Windgalls

Annagain

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10 December 2008
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M has come in from the field a few times over the last few weeks with windgalls on his hinds legs - both legs, two or three on one leg and one on the other. He's 20 so wear and tear is to be expected and they don't appear to be bothering him but they have been a bit warm on a few occasions.

He's had the odd off day with being lame for a couple of steps and then fine but I'm 99% sure this is down to soft frogs /soles as this winter has been so wet. His hooves have been a bit of a problem (lost 3 shoes and that's never happened before) and it's only on gravelly ground and only seems to be if he catches his foot awkwardly. It's also definitely in front so I don't think it's related.

In 20+ years of horse ownership I've not had to deal with windgalls. Anything I should be worrying about or doing in particular to help him?
 

Damnation

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I bought my mare with windgalls on her hinds, never done anything to help them and they have never bothered her. Was just told that they are cosmetic, nothing to worry about :)

ETA: A bit like a splint, probably sore when forming but once there don't do any harm!
 

GoldenHours

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Windgalls can develop into a problem. My girl came to me with them and never had a problem until in later years, when rehabbing her for an unrelated injury (in a foreleg) a windgall in her hind blew up as a result of all the work she was doing. It ended up needed drained and a steroid injection to get the inflammation down.

It is essentially a condition that affects horses that are in regular athletic work. Initially I was told by my vet that the annular ligament would have to be cut but then an independent specialist disagreed with this and said that the primary focus should be to reduce the tendon sheath swelling.

If yours is only very mild, you might be able to nip it in the bud by dropping exercise back to handwalking for a couple of weeks with twice daily cold hosing. It certainly wouldn't do any harm to try before incurring vet bills. (My specialist initially prescribed twice daily handwalking for two to three weeks with diclofenac (Voltarol) rubbed on to the area before exercise - left on for a minimum of 30 minutes - then cold hosed for 15 mins.)

This article explains the condition and treatment options very well http://www.faep.net/newsroom/DigitalSheath.pdf
 

huskydamage

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23 October 2012
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Mine has them on all legs she is 23, two of them are hard and never go away but the others all disappear after being ridden and are less noticable when she's turned out. They swell if she stands around too much. They don't bother her but if she's shut in a stable they swell alot and she gets v stiff,so I have a caral and never shut her in which helps.
 
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