Long time readers of this blog might have been thinking lately, “Wow – Simon sure has been super sound lately. It’s been a while since she’s had issues.”

Been a while until now, that is.

After the horse show, I gave Simon Monday off. He got new shoes, and my trainer/farrier didn’t report any weird swelling or issues.

Tuesday I went out in the evening to give him a light hack. Immediately on pulling him from turnout, I noticed his front left leg was swollen. Upon further investigation, the swelling seemed to start from the top down (just below his knee) and there was heat. He was pretty sensitive to palpation up under his knee, but hardly lame at all when I jogged him. The front left was a little short, but no head bob. So Tuesday I iced, linimented and wrapped. He also got some bute and stayed in that night.


Wednesday my trainer checked on him for me, and said the leg looked great. She sweated it just in case to make and draw all the swelling out, but she couldn’t get any sensitivity from him and didn’t see anything strange going on. Wednesday he got more bute in the AM and stayed in a 2nd night with wraps to be on the safe side.

Thursday I went back out to the farm to check on him. The leg looked fabulous. No swelling, no heat and no sensitivity. I threw him in the round pen, and he looked really good. I did a very light walk/trot ride, and he felt 100% the entire time. After my ride, I iced his front legs to be on the safe side and then turned him out. He didn’t get any bute at all on Thursday.


Friday trainer pulled him out for a training ride, and said the leg was fat again. She obviously decided not to ride, but we decided to leave him turned out and without bute to see if it would resolve itself.

Saturday I was super busy cleaning/packing/clearing out my old house, and was unable to get to the barn.

Sunday trainer checked on him in the morning, and said the leg was still swollen and looked worse to her than it did on Tuesday. She sweated it for me, and gave him bute. Sunday night I went out to see him, and the leg looked like this:


He was also very sensitive to me touching/messing with it. I didn’t jog him, because I felt like we obviously had a real problem here. What that problem is, I’m not sure. It almost looks like cellulitis, but I don’t know why the swelling would have disappeared from Wednesday – Thursday. Also, the swelling is pretty minor if it were to be cellulitis. Of course in this area of the leg there is a lot of soft tissue, but I would expect him to be a lot more lame from some kind of tendon tear.

Even though I’m confused about what’s wrong, the vet hopefully won’t be. Right now I’m working on getting him an appointment this Wednesday. Needless to say, the show is out this weekend. I will go and take pictures and pass out thank you cards to people who donated for me to show the first time, but Simonpants will be staying home.

Hopefully this isn’t a huge setback, but it might be. I too emotionally exhausted to worry as much about it as I normally would, but I do hope my sweet boy is feeling better soon.

26 thoughts on “Phat

  1. Up here, several folks have been having issues with minor cases of scratches turning into cellulitis with similar levels of up and down swelling like that. The vet said that all the rain in May seems to have pulled some crazy bacteria out of the soil that’s contributing because they’ve seen more cases like that than they have in years

  2. Any bug bites or scabby type ick on his leg? Jamp had a similar issue which made me immediately jump to the worst conclusion at first (suspensory ahhhH!!!!!!) but turned out to just be a little fungus or something that was resolved with a little Betadine scrub and MTG application. Hoping it’s nothing more than that for Simon too! Good luck with the vet on Wednesday!

      1. The same exact thing just happened with my mare. I rode her then turned her out all was well. Got her up the next morning and her front legs were swollen. Wrap them, sweat them, no signs of any injuries, no lameness..nothing. After some bute and staying in, the swelling went away in her front legs and low and be hold now her back legs were. Come to find out, she must have gotten into fire ants because a few days later she had scabs. Of course, so did my other mare, so I had two horses with swollen legs. But after a couple days on bute and hosing/bathing them. The swelling went down and they are fine. My vet was the one who suggested I wash their legs real good and that seemed to help a lot. Might help simon too.

  3. Clearly he is feeling left out of the random lumpy leg club. It seems like this is the summer for it. Stupid horses.

  4. Val did this off and on for a couple of weeks, but since I got back from London he’s been 100% fine. He was supposed to get checked but looked better by the time the vet was coming out. We never did figure out what it was. Maybe Simon will do the same thing? Val’s wasn’t quite as puffy but there was still a bit of swelling around his ankle.

  5. Ugh, nothing less fun than random swollen legs and sort of/not really/sometimes lame. Hopefully it’s something silly like a scrape gone wild and he’ll be good as new soon!

  6. I would think NOT tendon/ligament related: my horse is super stoic (he can tear two shoes off and WTC like he’s always been without shoes), and when he had the smallest of tendon injuries (no actual tearing on the ultrasound), he was dead lame. Swelling wasn’t even that bad (his was superficial digital flexor tendon), but he was super head-bobby oh-god-don’t-make-me-do-anything lame.

    I will second some other comments that fire ants are TERRIBLE and they do cause some serious swelling. But you should see bites/scabs.

  7. Never commented before, but I had this same issue earlier in the summer. No cuts/scrapes, just random swelling and some heat that would go down with sweating and cold hosing and be better for a day then it’d swell again. It ended up being cellulitis, he got an anti-inflammatory shot, SMZ’s, and tricolor-dex powder for a few days. The swelling was gone the next day! My guy’s leg looked just like that except the swelling was a little lower, so fingers crossed it’s something as simple as that!

  8. Dee came up lame at Rebecca Farm (thankfully after we had finished). Very similar, she was tender and ouchy, and had a fat leg. Vet figured cellulitis from a (very)minor boot rub. The swelling went up and down for about a week while she was on Sulfa-Trim and then resolved itself.

    Here’s hoping its something minor and easily resolved!

  9. Could be cellulitis or could be something more serious. You wont know until the vet comes out and you get an ultra sound. Don’t forgo the ultrasound, its the only way to really know whats going on in the leg. I find that calling the vet early and often usually saves you more time, worry and in the end money. Though it doesn’t seem like it at the time when your paying that vet bill. I hope it is just cellulitis and this time of year its common. We have one at my barn with it right now and its taking longer then normal for that to resolve SMZs are just not doing the trick. Good luck!

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