We had our appointment with the physio yesterday. Man did she have news for me!
I already suspected tendon/ligament damage. She confirmed this. Damage to the deep digital flexor tendon and possible the suspensory ligament as well. He has severe pelvic tilt and damage to his hip/femur joint. The current theory is that he slipped over and crashed onto his hip. On a positive note his sacral iliac is nice and stable, she was very surprised.
More than this though is the news that my farrier has been fucking Fox's feet up in a way I couldn't even imagine. His feet are all out of balance with too steep lateral walls causing misalignment of his legs. This is not just one leg but all four. When she pointed it out to me, it was so obvious I can't believe I didn't notice it before. This has also contributed to the likely hood that he has degenerative joint disease as well. The hind leg he has damaged has the worst trim which the physio believes contributed to the tendon damage. He has thickening of the tendons in both front legs too.
He has chronic wasting in his hamstring and gaskins. Where there should be muscle, there is none. His neck is out, he has clicking in his right femoral joint from his weight pushing through on impact. He has also got scarred muscle across the top of his jump where he's had a major impact probably trying to rush out of a float and making contact with the bum bars. My poor poor horsie. I will try and scan the chart she gave me. I don't think any part of his body is unaffected. We're looking at 4 months plus for rehab.
Our plan of attack
1. New farrier - he will sort out Fox's feet make them level and probably put a remedial shoe with a pad on that back foot with the severely steep lateral wall that is causing the crushing to the outside. He is also apparently excellent at diagnosing tendon damage.
2. Cold hosing - 20 mins twice a day.
3. Confinement - Fox now only has a small corner of his paddock by his pony friend to stop him running around
4. Pain relief - Devil's claw, no bute!
5. Back On Track boots that I am ordering tomorrow (pay day)
6. Supplements, supplements supplements - my list includes chelated magnesium, MSM and glocosamine on top of his toxin binder and mineral mix.
7. Homeopathic remedies - have a high success rate of helping treat inflammation and helping tendons recover.
8. Tennis ball exercises - these are exercises given to me by the physio that I do for 20 minutes every day.
9. Physio - She will see him once a week for the next few weeks then every three weeks.
10. Ultrasound - this will happen when his leg is a bit more stable as the closest one is a 40 minute float ride away.
11. Hand walking - when the farrier has sorted out Fox's feet we can start handwalking. 5 minutes the first week, 10 the next etc.
It's going to be a long road to recovery but the physio's prognosis is optimistic. She doesn't think there is anything we can't fix with the right treatment. Except of course the DJD that I have my fingers crossed we are only treating as a precautionary measure. Unlikely, but one can dream!