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Vet, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 83
Experience:  I have spent many years in mixed practice, dealing with all the major species.
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my 18 year old 16.3 hands high thoroughbred has recently showed

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my 18 year old 16.3 hands high thoroughbred has recently showed signs of swelling in his back legs. this morning, on arrival to the farm, it was very clear that his back legs were swollen, there is slight heat in them, more his back right than the other, but nothing out of the ordinary where heat is concerned. He is acting his usual self, eating normally, drinking plenty, regularly going to the toilet and is not lame or stiff when moving. He does tend to drag his legs when rode but has done this for years and previous vets and physiotherapists have put that down to potential arthritis due to his age. When lifting his feet, he is a little sore I presume as he does try to move them into a position that is comfortable for him so that I can pick his hooves out. he has only been doing this since his legs have started to swell. There is no swelling in the front two legs but there is scabs on the back of his front left and both back legs as he has had in the past couple of years suffered with mud fever but we are doing our best to cater for that and keep on top of it. would appreciate some advice on what it could be or what I could do? Does he perhaps need to be seen by a vet? Thanks in advance for any help
Vet : Hi there, vet Andrew here. Where exactly is the swelling?

from just below the hock down his leg on both his back legs

Vet : And as far as you can see the mud fever is under control? I ask this because a mud fever flare-up can cause local swelling.

the mud fever has just recently flared up this year, has happened with a couple in our yard, been regularly hibby scrubbed and we've been applying a cream as a barrier. He's not sore with the mud fever and there is no swelling in he front legs where he also has mud fever, the scabs are not open and are quite small unlike previous years

Vet : Ok. What is his exercise regime like? The same every day or does he have rest days?

my daughter rides him as and when she can with school but hasn't been able to ride for a few weeks, he has worked a few times this week and his exercise regime varies from 15-20 minutes riding in the school or a hour hack but he does have rest days as my daughter cannot ride with school work especially in the winter whereas he is ridden a little more often in the summer as she get chance to ride in the week

Vet : Right. What you describe fits with an intermittent exercise regime. I suspect a mild lymphangitis, or blockage of lymph flow related to rest. You generally find this in all four legs but I have seen it in just the backs. I recommend some form of exercise every day if you can, even in-hand walking in the school, followed by 5-10 minutes of cold-hosing the area before drying then stabling. Some people have success with stable bandages, but given his history of mud fever I would leave the area open and dry and not bandage.
Vet : If you see no improvement after two weeks of this then it will be time for the vet to visit and advise.

ok thank you very much for your quick response, we'll try that and see if it works, thanks ever so much my daughters minds been put at ease

Vet : No problem. You can keep me updated if you like via this thread free of charge, and ask follow-up questions.

thank you very much

Vet : All the best, ***** ***** now. Vet Andrew.
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