He was fine on June 1st before I left town, but was moving really stiffly and stumbling when I came back on June 3rd. I thought he was just stiff and didn't see any head bobbing, so I went ahead and took him for an easy trail ride, but cut it short because my gut feeling was just telling me something was really wrong. So we came back. The farrier was scheduled for the next day, so she took a look at him and confirmed my suspicions that he was lame in both front feet. She couldn't see anything bad from his feet (in fact, they were looking really good!), but yet he was still moving stiffly and tenderly.
At her recommendation, I switched him off of alfalfa to straight grass and gave him an easy week off, using hoof boots anytime I took him out. He was still lame on Friday, so I spoke with my vet, picked up bute and "Remission" and added it to his mash. He improved drastically on the bute (we stayed on for five days), and is still moving around with gusto and taking nice, big steps after being off the bute for 4 days, but every now and then he takes a short step or trips, which he's never done before. I confirmed this with my boarder yesterday that I wasn't just seeing things out of paranoia.
So now the vet is coming out tomorrow at 10 to do a full eval and do his coggins for the move, but I'm worried sick about it now. Like you said, he's too young for lamanitis. I think I'm going to pick up some hoof boots for him to keep on 24/7 Monday depending on what the vet says.
Any thoughts? I've got "lamanitis" swimming around in my head like a death sentence and hoping that it's something that can just get fixed up over time and not be a lifteime problem for him. Even if it is laminitis, can't it be at least managed so that he can live a long, healthy life? I don't care if he's never an "athletic" horse - he's got all the potential in the world and could do anything, but he's my baby and I only bought him to be my equine partner, even if it is just trail riding. I'm moving in August, and my new barn manager is willing to manage his food however we need to, including soaking all the sugars out of it.
I'm just worried sick over this. What else could it be other than laminitis? I know I won't know anything for sure until the vet comes out, but any information, encouragement, or downright honesty about the situation would be appreciated. It drives me nuts to just sit here and wait....