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Dr. CMc
Dr. CMc, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 263
Experience:  Specializing in Equine General Practice and Sports Medicine
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I have a yearling colt that has swelling just above the hoof

Customer Question

I have a yearling colt that has swelling just above the hoof where the hair stars growing and it is causing loan and it doesn't walk normal on it any suggestions on what would cause it and how to treat it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. CMc replied 2 years ago.
How long has your yearling mare had the swelling? Is it on the very front above the hoof, or out towards one side? How long has she shown a lameness on the limb? This information should give me a little more detail as to what may be going on with your yearling.
Thank you, Customeredited>42156.1385958218
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
A couple of months now and the swelling is on the front and sides so it goes from one side to the other and so it makes her walk on the front of her hooves and it has started to push over the hoof, it has gotten a little better but it just won't get better.
Expert:  Dr. CMc replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.
I'm curious if the swelling you are noting is more associated with how she is loading the limb and the bodies response to the change in weight bearing on different parts of the foot.
I would be concerned with a developmental change associated with the bone leading to abnormal growth and conformation. We can see things like Juvenile arthritis, contraction of the flexor tendons, trauma to the second or third pastern bones all leading to the clinical signs that you are describing.
I would highly recommend examination by your horses veterinarian with radiographs (X-rays) to determine the conformation of the bony column of the lower limb and rule out some of the more serious causes like fracture of the coffin bone, fracture of the navicular bone, juvenile arthritis, ect.
Depending on what the radiographs show, corrective trimming or shoeing may be required to aid in conformation and load bearing on the limb. Also, depending on what shows on the radiographs, a more specific treatment can be instituted. Some times treatment of specific joints are required, or in the case of flexor tendon contraction surgery to reduce the tension/pull on the coffin bone may be required. It really depends on the cause to why she is not loading the limb appropriately (starting to push over the hoof making her walk on the front). There may even be heel pain leading to increased weight bearing on the toe.
As she is a young growing horse, getting this properly diagnosed sooner rather than later allows for corrective trimming/shoeing measures to be more effective. As she continues to mature, it becomes more and more difficult to address the issues.
I hope I have been able to fully answer your questions. If you have any further, please do not hesitate to ask. Also, please remember to rate my response as it helps me gauge my responses and continually improve my service.
Thank you, Customer
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was hoping for a better diagnosis help in the end than just general information and go see a veterinarian for xray.
Expert:  Dr. CMc replied 2 years ago.
I understand your frustration in trying to help your horse.
A final diagnosis is very difficult to provide without being able to see the swelling/lameness/conformation of the limb in person. Not sure if you are able to provide a photo or even a short video link of your yearling.
But with the clinical signs you are describing I would suspect a primary bone issue or a a flexural contracture (pull of the deep flexor tendon and inferior check ligament on the coffin bone).
The issue is that there are a number of potential causes all requiring different treatments. "Swelling" is very general and can be caused by anything leading to inflammation. This may be bone remodeling of the pastern joint , or could be swelling in the coffin joint.
Radiographs are really required to fully diagnose the cause of the issue which in turn leads to the most appropriate treatment. That may include anti-inflammatories, joint injection, or if there is a flexural contraction, surgical options and/or corrective trimming/shoeing may be needed to help correct the issue before it continues to get worse.
I will Opt-out so that another Equine expert may be able to assist as well.
Thank you, Customeredited>42157.0016328472

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