Swelling in the Girth Area

What is causing my horse to swell in the area his girth sits?

Q. My horse is swollen under his girth area on both sides of his body. There isn’t a sore; the area just seems very tender when I groom it. The girth does not seem to be rubbing. What could be causing this problem?

Jackie Harper, via e-mail

A. This is not an uncommon finding you are describing with your horse but one that can be a bit tricky to figure out.

Though you mentioned it does not appear to be the result of rubbing, I would check your tack closely to make sure that excess pressure in the cinch or girth is not occurring at the swelling

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Written by:

Casey Gruber, DVM, is an associate veterinarian at Moore Equine Veterinary Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where he specializes in podiatry and emergency and sport horse care. He’s a graduate of Colorado State University.

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