For a horse that could barely touch his toe to the ground 3 weeks ago, his progress is amazing. And the final verdict on the cause - we still can't be sure, but the farrier has now reversed his decision, and says it wasn't an abscess. The evidence would show up by now. Sooo, the best guess is a ruptured or detached tendon, perhaps the flexor tendon where it attaches to the coffin bone. (For all you anatomy nerds.) All I care is that my baby is going to make it.
He nearly didn't. My farrier confessed that the last time he saw him he thought he was about a day away from . . . this was where he made motions of shooting a finger-gun at his head. No one wanted to ever say it in front of me, but I could see as well as they could that we'd run out of options.
Fritz lost a lot of weight from the constant pain combined with the 100 degree heat, and he no longer wanted the magic oatmeal that was a staple for him. I switched to applesauce. He was thrilled! He's been going through one 3-lb jar every day while I've been fattening him back up, and it works well. I'm trying to wean him off his habit by diluting it with water, and so far he thinks that's okay. Not having many teeth limits my options. (The horse, not me. I still have my teeth.)
I mix the applesauce with Equine Senior pellets, which according to my one-year old granddaughter are yummy enough even when eaten plain. Not that I encourage eating horse food (note to her parents,) but she popped one into her mouth before I could stop her. It wasn't hazardous enough to risk getting my fingers bit off by going after it, but I tried to discourage her by saying "No! Ick!" She disagreed. Giving me her sincere big blue eyes, she said, "Mmm!" So for the record, Equine Senior might make a good breakfast cereal.