Wet Weather and Leg Swelling
Does your horse tend to stand around not doing much at all when it's raining?
With all this recent rainfall many horses have spent the past few weeks standing around with significantly reduced movement and little activity. This can often result in lower limb swelling, which commonly affects both hind legs.
Is this swelling something to be concerned about? More than likely no, however your horse should be monitored carefully and treated accordingly.
If the swelling is affecting both hind legs, the horse is not lame, the swollen legs are not hot to touch, and the horse is otherwise well, the best course of action is to get the horse in out of the wet, boggy paddock, cold hose their legs for 10 minutes removing all mud, hand walk the horse for 15 to 20 minutes, then put him in a stable to enable his legs and feet to dry out. If a stable is not an option trying moving the horse to higher ground or a paddock with less water and mud in it. Applying Tuff Rock Poultice will also help bring swelling down.
On the other end of the spectrum there are some instances where leg swelling is serious and needs treatment. If the horse becomes lame or if the leg is hot to touch, then the horse may have a condition called cellulitis. Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that occurs under the skin. If left untreated the horse may become sick and require hospitalisation. Typically, most vets with treat cellulitis with antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory.
Other wet weather issues that can lead to lameness and swelling include hoof abscesses, seedy toe, greasy heel, mud fever and laminitis which are all very common following large bouts of rain - so don’t forget to keep a watchful eye over your horsey friends keep on top of routine hoof care as well!