Monday, November 11, 2013

Swollen or Filled Legs: What’s Wrong With Your Horse? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · November 21, 2011

Horses can rapidly develop swelling or “filling” in one or more legs. Is it serious? What causes it?

A common reason for filling is inactivity in a horse that is accustomed to moving around. An example might be a horse that is usually turned out in the pasture but has been kept in a stall overnight, maybe at a show or in preparation for an early ride the next day. The owner notices that the horse’s rear legs are puffy and swollen as he’s led out of the stall. The legs are not uncommonly warm, and the horse may move somewhat stiffly but is not truly lame. Caused by inactivity and reduced lymph flow, this “stocking up” is usually not serious and will dissipate as the horse is exercised. It’s more common in older horses and can affect all four legs, though stocking up is often seen only in the hind legs...

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