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PinkTractor

Horse's Leg...again.

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I need some thoughts.

Mare had that awful leg injury last year. Though nothing was ever proven - it's been a headache ever since (and an unsound horse ever since). Had one flare up about two months ago and now another one. But this time it's not swelling like usual - more so just lame lame lame on that leg - with a swollen fetlock. However, it's not keeping her down - she just limps, very noticeable. Goes out to the pasture, runs and kicks at the other horse, etc. We have started going into cold spells at night. Sometimes she goes a little stiff if her stall is dirty because she refuses to lay down in it - so it's getting gutted after work today and I'm going to load an extra load of sawdust in there.

But, when is enough, enough? She's never been sound since last year. It doesn't seem to bother her - she still whinney's/nickers whenever she sees me. Still runs and kicks - etc. I didn't call the vet back out this time because all he'll say is stall rest, cold water hosing and bute as needed. Same as last time. I don't feel it's an infection or something along the lines that needs direct veterinarian attention. My Grama said I can't let her suffer (she's only 19) - but I don't see her suffering, just not sound. I obviously never planned on riding again after the issue last year - so it's just keeping her comfy and looking pretty in the pasture.

Am I thinking correctly?

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Pink,   Hope your mare gets better soon, sounds like you are doing everything you can to make her comfortable. Best Wishes.  PD

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Some horses are stoic, and won't let you know they hurt. They just work past it. I would suspect a deep joint infection with arthritis, to keep recurring like that. I would just try some pain meds when there's a flare-up and ride it out. If it doesn't improve, you know what needs to be done.

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She did have slight arthritis with fluid buildup when originally purchased nearly 10 years ago. Took her to the fair and from her standing in the stalls her legs just blew up. Had vet come out to the fairgrounds and that is what was determined. She's been my problem child all along.

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I think if you've had her 10 years, you would know when she's in enough pain to consider putting her down. It doesn't sound to me like she is yet. But you will know when.

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She's not ready. I just wish I could help her. Gave her a fluffy clean stall tonight...supposed to warm up this week. That'll give me a better idea if it's arthritis. Think I'm going to look into some supplements, too.

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I bet movement will promote circulation that could help dissipate her swelling.  *thoughts/prayers for a quick resolution*

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1 hour ago, Heidi n Q said:

I bet movement will promote circulation that could help dissipate her swelling.  *thoughts/prayers for a quick resolution*

 Moving around is actually better than being cooped up, if it is arthritis.....but, I'm pretty sure we all know that.

 I'd let her be, as long as she is weight bearing and, doesn't seem to be in distress, if she's eating/drinking/pooping,  has normal vitals, I'd just keep on with the pain meds/supplements, as needed.  smartpak has some very good supplements, you can call them and tell them your horse's situation and, they'll recommend a supplement that's suitable...... they're great over there, my mare wouldn't touch the one I ordered for her, I called them, expecting to just exchange it for another, I was going to send back the unused portion, but, they said no, they would just give me a credit for either another supplement or, whatever else they have in their catalog......and, they did!

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No stall rest. She needs to move that leg. With something acute stall rest is fine but things like this need circulation. Have you gotten xrays? Maybe this is caused by a chip or something, but the swelling does seem rather extensive for that. A vet might work out a deal with you and be able to clean that joint up? Worst case would be infection of the joint but if it gets better after putting her out to pasture I would think it's more arthritis. 

I seen a mare with cellulitis last year and it did look just like this. She was 25 and in very bad shape. She ended up being put down unfortunately. But it looks like this mare is in great shape so that is definitely in her favor.  

 

Edit: after looking at some other photos I am going to just say this is cellulitis. She needs a really good vet ASAP. 

Edited by TigerLilly

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TL - I had the best leg vet out in the area out since last year. He is the only one who has touched her. When we had the flare up a couple months ago - she was given  an IV antibiotic and oral and it did nothing for the leg - we just waited it out. There is no heat in her leg, either. Last year - yes, it was a huge infection. This year - the vet is baffled. He did the antibiotics as a precaution thing because of her history.

No, I have not gotten x-rays - as honestly, how much do you put in a horse that isn't being used? I just am keeping her comfortable.

 

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Odd. We had a TB stallion, older guy, that did pretty much the same thing on a regular basis. Turned out he was having a problem with the alfalfa hay he was getting.  Ate it all his life, but suddenly had a problem with it. Might look into her diet.

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NP - How would I know? Only thing that changed is the hay - got it from the same farm last year and this year. How did they figure it out that it was the hay?

 

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Sorry you are going through this, Pink.  I wanted to chime in on the Smartpak supplements - my gelding is 19 and we started the senior supplements 2 years ago and he has improved since we started using them and I think they definitely keep him feeling better, I would recommend them - plus they aren't too expensive, come pre-packaged and are easy to feed.  Hoping for improvement for her.

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34 minutes ago, PinkTractor said:

NP - How would I know? Only thing that changed is the hay - got it from the same farm last year and this year. How did they figure it out that it was the hay?

 

Mostly a guessing game, actually, although I had read alfalfa can bother some horses that way.  Change one thing (like the hay) for 30 days and see what happens. If nothing, choose another component. Basic allergy testing, really.  ETA: does this only happen when feeding hay for the winter? Or does it happen when grass is the larger part of the diet too?

Edited by noponies

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NP - they are given hay year round. Flake morning and night. First episode was last year - in August. That time included a puncture wound looking thing with infection. Episode earlier this year was July, I think. Now in September. They are given hay and turnout daily. Main times have always been summer months.

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I'm gonna 3rd or 4th the no stalling. My 20 yr old mare stocks up BAD now if stalled more than a couple hours. 

Does your vet have capabilities to check... crap, whatzitcalled, heart enzymes or something like that? What do they check for congestive heart failure, on old people, when their limbs swell up for no reason?

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Magic, I'm sorry - I skipped over your post by accident. I'm looking into SmartPak and seeing what they all have.

NP - not much that I have seen. I imagine some, as I have seen it in the yard - but not enough that it draws my attention when out there.

RC - Stocks up! That's what I was looking for earlier. She has always stocked up - but it seems to be just this one leg getting it the worst, lately...so I know there is more to it. I'm sure my vet could check. Like I said, he is a great vet in the area. But I'd think she'd have other symptoms besides edema in the leg. I could be wrong, but it'd be my thought.

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The one right above the white is scar tissue. She got tangled in some downed fence (six?? years ago). The ones above that are just odd hair growth from the cuts - but didn't scar over.

ETA; I'll try and get better picture tonight. I don't like the angle of the above one.

Edited by PinkTractor

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Scar tissue can often interfere with circulation. Just a thought. Especially over a joint.

Edited by noponies

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9 hours ago, noponies said:

Scar tissue can often interfere with circulation. Just a thought. Especially over a joint.

Good thought to ponder.

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Did she happen to get stitches 6 years ago when she mangled the leg? Shot in the dark here....but I had a gelding who had gotten stitched up just above the coronary band....after he was all healed up he'd randomly swell and get grumpy.  5 years later I was shaving that leg for a show and my clippers caught on something in his scar.  Turns out, the vet had missed a part of the stitching and it'd been working its way out of the leg all those years! 

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Serah, she didn't get stitches...but wow for that horse having issues years later. 

It's on its way back down. Still no heat at all. Not favoring it as much, either.

20170914_182957.jpg

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