These days they usually scan for diagnosis - although 20+ years ago when my old mare did her suspensory it was just done by feel and guesswork! My mare had a couple of months box rest and then careful return to work. In her case she never had any return of the problem despite competing in XC and ODEs subsequently.
He went lame last week. Vet came, suggested it may be an abcess as did my farrier. A bit worse this week, still no definite sign of pus, but had local farrier look at him today and is not sure if it is pus.
He is about 4/10 on the turn today, so am thinking maybe ligament damage.
BUT as he has DJD in both coffin joints I am not too sure box rest would be the best for him and not sure if the insurance company would authorise an investigation (depending on cost) I could afford a scan, but not an MRI or anything like that, I just don't have the money.
Are you sure it's not just his DJD playing up? the ground has been so hard recently he might be a bit jarred up ?
If there is nothing to see/feel then you will be looking at a series of nerve blocks to locate the area of pain, followed by an ultrasound if it is suspected to be ligamental or xrays for possible DJD changes.
Either way you will be looking at spending a bit of cash.
Does he respond to bute?
Might be worth turning him away for a bit and seeing what happens if you don't want to sped out on investigations.
He was hoof tested and flexion tested. No reaction to anything that was thrown at him. Not sure if he is just being tough or it is something deep within the hoof capsule. No heat, swelling, nothing.
I had him on bute for 5 days. I stopped as I wanted to reassess the situation and since coming off the bute, he is now worse.
I don't mind spending out, and if it is not DJD or Nav related then the insurance will pay out, its just taking that risk.
With his history of DJD I can understand why C would say don't box rest him - I agree that keeping him moving gently, if you have the facilities to turn him out in a small space, would be a much better option.
Personally I would speak to your vet who can diagnose ligament damage. Farriers are great at there job but they are not vets and really can not say a horse has ligament damage. I think it could be more DJD if not heat or swelling to the leg.
If its in the hoof itself it can be difficult to scan with ultrasound due to the hoof wall, the tendons down the back of the leg are much easier to visualise using ultrasound. Has he had nerve blocks to find out where the pain is?
Within the hoof are several ligaments, all joints have collateral ligaments (that run either side of the joint for support) the flexor tendons also insert onto bones within the hoof. A digital nerve block would help to locate the site of pain to narrow down the cause, if he has DJD in the coffin joint an x-ray may help to see if there are further changes or alterations in the navicular bone.
Thank you all for your input on this.
I have spoken to my vet, and they will be coming out today to reasses our situation.
I think our next course of action will be to xray to rule out any further arthritic changes, or any changes in the Navicular bone.
If these are clean, or at least no worse than before, then I think he will be referred for an MRI.