The vet arrived yesterday, with the x-ray machine in tow but as yet no x-rays are required.
He started with his hooves, using the pinch testers which Quadi didn't react to. He couldn't smell anything that would indicate a thrush infection, and we haven't changed the balance of his fronts recently to cause an issue. He does have separation in the walls in both fores, but they are picked clean every day and checked for stones, and again there's no smell or sign of infection up there, though obviously it's not impossible.
So we took him along the driveway for trot ups, which I always find hard work *lol* The walk and trot-ups revealed the lameness but the vet noted that it was not at every stride. We also did a flexion test on each foreleg. Flexion of the left leg revealed him to be very lame on the trot up. He was a good boy despite the Spanish contingent, on seeing us disappear up the drive, careering around the field with their bums in the air!
Upon close examination of Quadi's limbs, the vet found a small nodule or lesion on an exterior tendon on the near fore (he did tell me which tendon it was but I'd have to consult a book to remind myself!). It could be an area of bursal fluid or a lump. It might be something, it might be nothing.
The vet doesn't think it's an abscess but obviously we can't rule it out. The plan is to give him Danilon to reduce an inflammation which is causing the lameness, but to decrease his dose quickly over the course of a week and see how he looks off of painkillers this time next week. If he is still lame, then we'll take ultrasounds and x-rays in that order. Obviously if he worsens then we'll rethink that strategy, and if he's sound in a week without medication then it's been a soft tissue strain or joint pain which has resolved itself.
I'll keep him on box rest for a couple more days, with access to the yard area under supervision, and move everyone to a new, smaller section of fresh grazing. He is allowed to be out in a restricted area and hopefully lots of new grass will stop anyone feeling an urge to hoon around. If it seems like he won't be able to behave himself then he'll have to stay in. If it's an abscess then turnout on wet long grass would be ideal but I can't be sure yet that this is the issue.
Anna's still due on Sunday. With Quadi being on painkilling meds, we will be limited to what we can look for, but if this is an upper limb or shoulder issue it should still show up.
On two Danilon twice a day for today, he's looking totally sound. We'll see how this progresses over the course of the week. Am trying to keep him amused with in-hand grazing and gentle stretch work.