Baffled but Relieved

This is a tale of the boy who cried wolf and the crazy cat lady …

My horse has had a very low key schedule this past week. Monday, light hack. Tuesday, new shoes, no riding. Wednesday evening, walks out of the stall with this:


Pinched around a bit, he wasn’t tender. No discernible heat (Hard to tell when everything is hot because it’s hot.). Took him in the round pen, he was sound both directions. Threw some tack on him, sound to the right, maybe possibly slightly stepping up short with the left hind when tracking left, but it could have been my imagination. Hose left hind & wrap both hinds. Realize cold-hosing in July in Texas isn’t all that cold and make a mental note to use ice boots tomorrow.

Thursday, trainer pulls wraps for the day, but Eli stays on stall rest. No swelling when the wraps come off. Thursday evening, swelling up again. Ice left hind and rewrap.

Friday, call and schedule an appointment for an ultrasound on Monday. Eli stays on stall rest and hinds wrapped except when I graze him and give him a little free time in the round pen and ice the left hind. Swelling doesn’t recur if he stays wrapped.

Monday, ultrasound is clear and Eli flexes sound. No restrictions, but if swelling recurs or he comes up lame then reevaluate.

I don’t even know. Thrilled with the outcome, unquestionably, but this horse is really confusing sometimes, with his random swelling episodes. I feel like I have reached the crazy-cat-lady level of paranoia. But look at that top picture and tell me what *you* think it looks like. Not that you even need to, I already have the opinions I seek out in cases like this, but what would you have thought had you seen your horse’s leg like this?

I hacked him around yesterday after his ultrasound, and he felt fantastic. Thought he might be a bit fresh, since he had done nothing for a week, but considering it was his nap time and already like 95F, I really had nothing to worry about. He marched around like a professional.


Although typically Eli’s random swelling turns out to be nothing, this isn’t going to change the fact that if he has swelling below the hocks or knees and I don’t know why I will want an ultrasound.

25 thoughts on “Baffled but Relieved

  1. I can relate with the crazy-cat-lady level of paranoia. Last week Justin had a similar bout of swelling, but he was completely sound and had a clear ultrasound. Its basically impossible for me to not freak out to new swellings in the lower leg… So glad it was nothing to worry about with Eli either!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy he’s still sound and doing okay! My boy was/is (now on the mend) going through a mystery lameness type thing this past week, it’s always super nerve wracking to know something isn’t right but not know what!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish I had an IR camera to throw at that thing. It’s not quantified or totally scientific just yet, but I have seen some really interesting results with IR cameras and respiratory/sinus infections in primates. Basically, I now want to point an IR camera at everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I seem to remember you saying he doesn’t like bugs? Perhaps it wasn’t you but my boy hates flies and bugs and reacts like a drama queen to them. He’s the horse that will get a bumpy skin in summer if you don’t flymesh him from head to toe.
    Interestingly enough, the other day when I took off his hind boots, his fetlock had swollen like a windgall. No lameness, no heat, no tensing – just the swelling. A few days later it was gone. He probably picked up a tick in the bottom paddocks, and although it fell off, he reacted like he always does (drama queen) and the bite site got swollen.
    According to owner, he often reacts like this to tick or horsefly bites. Just a random swelling – no heat, no soreness – and it will go away in a few days.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pretty sure if you’ve had a horse for more than 6 months, and you have any interest in it being sound, you’re paranoid. I know I definitely am!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Looking Back on 2016 | Patently Bay

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