Over the past five years, vet Stephen Ashdown has written many articles, spoken on equine matters and contributed widely to horse magazines.

Here he reproduces in the form of questions and answers about 100 topics, all of them common problems which afflict horses.

To access Topics click on Vet Advice Menu.

Ankle Swellings
Q. I have a five year old TB mare who has raced for three seasons. She has neverfallen or had injuries, just a couple of viral infections. She is now retired and I intend to send her to stud next season

A couple of months ago I noticed her rear ankles were swelling when she was stabled overnight. Her near hind would then be stiff and would snap quickly upwards for a half a doze strides before loosening off and the swelling subsiding. She has now had her shoes removed and is not doing any work. I would be grateful if you could shed some light on this problem

A. The problem you have with swelling around the ankles and transient lameness is a common one.There is obviously a problem with circulation and muscle function before she warms up.This may be related to previous injuries while racing, but it is always difficult to guess about such things.

I would suggest that you try supplementing her diet with formulas designed to improve digestive and liver function. Such mixes can help remove toxins from the body and improve muscle and joint function.  Probiotic supplements may also help

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