Horse windgalls can be associated with the fetlock joint (articuar) or the flexor tendons (tendinous) Articular windgalls occur when excess fluid collects in the fetlock joint and result from a small injury to the joint. Fluid in the fetlock joint is kept in place by the joint capsule and it is a swelling in the joint capsule that makes windgalls appear. The size often changes according to the amount of exercise that a horse is undergoing. In general windgalls are more common in heavy horses with more upright conformation.
Treatment: the condition does not normally cause lameness and no treatment is usually necessary. It is however a sign that the joints are under more strain than normal and joint supplement fed routinely might be useful in such horses to prevent problems in the future. Sometimes addition of small amount so MSM in the diet can help to reduce the condition.
Tendonous windgalls are seen close to articular but slightly higher up and are caused by excess fluid in the sheath that wraps around the flexor tendons. They tend to be a bit larger inthe horse’s hind legs and are usually of no concern. Again supplementation with MSM may help the situation if they are unsightly.
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