I'm glad he's feeing better. Just so you understand, you can't see anything externally when a horse is foundering, and without a physical exam in person the vet is unable to give you a complete diagnosis. The degree of laminitis cannot be determined without radiographs. It sounds like he is on the upswing, but for future reference you should understand these points.
Thanks. I know that he would not see external signs at this point of founder, and I feel the reason he hasn't come out to do more for checking that, is he seems to believe, based on what I've said, it isn't founder at all - though I admit, I am not so sure, but I am certainly not trained, and probably have no clue.
I am quite willing for him to come out, but he just seems to think he does not need to at this point.
Here are photos of his back feet - and I think they MIGHT be swollen around the fetlock. The areas are not warm to the touch, not senstive, so maybe I am seeing things because he seemed to favor them - but tonight he seemed in good spirits, but it was late when we got home, and I just changed his stall - seemed to walk fine. Also, he was a buggy horse and his legs are larger from that than average - so I am not sure it is will look swollen to others because of that.
I am emailing these photos to the vet tonight to get his opinion.
Thanks. We are working on high tensile and electric fence right now, so they are stalled a lot. They had not been prior to coming here a month ago - they were 24/7 pasture kept. We turn them out in rotation in a paddock and round pen, but the rain has made that hard.
His demeanor seems 100% now - and he hasn't had any bute for over 24 hours, so seems to feel normal again.
Oh, he's been locked up a lot in the last month, much more than previously - that could explain a lot, as AppyT pointed out. Horses really need free movement, or at least a LOT of in hand walking, if they are locked up. Lack of exercise effects digestion too, so it could have been the cause of a mild colic too.
Laminitis is the intial inflammation & degeneration of the laminae at the hairline. Founder is the mechanical progression of this, or of other problems, which causes the internal structures to 'sink' or rotate in the hoof capsule. While there may be no outward signs at all of lami - altho the horse is generally sore - it IS generally pretty clear for an experienced eye to see that a horse has foundered, if it is progressed very far at all. Of course x-rays are more accurate & precise tho.
Saying your horse is OK except on gravel is unfortunately quite normal & could signify that he has thin soles, but if he's been OK until recently when he was locked up, I'd guess heel pain is the more likely cause of his sensitivity. He may also have thrush, which can be painful. I would treat any infection, ensure he's well & frequently trimmed & give him as much exercise as possible, but boot or pad him for surfaces he's sensitive on for now.
Re the pic, can't really tell anything at all from it. The hooves are half buried in bedding for a start. You need to take hoof pics on level-ish ground, from near ground level, front- & side-on, and a couple of different angles of his soles would be helpful too, inc. Sighting down from the heels, to guage depth & heel height.
Even if your vet doesn't feel like he needs to come out you can simply TELL HIM you want to schedule an appointment for him to come out anyway. You don't have to wait for your vet to say he thinks he needs to come out.