Help, My horse has swollen legs!

October 30, 2020

Help, My horse has swollen legs!

When you go to your horse after a long day, you might notice that his legs are swollen. Should you be worried and call a veterinary or can you solve this on your own? Find out here what to do when your horse has swollen legs.

Why your horse’s leg is swollen

Swollen legs happen more often when the horse is more stabled. For example, during wintertime or when he’s on box rest. Because the horse is moving less, the blood flow is slowing down. The fluid then builds up in the leg because of the gravity and causes swelling. Swollen legs mostly occur in the 2 hind legs but can sometimes happen in the 2 front legs too. You can compare it to when you’re driving your car a whole day. When you’re getting out, your legs are swollen too.

To make sure you don’t need to call a vet, check the horse’s leg by running your hand over the swollen areas. If the leg feels warmer than the other legs or you notice your horse is in pain, immediately call your veterinarian. Look for any small wounds and check if the leg is lame. This can be a sign that the leg is injured or inflamed. In that case, consult a vet to see what treatment you need to cure this.

How to treat a swollen leg

If the leg is not lame, warm or sore your horse is probably standing in the same position for too long. There are a few things you can do to get the blood flow running again. 

  • Get your horse moving. The swelling is caused because your horse is standing still for too long. If you intended to train your horse, just do as you would normally do. Riding the horse gets him to move and will solve the problem. If you can’t ride your horse, you could walk him by hand, put him in a walker or lunge him.
  • Cooling the leg. You could cool the leg with water, the cold water will reduce the swelling. The jet of the water has a bit of a massage effect and will speed the process. But doing this every day is expensive and not that eco-friendly. Therefor we have the Cryo Ice Boots. You can quickly put the boots on and keep them in place with the Velcro straps. The ice pack inside the boots is easily reused because you can refreeze it in the fridge or freezer.
  • Bandage your horse. You can use special stable bandages to stimulate the blood flow.  We have a created a special line of Recuptex® products to accelerate the recovery process in a natural protective environment. Recuptex® is a mix of high-quality inox yarn and fabric. These materials create a faraday cage, reflecting the magnetic fields in the horse’s body. Putting our magnetic stable boots Recuptex® on will reduce the swelling. Let the horse get used to the feeling of the boots first, before putting them on for a longer period of time.

If you’ve tried these solutions, check if the swelling has decreased. If the leg is still swollen, please consult a veterinarian.

Recuptex magnetic stable boots

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