Leg lumps and bumps

Do you know which leg blemishes are benign and which are likely to lead to lameness?

Which of the following lumps on a horse’s leg is most likely to be the source of ongoing lameness?

a. a cold, squishy lump on the outside of the fetlock joint

b. a small, very firm bump on the inside of the cannon bone, a few inches below the knee

c. a warm, soft lump along the back of the cannon bone


 c. A warm, soft swelling on the back of the cannon bone may be the result of a soft-tissue injury. If the injury was recent, the area will probably also be sensitive and the horse most likely is lame.

A cold, squishy swelling on the outside of the fetlock joint is probably a windpuff, a harmless collection of fluid commonly found in older horses and not associated with lameness.

A small, firm bump on the inside or outside of the cannon bone is likely a splint that formed as the tendon between the splint and cannon bones ossified. New splints are usually soft, with associated inflammation, and can cause lame-ness, but once they mature and “set,” they typically cause no trouble.

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