My friend and I went out to ride her horses the other day and found a giant hock and a mystery instead.
Fat hock…. this was a day or two after we initially found it. I know the funk is too blurry in this photo but it shows the swelling. The pony was limping slightly but acting completely normal- bright, goofy, pushy… doing regular pony things.
When we initially noticed the problem, we thought there would be a wound because it was so swollen and there was some discharge crusted on the front of the hock. We took him to the wash rack to clean the leg to better see what we were dealing with. There was no real gash but lots of small crusted scabs all over his hock, a few scabs up his inner thigh and a small patch on the other leg on the outside of his fetlock.
The crusty scabs and little clumps of hair pulled out as she scrubbed his hock and it was obviously super itchy because he enjoyed this process immensely-curling and flapping his lip. Nothing was bleeding, just kind of weeping, so we cold hosed and then left some triodine spray on the scabby areas. She consulted a vet but didn’t call one out to look because he seemed completely fine and we thought cleaning and icing would take care of things. The vet wasn’t concerned as long as she kept everything nice and clean. I hear Iodine socks are all the rage this year.
I played pony mom last friday for my friend who was working and managing a huge fundraising event over the weekend. I washed and iced the hock. It didn’t seem to be as itchy for him anymore. The pony was mostly well behaved….mostly. Ponies gotta pony.
Questionable hock ice pack wrapping occurred and only had to be re-done once, so, you know, whatever works.
Don’t worry about the bald spots- they are unrelated. This pony survived a barn fire many years ago so those are always there.
Better picture of the hock- this is from yesterday, a whole week since the we found the initial issue.
Swelling is mostly down and the scabs are drier but it still looks a little rough. We just can’t figure it out. Looks like scratches or rainrot maybe but it doesn’t make sense- it hasn’t been that wet, and no other areas on his legs are affected aside from the initial presentation. I am thinking he got into some kind of prickly plant or stinging nettle that caused a local reaction but it so hard to find any information on similar occurrences. Some friends thought maybe yellow jacket stings or some kind of insect sting/bite reaction. My friend will probably call the vet out since her other gelding now has some random spots of the same thing on his face and on one of his front legs. They might switch their pasture for a while too, to try and figure it out.
Very curious, indeed.