OTTB Hard swollen fetlock that pops when he walks

Hi All,

This is the second post I’ve made about my new OTTB’s fetlock injury so before I explain the question can I please make it very clear that this guy is scheduled to see the vet however, I’m looking for advice on what to do until the vet can come out (which is two weeks however I think it’s well worth the wait, he’s a lameness expert and is making a special effort to come a fair distance to see my guy).

He has an undiagnosed fetlock injury that he sustained on the track at the end of May. The information I’ve been given for him is very limited however I have pieced together that he has had a wrap on the injured leg for almost two months, there has been no real improvement in his swelling and although he’s now walking better (I was told he is walking sound but he, in my opinion, is not) he is clearly lame at the trot (again, in my opinion, he is also clearly lame at a walk).

A description of the injury: A lot of swelling directly above and around the top of the fetlock joint. Almost no heat in the swollen area and it’s pretty hard (feels to me like a build up of fluid but that’s just my opinion). When he walks his fetlock pops, I can’t hear it pop but I can see it. As of last night I haven’t given him any pain medication and he seems fairly comfortable however he’s only been with me for 24 hours so he could have some meds still in his system.

So, here’s the question: I had his feet trimmed today by a very good barefoot trimmer. His one remaining shoe removed and some random rails in the unshod feet also removed. I also removed the bandage for his injured leg and applied some cool ice. I have no idea, while I wait for the vet to come, whether it’s better to leave this guy alone, bandage his bad leg, cold hose/apply ice, keep him walking on it or restrict his movement, etc?

Would really appreciate some informed advice and opinions. Would love to see this guy recover as best he can and I don’t want to do anything well-intentioned that may make him worse.

Looking forward to hearing back form y’all! :slight_smile:

Oh, meant to say, its his right hind.

Keep him done up and on stall rest until you know what the problem is. Cold hosing is never a bad idea but probably not necessary this far out.

I don’t think you need a lameness specialist for this injury; you need any decent equine practitioner that can see the horse in the next few days.

IMHO its probably best to see someone soon, and possibly follow up with the lameness specialist depending on the opinion of the regular equine vet.

Laurie: Thanks again for replying to my posts. He’s now being cold hosed, is staying on stall rest and my trimmer recommended some very light stretches (that don’t put pressure on the injured fetlock) to help keep his supple on the stall rest. If nothing else he seems happy to be receiving lots of attention!

All: I will heed your advice on having another vet take a look ASAP.

Yep get someone out there to get some films asap :yes:

So, quick update on this guy. Found a good vet who can come see him on Saturday, armed with X-Ray and Ultrasound. He’s booked in for a full lameness workup (the bad fetlock def needs looked at but going to assume he could have issues in other areas too), whatever diagnostics are necessary and he’ll be getting teeth checked and a general wellness exam.

Until then, fingers crossed for him.