Mystery Lameness..Arm chair vets, get your thinking hats on...
Thursday, I get to the barn and my BIG BABY of a TB is dead lame. Will only put weight on the toe of his LH. No heat, no swelling anywhere. No pulse, no tenderness in his heels, no tenderness or soft spot on his coronary band. Started out like his leg was broken (did I say he is a HUGE baby?) I take him out and hand walk him, he gets a bit better. When I stopped to chat with a friend, then restarted walking, he was bad again. Wrapped him, packed his feet. Next morning, hand walk him again. NOTICEABLE difference. Weight bearing on the LH, much sounder, although still lame to jog. No turnout, unpacked his foot. By the evening, he was back to no weight and only toe-ing it. Re-packed the foot. Saturday, improved again. Soaked it with epsom salts, repacked. Last night, I got the barn, 99% sound. (Sound enough that I would have lightly hacked him)....
It's just super bizarre. If it was an abscess, he shouldn't be getting better. If he pulled or strained something, he would have swelling/heat etc. The ONLY thing i could think of was maybe a stone bruise? I have the farrier coming today to pull the shoe and put the hoof testers on him. This horse is a super big baby. The slightest scratch or bump will make him stock up, or lame. LOL
Anyone ever seen anything like this? Any thoughts?
Abscess....they do usually improve once soaking starts. There might be a small hole where it is leaking out. Poultice that bad boy and do not bute, sometimes that can prevent the abscess from draining.
Farrier found NOTHING. (did I say my horse is a baby?) After no packing last night.. the horse trotted almost 100% on the longe. Crazy, right? If I hadn't seen it myself Thursday, there would be no way I would believe that he was CRIPPLED on that leg. I turned him out and will keep an eye on him.He ambled, mellow as can be, to the round bale and started eating...Silly horse.
Could have also twisted something out in the pasture. I have had that happen to one of mine: 3-legged lame without any swelling, I was totally sure it was an abscess, then horse perfectly sound the next day and farrier can't find anything. Horse was fine after that.
But if it doesn't improve, I would suspect an abscess that you just can't find.
If he is barefoot I would say he found some rough ground and his hoof took offence. It happens. Soft footing, a few days and appropriate hoof packing can resolve the issue if the inflamation hasn't gotten to far.