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Discussion on Swollen leg with minor injury.

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Kath
Member
Username: kathjune

Post Number: 27
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 - 1:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Two days ago I discovered my horse had a swollen left hind from the hock to hoof.On searching further I found a kick injury next to his chestnut which I cleaned and it appears uninfected and healing well - I guess the wound was a couple of days old. The swelling of his leg is quite firm and hides any bone/tendon definition usually visable. Although the leg is warm to touch and slightly sensitive to pressure he remains sound. I have ridden him the last two days as he is sound and it has helped to take some of the swelling down but not completely. I appreciate that legs fill easily with even quite minor injuries are present but at what point is it 'not normal'? I have not been overly concerned as he remains sound but unsure when this firm swelling should reduce. Is this lymph that causes the swelling and why warm and sore to touch?
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Kath
Member
Username: kathjune

Post Number: 28
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 - 1:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi

Having searched further on your site I have found information which has helped my understanding of the swelling. I feel the swelling is inflammatory and not edematous.He does not have a fever. I guess my remaining question is - how long should i expect the swelling to remain, should it disappear as the wound heals? If not should i then call the vet?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21737
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Nov 14, 2008 - 8:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Kath,
Yes once a wound heals the swelling around it subsides. However if you allow the leg to remain swollen for too long it may stay permanently distended so good wound care is always important and NSAID's and support bandaging may be indicated. You should call the veterinarian out whenever you are uncertain what is going on. For more information on caring for this wound and signs that a wound is not doing well see Diseases of Horses » Skin Diseases, Wounds, and Swellings » Wounds / Burns » Long Term Deep Wound Care.
DrO
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Kath
Member
Username: kathjune

Post Number: 29
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, Nov 16, 2008 - 4:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for your reply. The wound is now pretty much healed and looking good after approx 1 week since occuring. The leg is still lacking definition and mildly sensitive - horse still sound. I have started to use a bonner bandage (cold , compression) on the leg for 15 mins and then stable overnight with stable bandages, turnout during day. He usually lives out 24/7 at grass and I hoped the constant movement would do the trick but after a week am now thinking this is not going to resolve itself. Hopefully not too little too late. Will call vet this next week if no improvement over weekend. Any other advice on what might help welcome.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21752
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Nov 16, 2008 - 8:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kath, the fact the wound healed in 3 days means this was a very superficial wound and that the swelling is not do to the skin wound but do to the blunt trauma of the injury. This is an important difference as it means that deeper structures have been injured however the lack of lameness suggests not to seriously.

For more on treating swelling in the legs see, Diseases of Horses » First Aid » Pressure Wraps, Poultices, Cold and Heat Therapy for Swelling in Horse Legs.
DrO
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Kath
Member
Username: kathjune

Post Number: 30
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, Nov 16, 2008 - 2:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The wound is about a week old now since occurring (I found it Tuesday and guessed it was a day or two old then)and yes it was only quite superficial. I found the injury mainly because I was specifically looking for something having first noticed the swollen leg. His leg was much better today after the bandaging overnight, he was checked again for soundness and then ridden. After exercise the leg still looked good but still not quite normal. Used cold compression bandage again but half an hour after removal the leg was starting to look quite filled again. The hock itself, where the wound is, is quite unremarkable and the inflammation seems to be focussed from halfway down the cannon to the fetlock. He was resting the leg this afternoon but is still sound. I assumed today, as you state,that the swelling is in fact unrelated to the wound itself and perhaps even completely unrelated. Thanks for your advice DrO and the suggested reading. I think I will be contacting my vet in the very near future.
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Kath
Member
Username: kathjune

Post Number: 31
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Monday, Nov 17, 2008 - 2:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Decided today that the hock injury and swelling is not (at least directly) related. Disregarding the now healed hock injury the leg is swollen and warm from halfway down cannon to fetlock. Firm swelling between cannon and suspensory ligament and SL and flexor tendons also. Horse still sound in walk and trot to and does not appear sensitive to manipulation. Nothing noticeable on palpation. Possible tendon/ligament injury?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21765
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 - 7:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not necessarily and the lack of lameness makes it less likely but an examination needed to decide.
DrO
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Kath
Member
Username: kathjune

Post Number: 32
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 - 8:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Vet coming out this Friday. Will update then. -trying not to stress but once had a very slightly lame pony with no heat or swelling etc and yet a serious ligament injury I keep thinking the worst - oh to be an optimist!
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Rachelle E. Morris
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 76
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 - 9:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kath,

I recently posted about a 2 year old colt that had a persistent ( more than a year) skin problem on his back. Although itchy when scratched it never seemed to bother him much. But, it bothered me. He was at another facility for two months and out of my hands. When I got him back, it was still there. I started treating it with fulvucin, nolvasan scrub and a topical spray, it now appears to be resolving.

At the same time, he had something going on with his hind leg. His leg from right below the hock, was filled and hot to the touch, he was not lame, but it was sensitive to being touched . It looked like a suspensory problem to me. I was cold hosing it and bandaging it, but that seemed to make it worse. I had my vet take a look at it and he told me it was a skin irritation and to treat it as such. I was sceptical at first, but I started treating the same way as his back skin problem and in two days it was completely gone. His leg was ice cold and there was no sign of infection or inflamation. It has stayed that way.

With your horse, it may seem coincidental about the cut on his hock and the fill in his lower leg, but they may both be related and what you may be seeing is an infection from the cut that has landed in the lower part of his leg and may need to be treated with antibiotics, bute and dexamethazone to break the inflammatory process.

Besides the colt above, I have had other horses that have shown similar symptoms all related to simple cuts that healed easily but the bacteria, once into the skin caused problems at other locations and wound up requiring the above treatment to completely heal.

I am sure your vet will make the proper diagnosis and your horse will be fine.

Good luck
Rachelle
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Kath
Member
Username: kathjune

Post Number: 33
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 - 10:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for your input Rachelle and going to such lengths to provide all that info! Initially he did seem sensitive to touch but yesterday as i poked, prodded and on lifting his leg to feel individual tendons ligaments etc he did not seem sensitive at all. Just swelling, warmth but nothing else. What you have described were certainly my initial thoughts that this was inflammation and possible infection from the wound so I initially focused on wound hygiene.I appreciate what you are saying - that although the wound is nicely healed it doesn't mean infection couldn't of set up lower in the leg. However I would of thought it would of been quite tender or at least give some response to my poking and prodding yesterday.Thanks again, hopefully I'll have some answers in a few days. I may add some photos (as much for my own record to see how things progress).
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Kath
Member
Username: kathjune

Post Number: 35
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, Nov 21, 2008 - 7:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My vet visited today. He feels there is possible injury to DDFT and possibly the suspensory ligament. He has referred me to another local equine vet with the appropriate scanning equipment. In the meantime my horse is on Danilon to minimise swelling. Referral vet already contacted me and my horse will be scanned on Tuesday.
My own vet felt there was some old scarring on the tendons but I have owned the horse 2 years since he was 5 without any incidents at all. He was thoroughly vetted when I bought him which my vet says would of picked up this scarring if it had been there so a little confused at the moment. Hopefully Tuesday will bring some answers.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21807
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 - 12:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Let us know what they find Kath.
DrO
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Kath
Member
Username: kathjune

Post Number: 36
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 25, 2008 - 2:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi again,

Had my horses leg scanned today and although I cant remember all the technical lingo I will try to describe what was found! He found inflammation around the suspensory ligament on the lateral branch just below where the ligament branches into two. There was no damage to the internal structure of the ligament itself or to any tendons. Just the outside of the ligament was affected peri-liga........ something? Functionally it should have no lasting effect as long as his care is correct now although there will probably be some amount of permanent swelling. He has to be kept in a small turnout area for two months when he will be scanned again and then exercise reintroduced. Currently he is on Danilon to minimize swelling.

DrO - is this what is classed as desmitis? He likened it to a mildly sprained ankle.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21845
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 26, 2008 - 7:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Desmitis means inflammation of a ligament and it does sound like he diagnosed a mild desmitis: a sprain.
DrO
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Sandra Madrigal
New Member
Username: sgracie

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Saturday, Aug 14, 2010 - 1:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

This sounds like what my horse has... how is he doing now? and what is the treatment?
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Kath
Member
Username: kathjune

Post Number: 50
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010 - 2:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

He was box rested for 2 months and then brought back into work over 6 weeks. He has been fine ever since (2 years) without any noticable scarring or thickening.
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