The vet came out today to do a lameness test on Sinatra. The good news is the thrush is clearing up well and so is the abscess. And he looked completely sound on the walk/trot/canter on the lunge line. But he failed the flexion test horribly. I had a feeling he would soon after it started. The vet flexes his leg for a minute and then as soon as she puts it down I'm supposed to take off with him at a trot (leading him of course - not riding him!). Unfortunately, with his left leg he started freaking out because the flexion hurt and he kept trying to fight her to get his leg away. Then she counted down from five and as soon as she got to one said, "Ok, go!" I led him out immediately at a trot. Only he stumbled horribly and almost fell and could barely trot even though he was trying. He was basically trying to trot with three legs. I let him walk it out around the arena a little after that then we went back and she flexed his right leg. His left leg was still so sore that at one point it buckled underneath him and he almost fell over but he ended up on his knee then jumped up again. He was able to trot a little better after that leg, but is still really far from being sound.
So, for now he has probably two more months of rest from work, but not stall rest - thank goodness for that! He can be turned out every day but no heavy working. What is frustrating is that it's hard to say what the problem is. The vet said she could tell more if we could take him to Pilchuck to get an ultrasound or an MRI. But and MRI would cost $1200 which the rescue can not afford and we certainly can't afford to donate. So, I said I would do a fundraiser to see if I can raise the money to pay for it. The vet reminded me that he is a rescue horse and lots of people don't want to invest their money into "problem horses" like that (and she says that with all due respect because she founded and runs her own rescue that works with the rescue that owns Sinatra). It is a reality though and in fact I've overheard some people in my barn saying to each other, "Rescue horses come with so many issues. I just couldn't do it." But Sinatra is a pretty popular boy. Everyone who meets him comments on how cute he is and what a great personality he has.
So, even though I'm frustrated because I have no idea what's wrong with him, at least there is something I can do in the next two months which is focus on raising money to pay for more diagnostics. And it gives me two months to lose that last ten pounds so I'm thin enough to safely ride him and get him back in shape.
Who wouldn't want to help this little guy?