Need some quick advice
Although I've owned my horse for over 3 years now, we have been SO lucky that he has never had any issues. Once he had a sore foot for several days, so we doctored it up and had the farrier come out and give him a check and trim. No problems. We've been blessed.
Now we are looking for a new horse for my daughter. Someone answered my "I want to adopt your horse" ad and we went to meet "Joe". A wonderfully sweet Paint around 17 yo. He has the best demeanor.
While on the phone in the beginning she told me that she had rescued him several months ago and he was not in bad shape when she got him. Someone just couldn't care for him anymore. She also mentioned that he had a fetlock that swelled up on occasion, no heat in it, he would hobble around for a day or so and then the swelling would be gone and he would be fine. She said it only happened on occasion.
We drove up to meet him on Saturday and when we got there, he was swollen and limping. She was right, it had no heat and it didn't seem sore to my gentle squeezing but it was markedly swollen. Although I tried not to get them to ride him, they insisted that "he acted" worse than he was and had even ran up to greet them just moments before. Now, granted, it was just a small child on his back but still, I would have NEVER put anyone on his back like that. His hooves were about twice the length I keep Hootie's. She said the farrier trimmed him in July...he still had all 4 shoes on remarkably. Even if Hootie was trimmed in July, his hooves would NEVER have been that long. It looks like at least 6 months growth or more.
I'm new to the "guess what the illness is" game in horses. Can you guys give me some possible scenarios and outcomes? I don't want to (and can't afford!) to bring a horse home that will need major medical care even though he needs me to help him...and I want to help him so bad.
So, I've asked her to allow me to have a vet come in and evaluate what he believes the problem is and the prognosis. She is very nice and agreed. My thoughts are that even if he is too bad for me to care for, she'll know the problem and if it's that bad, she'll know to put him down. I don't want him to suffer.
He can bear weight on it but it is difficult at first but does get some easier as he moves along. What have you guys seen that this could be? I know his feet are in terrible shape but she says this problem has been going on since she got him.
Thanks so much!