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Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15168
Experience:  15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
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17 year old pastured horse has swollen back fetlock. Swollen

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17 year old pastured horse has swollen back fetlock. Swollen in both front and back. I do have a picture if there is a way to send it to you. Noticed it on Wednesday. Hasn't been ridden for over a week and has not been ridden hard. Has been difficult last couple rides thought it was saddle fit, but maybe not. Fetlock is not warm. Isn't noticably limping, but he is resting it when possible rather than standing on it.

In May he had windpuff issues in front legs and then his back legs swelled a bit (due to stalling and putting more weight on back than front we think). At that time we iced and rested for three weeks and it went away.

We have only had the horse since March. His prior owner of 10 years says he never had any lameness issues. This swelling is much more than the previous windpuffs.
Chat Conversation Started
Dr. Scott :

Hello there,

Dr. Scott :

Is the swelling soft or firm?

Dr. Scott :

Is it painful when palpated?

Dr. Scott :

Is the swelling right around the joint?

Dr. Scott :

Is he stalled or on pasture?

Customer :

firm

Customer :

it seems to be a bit painful

Customer :

he is on pasture

Customer :

the swelling is front and back at the joint. I have a picture if there is a way to get it to you or in here

Customer :

Oh I see insert picture

Dr. Scott :

A swollen fetlock can be caused by many things. Trauma, snake bite, infection, insect bite, arthritic change and joint effusion are all possible. I would keep the horse stalled if possible to minimize workload on the leg. Bute or Banamine paste should be given twice a day for the pain and swelling until it resolves. Hosing the swelling twice a day for 10 minutes with luke warm water may also help the swelling dissipate. i would not wrap the leg if there is no open wound. If the swelling persists after a few days on an anti-inflammatory I would have the joint radiographed to get a specific diagnosis. You should be able to upload the pic.

Customer :

that link is a picture

Customer :

So no icy wrap?

Customer :

[IMAGE][SRC][/SRC][ALT][/ALT][WIDTH]100[/WIDTH][HEIGHT]100[/HEIGHT][STYLE][/STYLE][/IMAGE]

Dr. Scott :

The swelling on the back of the leg looks like effusion around one of the ligaments or joint effusion that has crept up the tendon sheath. I could be due to trauma or an allergic reaction. If the swelling is not warm I would not wrap it. I would hose it good, keep him stalled and get him on an anti-inflammatory first. That is a fair degree of swelling for that area.

Customer :

Yes, I agree the swelling is a lot

Customer :

Are the aspirin granules enough or does he need the bute?

Customer :

I think we will get some Bute for him. When should we see some improvement with hosing and Bute?

Dr. Scott :

You can try aspirin granules first but bute is much stronger. If the aspirin does not work, you need to wait 4-5 days to try the bute. The two should not be given together. I would expect to see a gradual reduction of swelling that magnitude. I would expect 75-80% reduction within 7-10 days, hopefully sooner. If it does not resolve or gets worse I would get it radiographed.

Customer :

OK I will just try the Bute because I want results! Thank you very much. I will give it 7-10 days.

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