I've got good news!
Boomer has been doing better every day. He has been on total stall rest for 11 days with only one or two days where he got out to walk up and down the barn isle a few times. He has shown no signs of lameness, swelling, heat, or soreness. He has behaved himself well and doesn't seem to be going too crazy being in the stall.
Our regular vet came out today and did a very good lameness exam. He confirmed what I suspected, which was that Boomer reacts the same to palpation on both legs. He has always been touchy and quick to pick up his feet. However, when he was dead lame, he only reacted on the one side because he couldn't weight the other leg to react on the 'good' side. The vet watched him walk and did a flexion test and trot out and Boomer short stepped for about 3 strides (no head bobbing) and then worked out of it and trotted sound the rest of the way down the isle. So, the vet thinks it is not soft tissue, not a fracture, no pulled muscle.
Which led us to spinal compression, pinched nerve, sciatica, etc. When the vet palpated along him hips/spine/top of rump Boomer would nearly buckle his back legs. It was obviously uncomfortable. However, it didn't seem like sharp pain that made him want to jump or kick out. He just slowly buckled his legs to lower away from the pressure. The vet also had him stand square and no matter how he stood or moved, his left hip just seemed higher. It was a visible difference, even to me. The right side didn't seem sunken, it was more of a rotation looking thing. Also, when the vet pulled on his tail straight back, Boomer's rump muscles quivered quite a bit and when he let go, Boomer really had to stumble to regain his balance.
So, where do we go from here?
First, keep up the stall rest, but add hand walking.
Start at 5 minutes per day and work up to 15 minutes per day.
Second, get Boomer adjusted by a chiropractor in 2 weeks.
Appointment is scheduled for February 2nd.
The vet and chiropractor work closely together and
share information for better treatment.
Third, after adjustment, allow Boomer short, supervised turnout each day
in addition to hand walking.
Hopefully this will quickly lead to him being turned back out 24/7.
We also have options of giving Boomer muscle relaxers or an electromagnetic pulse therapy to help loosen up his muscles and aid the chiropractic adjustment. For now, those options are not needed.
So, this all seems like a good direction to be moving in. I am very happy with the prognosis and I actually do agree with the assessment. I am hopeful that this can be a comparatively easy fix. 1-2 chiropractor visits is a cake-walk compared to suspensory rehab!!!