Tricks Of The Trade

By Julie Goodnight

Lingo – Ventral Edema

A horse showing signs of ventral edema may have compromised health. Swelling is typically seen on the ventral midline of the horse’s belly and is characterized by puffiness, bumps or fluid build-up. Often in geldings, sheath swelling or puffiness can also be seen. These signs can be indicators that a horse is fighting infection (maybe from an unseen puncture wound), having metabolic issues– allergies, snake/insect bite, or toxic reactions, circulatory issues, parasites, Potomac Horse Fever and other issues.
Monitor the edema, check vital signs (checking for signs of fever) and look for other signs that may indicate the horse’s health and vigor such as appetite, soreness and alertness. Inspect the horse from nose to tail for signs punctures or sores. Exercise the horse lightly to see if the edema is reduced after exercise. If the horse shows signs of fever or other signs of sickness, if the edema persists over a long period or gets worse, call the vet.

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