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Dr Rik Daniels
Dr Rik Daniels, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 705
Experience:  12yrs Equine practice. Special interest in Reproduction , Lamness and a passion for the Eq Athelete
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I just discovered my horses right front leg is swollen around

Customer Question

I just discovered my horse's right front leg is swollen around the fetlock and cannon bone. He is avoiding putting any weight on it. I am going to have a vet out tomorrow to see it, should I wrap it, put liniment on it it or soak it with a hose in the meantime?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Rik Daniels replied 6 years ago.
The safest thing to do is to cold water hose for 10 minutes twice per day and apply a snug bandage like a standing bandage to the leg. If he is bearing some weight and letting you squeeze on the leg a little it may be a cellulitis (mild infection in the leg) or some sort of trauma. You could also give him some Bute if you have it (2 grams for a 1000# XXXXX). I would hand-walk only until you have it looked at.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The vet I saw yesterday said it was probably an abscess inside the wall of hoof or bruised hoof pad. He removed the shoe and dug out a bit around the wall of the hoof, couldn't find the abscess, so recommended that I soak his hoof in hot water & epsom salt. The swelling went down completely after slowly hand walking him. I submerged his hoof for 5 minutes max before he dumped the water over twice. Although I could not find any signs of the popped abscess, he suddenly was able to place all of his weight on the hoof he had been holding off the ground, for the previous 24 hours.

Thanks for your help!
Expert:  Dr Rik Daniels replied 6 years ago.
No problem. Often abscesses will drain without seeing an obvious hole but it is unusual for one to cause swelling so high in the leg unless the abscess comes out at the coronary band. Glad he's doing better!
Please Click REPLY if you need more info. Click ACCEPT if I have answered your question. Thanks you so much for allowing me to help! Remember, this cannot replace an exam by your veterinarian. Feedback and Bonuses are encouraged.

Edited by Dr Rik Daniels on 1/9/2011 at 8:41 PM EST
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How would you recommend I follow up? Since he seems to have made a full recovery, I haven't tried soaking his hoof again, or packing the hoof with Ichtatop, as the vet had instructed to do until Monday. Just hand walked him today. Thanks again!
Expert:  Dr Rik Daniels replied 6 years ago.
I would do what you're doing for a few days and then put the shoe back on and ease him back to work later in the week. Good luck!