Today was a long day. I took both boys to my lesson with Cindy and rode Fleck first and early to give myself time. It was a good lesson. Nothing crazy. Still having problems with the right lead. Then I rode Dan. And then we headed home to get Fleck to his vet appt. Poor Fleck, he got to come home and unload. He was home long enough to pee and drink a bit of water and then I threw him back on the trailer to go to Montclaire. We met Dr. Grizel there since he was already there for Nicky. It was perfect because it stormed and this way we had the covered arena and the barn and weren't crammed in the garage. ;)
Dr. Bob was great. He listened to me going on and on and palpated him and told me that he thought he knew what was going on. He explained everything in great length, which was awesome. So basically... Fleck has negative plantar angles in the hind feet which is causing patellar hesitation (not luxation, but hesitation). And it all fits. It's not a painful thing, but a biomechanical thing. So he wasn't responding to pain meds. And that is causing the stifle and SI soreness and lower back pain. And, because he can't load the hind end, he's putting more weight on the forehand, thus aggravating the fetlock and knee arthritis.
I tacked him up and lunged him and then got on. Dr. Bob showed me how he was landing toe first and digging his toes in the sand. He showed me the patellar hesitation. When I got on, we did flexions. Flexing his stifle really didn't make much of a difference. So yay for that at least. When I went to canter right the first time, he picked it right up. But you could tell he was getting a little nervous/anxious about it. The second time I asked, he bolted left and bucked through it.
The official diagnosis is the negative plantar angles, causing the hind end issues. And therefore aggravating the front end. He said that we could fix the hind end. That part was easy. But the fetlock arthritis is a bit more worrisome. Being that it's a high motion joint and a rather important one,.... But we are going to see how much it improves with just fixing the back end. He did say that you would be surprised at how often improving the hind end improves the front end.
So... we have a shoeing prescription, we are starting pentosan twice a month and are going to get him super fit on the hills.
Fingers crossed. Though I'm feeling highly optimistic that this will get him feeling better. It all makes sense and fits. I'm so glad I called him instead of going for a bone scan.