wrapping/cleaning. I have tried desensitization to the leg so I am not always messing with it when I am trying to treat it. Any other suggestions? He is as tight as a kite with all this confinement and exercising is out of the question right now..
 

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Yes, the horse that took the entire front of his leg off (among many other things!!) was my Arabian and I would doctor him loose in his stall by myself. This guy is still a baby and I have noticed that once Arabians trust they will do anything for you, this little guy doesn't have that and I don't really blame him for trying to save his own skin lol. Is there any chance of you handwalking him, or doing "groundwork" in his stall? Make sure he has plenty of toys for a mental distraction too. Do you have someone who can hold him? I'd say maybe hobble train but I don't think it's the time for that. If need be I'd sedate, nothing worse than a horse trying to kick your head while you are handling their legs. Sorry, no good advice, sounds like you are doing what you can and I would keep on going it, be patient and definitely correct him when he kicks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, the horse that took the entire front of his leg off (among many other things!!) was my Arabian and I would doctor him loose in his stall by myself. This guy is still a baby and I have noticed that once Arabians trust they will do anything for you, this little guy doesn't have that and I don't really blame him for trying to save his own skin lol. Is there any chance of you handwalking him, or doing "groundwork" in his stall? Make sure he has plenty of toys for a mental distraction too. Do you have someone who can hold him? I'd say maybe hobble train but I don't think it's the time for that. If need be I'd sedate, nothing worse than a horse trying to kick your head while you are handling their legs. Sorry, no good advice, sounds like you are doing what you can and I would keep on going it, be patient and definitely correct him when he kicks!
How do you suggest I correct him? I tried just getting him to yeild his hind end and backing him up. When I do this he gets really uptight and runs through us and half Sears. The vet suggested tying up his right hind leg to his neck but I an not keen on doing this. I think at 8 months of age he would just hurt himself. I definitely plan on lunging for respect once he is healed and the ground isn't a frozen ice ring. Thanks for all your encouragement and sharing your experiences! It does help.
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Take this with a grain of salt because it's not applicable in every situation, and I have limited foal experience. While I would be super patient and try not to over discipline him (if he moves dont' flip out, just patiently say whoa). I think, no matter what the situation (almost) if he actually kicks out at you he needs a come to jesus meeting. IF you think it's appropriate I would carry a crop and if he kicks give him one or two HARD whacks. He may need a break after that if he gets too jumpy with the whole thing, just to chill and think. But I bet he wouldn't kick again. I think something serious shouldn't ever be allowed and that it's better to correct hard once and get the point across. He might "not trust" you for a little but if you ignore him and just handle him the way you always have he will get right over that. I definitely wouldn't do that with every horse and definitely not every situation, so again, take it with a grain of salt because I think that's something that's hard to advise over the internet. Maybe someone else will have more/better advice.

I think tying up his leg is similar to the hobble thought. I would be afraid that up near his neck he would hurt himself, and at a more relaxed position he could still kick. You could try a mild sedative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks I had smacked him with my lead rope on his butt when he did it but it made him more inclined to kick after and not want to hold still at all. He did manage to kick his front leg once and thank goodness he missed me. He is a little disrespectful and I can't wait till he is healed up. Then I am going to do some round pen work and get him a little tired and more inclined to listen to me. I don't want to lose trust with him but I can't let him walk over to top of me either. Young horses are a joy LOL I figured since he was a bottle baby he would be easier but not so far. :( oh well I never back down from a challenge. ;)
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Heh, ime bottle babies (of any species) are far harder because they are too comfortable and are more like bratty teenagers than young animals lol.

Yeah if you aren't afraid of punishing him I would use a crop, again hard, because I think a tap will just make him do it more.

Whacking him with the lead rope is similar to a tap with the crop in this case I think. Just make him think he is going to DIE for kicking at you. He will figure it out :) I doubt he is going to suddenly stand perfectly, but there is tolerable movement then dangerous, unacceptable, movement.

I wouldn't worry about him losing trust, as long as you are fair. If you smack him he may be "oh my god you HIT me!" but he will get over it. As long as you are clear in consistent he will trust you. I just think the level of correction needs to match the level of naughtiness. Kicking is close to the top. That's why I think it's better to hit him hard then not have to hit him again because he will think he's getting away with it otherwise. He needs to respect you to have you as his leader, then he will trust you. He may like you now but I don't think you have that respect yet. Again, I think bottle babies are hard, but it sounds like you are doing great with him.
 

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He is pretty spoiled and shows what happens when a horse with bad manners must be doctored.

Do you have any help? If he is well mannered enough, someone else can hold up the front leg on the same side. I doubt he will stand for it.

The best way for an experienced person to handle it is with a 'Scotch rope' on the other hind leg. This is what I would do, myself, but don't recommend it for someone completely inexperienced. You do not have to tie the other hind leg up high. You only lift it high enough that the horse can put his toe down on the ground but not put his good foot down flat.

As usual, hitting him is a poor choice of methods of discipline. A small jerk on a lip[ chain when he made a wrong move would be much more effective.

You can also use a twitch. I really do not like them and only use on as a last resort. The chain or rope ones require a second person. The clamp-on kind can be used by one person. I have seen many spoiled horses over the years that would paw a person putting one on or taking it off, so be careful and do not stand directly in front of him if you sue one. Always stand at a 45 degree angle to his front end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the good advice....usually I have developed a relationship with the horse and this isn't a problem. I have had someone hold him every time and pushes through us. The last time I tied him up because I was tired of him not respecting the rope by pulling and pushing on us. He didn't pull back once (I was hoping he would) just so he knows to respect that he is no a lead and halter to begin with. He got my Message when I slapped his hind end with my lead rope (clinton anderson) Popper on end of it. This made him move his hind end away from me then I rubbed him there till he calmed down. He is a tiny bit spoiled but he did have his mom even though she couldn't nurse him. He stayed beside her until they finally had to put her to sleep. (Long story) I don't think he is afraid of people and maybe that is part of his problem. A little fear has never been a bad thing and is easier to work with than naughtiness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks cheri I don't have any experience with tying hind legs up...I have seen horse trainers and Farriers do it but don't know enough to do it myself. I am thinking that when he is healed I will start do the clinton Anderson lunging for respect. All my horses have done it and it works well. It has been really cold here. Two weeks ago the high for the day was -2. Burr...so with no inside arena I just need to wait till warmer weather. I do have a round pen that is a ice ring and screams broken horse leg in there. The day I let him out to pasture to blow off some energy was when he went through the fence. I haven't had much time with him and it shows! Thank you for your advice and might be able to get out and work him after he is healed. Meantime I might just have to sedate him to change his wraps.
 

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That swelling on the inside knee may be epiphysitis. You say he is 15 hh at 8 months old? Talk to your vet about his growth and that bump. That is a lot of height growth for a horse that young.

Osteochondrosis is the big brother of epiphysitis.. and I do not like the knock knee'd look of this horse.. and the lump on the inside of one knee looks like it has a neighbor developing on the inside of the opposite knee. This is nothing to do with the cuts and tears and stitches you are dealing with.
 
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Thanks for all the good advice....usually I have developed a relationship with the horse and this isn't a problem. I have had someone hold him every time and pushes through us. The last time I tied him up because I was tired of him not respecting the rope by pulling and pushing on us. He didn't pull back once (I was hoping he would) just so he knows to respect that he is no a lead and halter to begin with. He got my Message when I slapped his hind end with my lead rope (clinton anderson) Popper on end of it. This made him move his hind end away from me then I rubbed him there till he calmed down. He is a tiny bit spoiled but he did have his mom even though she couldn't nurse him. He stayed beside her until they finally had to put her to sleep. (Long story) I don't think he is afraid of people and maybe that is part of his problem. A little fear has never been a bad thing and is easier to work with than naughtiness.
I agree with this completely! Sounds like you have the right approach, but again I wouldn't be afraid to do what it takes to make him respect you. Running you over is a huge issue too. Personally, I would not rub his bum and sooth him after you punish him. He doesn't need soothing he needs discipline. Stand back and act like nothing happened and let him think for a minute. When he's calm go back, if he shys away from you act like nothing happened. He will get over it pretty quick, you aren't beating him or being cruel, you are correcting him, same as another horse would.

If he stands nicely tied, I would be inclined to do that. Obviously we want to minimize movement with his leg like that, training can come later. That said, basic manners are a MUST in any situation, moreso when you need him to be still.
 
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