unsound and unsure, please help!!!

Please help! My horse, Wellington has been off and on lame for over a month and there is no sign of improvement! I would love to receive as many opinions on this matter as possible. ?
I’ve been getting tugged around by my trainer,farrier,and vet who all seem to have different solutions.

A little background…
My horse is a healthy 9 year old 16.2 hand paint/tb cross that has been living outside 24/7 for the past 8 months. I live in the midwest and our spring and summer has been one of the wettest yet!

What started it all…
June 22: Wellington was playing and managed to bend his aluminum shoe halfway off. One of the clips had punctured fairly shallow into the inside wall of his front right foot. The shoe was pulled and I packed and wrapped it.
June 26: We had the vet out. Wellington was very unsound with an abscess. The vet drained the abscess and prescribed Wellie with five days worth of antibiotics. I was told to soak his foot in epsom salt for twenty minutes, then flush the abscess wound with saline and wrap his (still un-shod) hoof for five days too.
June 30:His regular aluminum shoe was put back on. farrier made sure to not put a nail through the abscess hole
July 2: Vet came back for a check up. I jogged Wellington and we used a hoof tester. Vet was very happy with his progress. He said wellie seemed to be 95% sound and that we could get a shoe put on and start riding him. he prescribed up 5 more days worth of antibiotics to be safe.

He was ridden on these dates:
July 2,3,4,8,9,10,12,14

Some days he felt more tender than others. Wellie wasn’t progressing a whole lot, but he wasn’t getting worse either. But After the 14th he started going way downhill again.
Wellie was due to be trimmed shod again, and we told our farrier about his soreness. He used a hoof tester and wellies entire hoof was sore wherever he pressed. He told us that Wellington’s soles were thin and sensitive and decided to put pads on his front feet. I noticed that he did put a nail through his abscess hole, but he said that it wouldn’t cause a problem. I also asked him if he thought the abscess had come back and he told me that he was sure it hadn’t come back, and that it just wasn’t healed up yet due to the wetness and his soft soles.
We gave Wellie a couple days and I rode him again…still no luck. He was limping even worse than before! I called up the farrier again to update, I was told to put him on a high dosage of bute for 5 days and then leave him for a couple of weeks to let his soles catch up and his abscess to heal. He also had me flush under his pad with Iodine and use tuff stuff hardener.

Now on July 26, Wellie can walk at 100% and Trot at 75% in the round pen. His front right still has some significant amount of heat and I can still pick up a pulse.

My instincts are telling me that we were too aggressive with Wellington’s treatment process, and resulting his abscess was likely even more inflamed than we thought when the farrier nailed through it to put the pads on.

I’m thinking it would be best to remove the pads and nail. I hate rubber pads like the ones he has on because they trap moisture and dirt which is the perfect breeding ground for germs, and i’m sure that the nail can’t feel too good either, but that would mean no protection and a wide open hole.
I’m also worried because anymore prodding with this hoof could make the whole situation worse.
The other confusing part is that Wellie has always had strong, healthy hooves and never ever had a problem soft soles…even if that was the case I don’t think It would be normal to be getting such strong heat and pulse readings, would it?

Is it worth it to give my horse a couple more weeks off when nothing seems to be getting better?
Has anyone been through a similar situation?

Have you x-rayed the foot? I had a horse who had great feet; we kept him barefoot. But he got a nasty abscess one year that just wouldn’t resolve. He finally came sound, but was still a bit ouchy. We x-rayed the foot and the sole had really thinned on that side. We put shoes back on him and he was fine. Good luck!

Honestly, at this point I’d seek a second (more expert) opinion. I’d take my horse to OSU (or whatever midwest state vet hospital you have access to) and get their lameness work-up (rads, at least). You want to know what’s going on in there, and while your vet/farrier team may think things are fine, and Wellie just needs more time, I’m a worrywort, and if my even-just-NQR horse is still NQR for more than 2 weeks, I’m elevating things. You mentioning significant heat and a pulse would make me do it sooner rather than later.
I had a mare on lease, who they originally thought was NQR due to a bruise or abscess. Turned out to be a laminitic episode which she’s still recovering from nearly a year later.

Have you x-rayed the foot? [/QUOTE]

Have not x-rayed the foot, I am considering calling up a different vet to get his opinion and maybe do the x ray from there. Thank you!!
There is so much new farrier technology, im hoping we can find something to help if need be!

Radiographs are definitely in order here. A vet who does a lot of lameness work would also be useful. Sometimes things are sooo obvious if you’ve seen it a 100 times. :wink: