How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Andrea Scheer Your Own Question
Andrea Scheer
Andrea Scheer, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Management
Satisfied Customers: 128
Experience:  DVM
Type Your Horse Management Question Here...
Andrea Scheer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My horse suddenly went 3/10th lane on her off fore on a very

Customer Question

my horse suddenly went 3/10th lane on her off fore on a very short hack, there was not visible swelling or anything so got farrier out the next morning for a hoof test, he pared some of her sole away and found a bruise so we put it down to a bruised sole - which she has never suffered before (ive had her 17 years and she is 19 now) anyway the next day her felock was really swollen and she was still 3/10ths lame, I bandaged her legs with gamgee soaked in Epsom salts (an old remedy I know but it does work) and the swelling went down and her lameness when down to 1/10th but when I got her out of her stable this morning, took the bandages off along with the Epsom salts gamgee and to my horror two huge wingalls have appeared and she is still 1/10th lame, 3 years ago she did her deep digital flexor tendon in and was on box rest then field rest for in total a year then I spent over a year getting her fit probably slower than I could have but I didn't want it to go and me think is it because I pushed her - anyway that doesn't matter but because of that I am really worried especially as she is still 1/10th lame, in the scheme of it hardly lame but still lame - I really am a worried owner as I rescued my mare 17 years ago as a completely wild and unhandled filly and have now got a fantastic alrounder, 100% bomb and traffic proof and she is my baby - any thoughts on what this could be.
a very worried owner, heidi
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Horse Management
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Camille and I’m a moderator for this topic. We have been working with the Experts to try to help you with your question. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to find the right fit. I was checking to see if you had already found your answer or if you still needing assistance from one of our Experts? Please let me know if you wish to continue waiting or if you would like for us to close your question. Also remember that JustAnswer has a multitude of categories to help you with all your needs from Pet to Legal. Thank you, Camille~Moderator
Expert:  Andrea Scheer replied 2 years ago.
Hello this is Dr. Scheer and I am an equine veterinarian. I have read your post about your mare and I may be able to help you.
There are a couple possibilities as to why she is still a bit lame.
If she had a sole bruise, she may also have an abscess brewing at the site. If it is an abscess and she swelled up to her fetlock, than it will likely rupture through the cornet band, not the sole. Soaking with epsom salts and box rest is an excellent thing to do to help an abscess. However, if it were an abscess, I would expect her to actually be much more lame than it sounds like she is.
I think a more likely possibility is a soft tissue injury to the fetlock and/or pastern. When she bowed her DDFT, was it on the same side that she has injured now or was it the other limb? Very often with a horse with a previous bow, we can see the other tendons (Superficial digital flexor, suspensory or the branches off the suspensory that wrap around the pastern and fetlock) of the limb or other areas of the deep tear later or any of the tendons on the other limb from the strain of compensating for the initial injury when she had it. It sounds like you took excellent care of her previous bow and were very slow and cautious getting her back into work. However, once a tendon is torn, it heals with scar tissue which is weaker than the original tendon tissue. A horse may become 100% sound after a tendon tear but that injury site will never be 100% as strong. The soundness often comes from the other tendons being able to compensate. If this is what is going on with your horse, it is a good idea to get her tendons ultrasounded. Again, I would expect her to be much more lame if she had a serious tear so if she does have a tear, I think it is a small one.
Since she improved with your wrapping and box rest already, I would continue to do that and give her 10 days to heal. If she is not 100% in 10 days, I recommend having her tendons ultrasounded. Minor soft tissue injuries will heal with 10 days of rest and wrapping. If she gets stir crazy in the box, try hand walking her but watch closely to see if that makes her more lame. If it does, switch to strict box rest.
Also, I would not worry too much about the wingalls. That is just fluid trapped in the tendon sheaths from the fetlock being swollen and should work its way out of the limb in time, especially with wrapping.
I hope that answer is helpful to you and I am available if you have any further questions or wish to discuss anything in more detail!
~Dr Scheer