Painless swelling

I own an 9 yr old TB/Clyde mare. About mid-August, she developped swelling on her left hind leg that went from the outside of her canon bone down to her fetlock. She was notI own an 9 yr old TB/Clyde mare. About mid-August, she developped swelling on her left hind leg that went from the outside of her canon bone down to her fetlock. She was not

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS

Dr. Lowder,

Good afternoon, I own an 9 yr old TB/Clyde mare. About mid-August, she developped swelling on her left hind leg that went from the outside of her canon bone down to her fetlock. She was not lame, and pressing on the swelling was not painful and not warm or hot. The swelling did decrease a bit with exercise but not significantly. I tried cold hosing, a few nights, then tried sweat bandages at night for 2 nights to get the swelling down. It seemed to go down a bit but did fluctuate back and forth for several days.

I finally called my local vet who confirmed that the horse was not in any pain and was not lame or even short on that leg. Because of the swelling, she could not feel the ligaments properly but did inform me that it was not likely a splint or a suspensory ligament sprain as if it was the case, the horse would react if you applied pressure to the affecte area. My mare is not showing ANY signs of pain even if you press hard on the swollen area.

The vet suggested maybe it was some type of infection, or perhaps a bone chip. She suggested I put her 3 days on Bute, keep cold hosing and keep an eye on it. That was about 2 weeks ago. The swelling is still there, particularly on the outside of the fetlock. It has gone down a bit more but seems to not want to disapear completely. I have since stopped cold hosing.

I am wondering if you have any thoughts on this swelling and anything I could try to attempt to get the swelling to disapear completely. I should also mention that the vet did give a Penicillin shot when she visited.

Thanks in advance,
Angelique

Angelique,

I think you mare has a case of cellulitis and that anitibiotic and steriods may be indicated. One shot of penicillin is worthless. I would consult with another vet and get this horse on some medications, leg wraps and daily exercise.

Thank You,
Dr. Lowder