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Dr Emily Weaver
Dr Emily Weaver, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21
Experience:  Equine Veterinarian with over 11 years experience in ambulatory practice
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Need advice about swelling on outside of horses rear left

Customer Question

Need advice about swelling on outside of horses rear left leg. Horse is not lame on launch line at walk trot or Cantor. Had slight swelling in lower fat walk area two weeks ago while at a show, but perhaps was just a win path as it resolved after writing was over. Leg look normal after six hour trailer ride home. Horse was usually turned out 24/7 so thought perhaps slightly swollen due to stalling. Have been having great rides on him, went to barn today now left leg is swollen in a different area about midway up the lower portion of the leg on frontal lateral aspect. Area is not tender to touch, very firm. Applied surpass topically and ice for 20 minutes. Worried about splint fracture? Would he normally be expected to be more lame on it where it fractured? hoping this is unrelated and perhaps he had some sort of trauma. Does have a couple of scrapes that look to be pretty superficial just above this area. Have photo but might not be best quality.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
AutoCorrect is a bad thing. Swelling in the original post was just above the fetlock of the horse.
Expert:  Dr Emily Weaver replied 2 months ago.

Hello Holly, sorry for the delay in responding to your question. This is Dr Weaver, I am an experienced equine vet and I hope to answer your question. If you can send a picture of the swelling that would be helpful. From your description, it sounds like your horse may have "popped a splint", which is actually a strain of the ligament that connects the splint bone to the cannon bone. It is caused by trauma usually. In most horses the swelling is quite firm, but since the splint bone is not a weight bearing structure, they may not be lame on it. Sometimes the splint bone can be fractured, and yes usually they are more lame on it. Typically they are very reactive to palpation over the splint bone with a fracture as well.

Expert:  Dr Emily Weaver replied 2 months ago.

If it is a "splint", with just a strain on of the ligament that connects the splint bone to the cannon, I typically recommend cold therapy and surpass like you are doing. Sometimes a dose or 2 of bute will help with the swelling as well. I would give 1-2 weeks off, no riding, but turn out is ok. The swelling should improve, but many horses will sometimes have a permanent bump in that location. If the swelling worsens, or your horse becomes lame I would recommend an x-ray to rule out possible fracture.

I hope that helps, and please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns,

Dr Emily Weaver