Chance was a little lame early on in the week and it just got worse as the days went by.
Obviously, my first instinct was that he might have a hoof abscess. It was just because of the lameness's progression and the way he was limping.
Now, a bit of a digression here. When my vet was out to do spring shots last week, she noticed he was a "little" off. With Chance at this point, something like that was insignificant. If you have followed his story, you know: he had Lyme disease last year, he is being shod as a navicular horse due to X-rays from last summer that showed some very slight navicular changes in his left front, he had an injection of Osphos, which is the new navicular drug, he was sound in early spring on the front, but slightly off in the rear, the rear leg X-rays showed OCD in his stifle, and as a result of all this, he is now considered a trail horse only with minimal arena work on the horizon.
So this week, I watched him carefully and sure enough, he limped on his right front more and more as the week went on.
My first option was to call my farrier. Scott Previte is a master and he came out yesterday morning to pull Chance's shoe and pads. (Complicated wedge pads and eggbar shoe) He checked Chance over carefully with the hoof testers and found nothing. But the lameness was far more severe with the shoe off. So Scott taped the pads on and wrapped the hoof in Vetrap and duct tape--the horseman's indespensible tools-- and said I'd better get the vet out.
Dr. Parisio came today. She didn't even have Chance trot because the lameness was so obvious at the walk. She felt a very, very slight pulse, but again, hoof testers showed nothing.
So the next step was a nerve block of the foot. We had to put the chain on Chance's gums to settle him down, but he finally stood for the injections. Sure enough, once the block took hold he was very much sounder. So that isolated the lameness to his foot.
|Dr, Parisio preparing Chance for the X-ray, Tara holding him.|
But there was still nothing definitive. No sign of a shadow that might have been an abscess, and no real bony changes. There is a little roughening on the navicular and the slightest hint of a developing ringbone, but nothing radical enough to account for serious lameness.
I called Scott while Dr. Parisio was there and they had a long conversation discussing everything including some possible shoeing changes to make.
|Picture of computer with digital X-ray of the hoof.|
(I was going to take more pictures, but the flash went off and startled Chance so I opted out.)