One exhausting part about horses and illnesses is how your emotions can swing so wildly. I just talked to the vet, and he said Anatolian's x-rays show only a 2 or 3 degree rotation. He said he has had low-grade laminitis for a long time now, probably since before I got him; I agree with that now that I've thought back to ever since I met him and little things I've noticed about him. (I would also bet quite a bit that that was why he was such a dramatic flop at racing - Racehorses can be prone to laminitis due to all the grain they are pumped full of starting when they are babies, and if he consistently had a little bit of inflammation in his feet, then no wonder he didn't try very hard).
Anyway, I told the vet honestly that I am not capable of dealing with a horse for the next 20 years who has to be fed a very strict diet and has to be watched every day to try to prevent flareups, and who would still inevitably have flareups occasionally, causing his feet (and my wallet) intense pain. I also said that, while I had been resigned to him possibly having bony injuries from the track to keep him from being ridden much, if he was a permanent cripple/on the edge of lameness, that that would not be fair to him at all. The vet listened to me, and said that in this case, if it were his horse, he would definitely try the bute for a few weeks, icing, and simple egg bar shoes. We discussed shoeing/barefoot options this morning, and even though I am a strong believer in barefoot for soundness and recovery from laminitis, it does require a good and experienced trimmer to help. Since the guy I was using has been so reluctant to come up to this area any more, there really isn't anyone like that around here. So, we will try the shoes once. The vet works with this farrier all the time and says he's had a lot of good results. So, we'll see!
Anatolian has a reprieve of a few weeks. Very little movement for him (fun, fun) and lots of icing and bute. Grass hay only, with applesauce and bute to relieve the boredom. I am really hoping this works!
Andolu is usually a good boy about medical stuff/cleaning stuff, and he is good about the bute. But it has been a bit interesting doing the icing so far. I'm not doing his legs now, but his feet. I do have a wide rubber pan to put the ice and water in, so it is easier to get his feet in. Then I sit on the stool next to him and try to read. I keep the end of the lead rope looped around his leg, and that way he can't take his foot out of the pan. He is supposed to eat while he soaks, but it seems to be making him grumpy, so he has been making persistent efforts to bite me or eat my book. Argh! Despite this, the only times I've been able to relax today have been out there with him...
Anyway, I am amazingly ecstatic that it was such a "little" bit of rotation. The vet says he does not expect this to escalate into Mira-style bills and that we will re-evaluate immediately if he does not respond the way he should. So for now, I am to pray a lot and try to keep him sane! Does anyone have any good ways to make toys?