Well, we have a prognosis. Its not 'worst case scenario', but that doesn't make me feel much better.
Torn suspensory ligament.
Had a different vet out this morning. Boomer was slightly improved. Still not weight bearing, but he was moving around a bit. Hoping on his toe, but not putting the heel down. I was happy to see him moving as that improves blood flow to the right hind and decreases chances of static laminitis in that leg.
I let the vet know over the phone that he was still toe touching lame. He didn't sound happy about that. He came out and did a through exam. Boomer had almost no muscle sensitivity up high today. The vet spent a good deal of time flexing the fetlock and feeling the tendons in the back of the leg. He had me walk him a few steps. He had me feel the tendons and explained that you could feel the bands of tendon and the suspensory. Then he had me squeeze and run down the suspensory he pointed out a bit of a 'notch' and right then, Boomer flinched his leg away. He said that we could do an ultrasound if we wanted, but that he was confident enough to put that off a few weeks. This is why he is now acting like he COULD put weight on it, but only the toe- it hurts to stretch the ligament to put his heel down. Vet did say that it isn't the worst he has seen and it isn't totally ruptured, which is good.
So, for the immediate future, we are wrapping both legs and giving a gram of bute per day. He got an IM shot of Adequan for inflammation and to encourage tendon and ligament health. He is on total stall rest for 10-14 days. Then we should take an U/S to see how things look and make a decision on when to start hand walking. It could be at 2 weeks, or it could be longer. Beyond that, we are looking at months of recovery. I am anticipating 6 months of stall rest with hand walking and hopefully some other sort of gentle exercise. Beyond that, I would hope that we could put him back out in the pasture with light riding/exercise for another 3-6 months. I hope we can compete again someday. If not, I guess we will need to find Boomer a new job. The vet said that it will take a minimum of 2 months before he can give an opinion on if Boomer will ever be 'useful' again.
How 'useful' Boomer is isn't really important to me. Time isn't really an issue either. Its hard for me to put him on stall rest after being out in pasture his whole life. However, from what I have been reading, managing the injury is a MUCH bigger factor in the outcome than the nature of the injury itself. I read over and over again about people who turned the horse out after 2 months or started riding again because the horse wasn't lame any more- then BAM! lame for good and retired.
Here are two good articles on the Suspensory Ligament and Injuries from UC Davis Vet School and Thoroughbred Times. As far as management goes, I am starting Boomer on Smart Tendon, Smart Calm Ultra, and Ultra Elite Digest. The calming and pro/pre-biotics will hopefully help keep him comfortable and stress free while being stalled. I figure if I'm about to drop a ton of time, effort, and cash into rehabbing his leg, it would be stupid to NOT try the Smart Tendon supplement. It has silica, collagen, and MSM, plus anti-oxidants to fight free radical damage. I also plan on getting him a few stall toys.