The vet came out last week to look at the swelling Dante had in his left front behind his cannon bone. They had to drug him and clip his leg so that they could get a good look with the ultrasound. They went layer by layer and looked at all his soft tissue and they saw abnormalities with his check ligament. They showed me images of it and you could tell on the machine that all of his other soft tissues (suspensory ligament, flexor tendons, etc) looked really clear with neat edges, but the check ligament was really fuzzy and inflamed.
The good news is that the check ligament isn't responsible for a whole lot, but the bad news is that with any soft tissue injury it takes forever to rehab, heal, and there's a huge chance that it will get re-injured in the future. So we have to take it really slow, and rehab is going to take about 8-10 months. He's already been on rest and had this injury for about 7 weeks, so at least we are already a little into the rehab. It makes sense that the injury is his check, because he isn't lame off of it at all. The leg is just swollen, hot, and his pulse is strong.
I have been cold hosing his leg for 20 minutes/day and I'm going to continue that for at least another week. He's on stall rest with no exercise at the moment aside from him getting out of his stall everyday when I'm there. I take him out to graze for a good 20-30 minutes each day though so he doesn't go too crazy.
Hopefully if the heat goes away and the swelling goes down soon, we can move him outside and he won't have to be in that dang stall anymore. The only problem is that at the UC Davis Equestrian Center, they don't have any paddocks. They have stalls, and the have community dry lot pastures. As much as a baby as I'm going to sound saying this, I don't really feel comfortable putting Dante in a group pasture. If you knew him, you would understand... He is completely unsocial. In his 20 years of life, he has always lived by himself, and he doesn't really get along with other horses. I think throwing him in a pasture with other horses at this point in his life would be completely unfair, especially when he's already weak. I think I would be setting him and I both up for disaster. So now we are also looking at places to move him to by the beginning of summer so that he can have his own individual decent sized space.
So stressful. I wish things were simple like they used to be for us.