The significance of swellings on the horse’s hock *H&H Plus*

If a puffy lump appears on a hock joint, how worried should we be? Matt Smith MRCVS discusses the significance of swellings in this area...

Fluid-filled swellings around the hock are not uncommon. Some may be innocuous, but others represent a potentially significant injury that requires investigation and treatment.

It can be difficult for even the trained eye to discern whether a particular lump is worth worrying about, but it may be useful to ask yourself the following:

  • Is it a new swelling?
  • Has lameness developed alongside its appearance?
  • Is it warm, or painful to touch?
  • Is it large or tense?

If the answer to any point is yes, it would be prudent to consult your vet. Conversely, if it has been there as long as you can remember and doesn’t appear to be causing a problem, it may be sufficient to monitor the swelling but otherwise leave it alone unless changes occur.

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