Heat in a Compensating Limb

Q. I have a 3-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred I purchased with a "mild suspensory strain." He seems quite sound on it; however his hock on the affected leg is always warm compared his other hock and knees. Could this mean he's compensating for the suspensory injury?

Jody, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

A. It’s difficult to say whether the notable heat in your horse's hock is related to the suspensory strain in his history. With injuries to the hind-suspensory ligament origin, a horse can have heat and swelling that is typically localized on the inside of the leg below the chestnut. I would recommend having your veterinarian perform a thorough exam to determine the cause of the heat and whether it's a reason for concern. Further diagnostics, such as an X ray or ultrasound exam, might be necessary.

About the Author

Rachel Gottlieb, DVM

Rachel Gottlieb, DVM, is an associate veterinarian at Northwest Equine Performance in Mulino, Ore., a practice that focuses exclusively on lameness and performance horse issues. She’s also an associate team veterinarian for the United States Eventing Team. Gottlieb is a graduate of the University of California-Davis, where she also completed the Large Animal Ultrasound Fellowship. Gottlieb's professional interests include sports medicine, musculoskeletal ultrasound, and regenerative therapy.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners