Three months ago I rescued a 10 year old TB gelding. He was tender on both front feet when I got him, but we attributed that to lack of hoof trims for at least one year and a thrush infection. He was treated for thrush, started on hoof supplements, and began barefoot trims. His back feet were good, but the front hooves were in bad shape.
The gelding's hooves improved slowly. He was sound in the pasture and in our dressage arena, but very tender on rocks. The trimmer said his soles were thin and suggested hoof boots. The boots worked great and we were taking him on rides with no lameness. A friend of mine thought his hooves were warm, but he was still sound when not on rocks.
While his hooves are starting to look very good, about a month ago the thrush came back, he started treatment again. A few days later he was dead lame on three feet and didn't want to walk. He has been seen by two vets and two trimmers/shoers. I get different opinions from different people. One says his frogs are over grown. Another says too much frog was been trimmed off. One says he needs more exercise. Another says no exercise at all.
Everyone can agree on one thing - His hooves are hot and he suffers from inflammation. The vets said laminits based on the fact that he "walks on eggshells" when walking on gravel. His digital pulses are not overly strong.
The vet prescribed bute, no trims for 8 weeks, and strict stall rest. He can have one short walk a day. No grass, no grain, no sugar. The trimmer recommended padding the hooves with styrofoam and lletting him walk around in a paddock. He is being handwalked - During his walks I put on his hoof boots and he moves around like nothing bothers him. If he was foundering wouldn't he be lame even with the boots on? He feels pretty good - bucking and kicking - makes me wonder if it is laminitis. His feet are still warm.
Does anyone have experience with a case like this? What would you do?
I have no experience with Laminitis. What kind of hay do you recommend? Anything else in the feed? He needs to gain some weight as well. Thanks!
Here are two pictures of his worst front hoof. I forgot to mention that the thrush is mostly now in his heel bulbs, or "butt crack" and I saw someone refer to it. (sorry for the bad pics)