What I am trying to say is that because we had Bo before, we know most of his history, and honestly, up until the past five years, he was well taken care of (you know the story...girl buys yearling horse, trains him, shows him, leases him out, takes him back, moves out of parents house and sees horse once a year, oblivious to the fact that he is not being well cared for by parents who know better...).
There I go again! I better watch out...lol!!!
Some of you may remember that I mentioned having some issues with Bo and swelling. Well here is a picture of Bo the day after a ride, and before being ridden (notice his pasterns and fetlocks on all four legs being swollen)...
...and here he is on the same day after we got back from a trail ride...notice that there is no more swelling.This is where the history part comes in. When Amber had Bo before, after a particularly long ride, or a hard weekend of showing, his hind legs only, would swell up from his pasterns to his hocks. We had the vet out several times, both when there was swelling present, and when there wasn't, and they ( "they" being a mobile equine practice with three vets, who all saw him at one point or another ) x-rayed him, ultrasounded him, poked him, prodded him, and could never find a reason for the swelling. They finally concluded that she should hose/ice down his hind legs after a long ride, wrap them, and keep him moving as much as possible to keep the swelling down. The funny thing was that he could be swollen, go out on a ride, come back, and have no more swelling again...it was very idiopathic. (When the old owner was asked about it, she said that he did occasionally seem a bit "puffy" after a ride, but that it was never a problem)
Obviously then, we have not been surprised that Bo's pasterns and fetlocks will sometimes swell up after a ride, but it is different than before, in that it is never up to his hocks, and that it occasionally involves all four legs. We are assuming that this swelling may be due to arthritis, and are looking into putting him on a joint supplement, and/or MSM, and/or glucosamine ( I will refer back to Pony Girl's post on joint supplements!).
So I am throwing this issue out there to you, my knowledgeable blogging pals, to see if you have run into similar issues with older horses. He does have some minor heat when there is obvious inflammation, and on the day that the above pictures were taken, we gave him some bute prior to the ride, since he had been ridden the day before as well, and we wanted him to be comfortable. He would swell up very minutely over the summer, and that is another reason that I am leaning towards arthritis...the fact that it is getting more noticeable now that it is cold and damp out. Oh and just so you know...the day after the pictures were taken, after two consecutive days of riding, he had no swelling at all...go figure!
Any ideas? Please fire away, and thanks ahead of time for your input! :)