Fluid filled legs that go down with work??? Ideas/help

millimoo

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My mums Dutch Holstein is suffering from filled back legs.
His front ones are slightly filled, but nothing like his hinds.
Nothing has changed in his management/diet and his work load has not changed (he's a 12year old dressage horse, but is not working that hard at the mo)
He's stabled in a roomy stable on thick EVA mats & straw, and turned out 4-6 hours per day (won't stay out for too long, and is bought in before he starts galloping up and down the fence to come in).
He is fed Hayledge grown on he farm and grass nuts.
His legs started filling a week ago and go down with exercise, although not 100% - he has very clean defined legs normally.
The vet has been today and has flexion tested him, and he's totally sound, and has put him on Anti-bs as a precaution, and wonders if he has a touch of mud fever,'although there's no obvious signs.'(never had it before, and the paddock is not muddy, although was the other week)
Vet says it's not his tendon sheaths etc, so was just wondering if anyone has any thoughts?
 

burtie

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Classic Lymphangitis, my horse suffers sometimes. It can be caused by many things and can be very serious or nothing much. You would normally give bute along with the anti-b to get the swelling down as quickly as possible. Once they have had it once they tend to be prone.

I'm surprised the vet did not also suggest stable bandages and as much cold hosing as possible as well as turnout and walk exercise.
 
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millimoo

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That's what I suggested, but everyone said it wasnt?
Im not sure if the filled legs are severe enough to be lymphagitis, and my mums not keen on bandaging as she thinks it's a slippery slope.
He doesn't need Bute as he's sound as a pound, so we'll see if the anti-bs help.
Thanks for your thoughts & reply :)
 

millimoo

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Oh, the only other thing he's had is a combined tetanus and flu jab 3-4 weeks ago - he's having he second part of his flu jab on Wednesday.
We did wonder if his immune system is not running at it's peak, although the yard owner disagrees?
 

PennyJ

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Too much protein in the diet can also cause legs to fill. Perhaps the growing grass is just too much for him on top of his grass nuts and haylage?

In our case when ours had this a change in the diet/exercise regime was all that was required, he has not suffered an outbreak since. (nearly 3 years)
 

PuzzlePiece

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One of the mares I used to work with used to get filled back legs, vet thought it was cellulitis. Was worse in a morning after she'd been stabled overnight. We put magnetic boots on to work her and they really helped to reduce swelling.
 

millimoo

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Thankyou... Another livery suggested protein too. He's not out for long in the grand scheme of things, and his intake is limited in the stable - might be the Hayledge is too rich? I'll see if it's a newer batch.
I'll let my mum know about the magnetic boots too.
 

vinnie

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Try reducing the protein, that is a likely possibility.

I have also used premier equine magnetic boots, building up from having them on for an hour after work, to eventually on overnight. They helped my horse quite alot with his windgalls. However he kept biting his legs as if they were itchy/uncomfrotable after having them on, so figured he might not like the sensation it gives him.

I know what you mean about bandaging being a slippery slope down, but I just had to bite the bullet and bandage mine as he didn't like the magnetic boots after a while. Now his hind legs are bandaged every night - I figure as mine is also a 12 year old he needs that extra support with the work he is doing. It's not a disaster if I don't bandage him one night, it just stops the windgalls taking control and keeps them down!
 

blackislegirl

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This happens to my mare sometimes in the autumn. It lasts for 2-3 days and she is never lame. I have put it down to the rubbish that she seems to love to eat from the hedges round her field. Sometimes I think she must have giraffe somewhere in her family tree.
 

millimoo

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Monday Morning Disease.
Definitely not.... he's 100% sound, even after flexion tests on his fetlocks (the swelling only goes up to above his Fetlocks)
My mum has a very keen eye for lameness too - she can spot it a mile off, even when others can't.
She has now said the vet mentioned some small scratches, so hopefully its just an infection which the Antibiotics will clear up.
Regards the protein, he's muzzled in the paddock, and does not have access to adlib Hayledge, and he only gets a small handful of grassnuts so he doesn't feel left out when the yard is being fed (and there's not a lot of feed value in them anyway, compared to grains/mixes)
His legs are normally 100% clean, and he doesn't have windgalls, swellings etc on a normal day, just currently has that general puffy look rather than inflated like you'd expect with Lymphagitis - which goes down when he's ridden.

Thanks for all your replies, and taking the time to write them
Hopefully he'll be back to normal in a few days
 

claracanter

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Just a thought but is he a sensitive soul? I have seen some horses with a severe allergic reaction to insect bites/midges/something in the field that would blow their legs up overnight and then go down after exercise the next morning.One horse's legs were so swollen they were weeping serum, poor thing. Vets treat them with steroids and penicillin and it's all clears up in 3-4 days. Cold hosing and prescription mud fever cream ease it. Hope this helps.
 

amc

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Too much protein in the diet can also cause legs to fill. Perhaps the growing grass is just too much for him on top of his grass nuts and haylage?

In our case when ours had this a change in the diet/exercise regime was all that was required, he has not suffered an outbreak since. (nearly 3 years)[/QUOTE

This happened to my boy about 5 years ago, I cut down protein and no more filled legs.....
 
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Having had the vet out to my mare who developed painful lymphangitis that also affected her udder last month; she says she's had more cases of this is year than any other. Suggests it's down to all the wet weather that's caused the grass to grow when it wouldn't normally = so horses are getting more sugar than usual. Strong anti biotics, anti inflammatories (danilon), diruetics should do the trick combined with regular gentle exercise with boots or DRY bandages (wet ones encourage mud fever). Magnetic boots are brill but don't put them on the affected (fat) legs. Can take some shifting but good management all round is essential. Good luck and thank you for all the very useful into! (Ps I'm a newcomer to H&H so if I do something wrong, please forgive :eek:
 
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