After four more long weeks, he was re-evaluated by a different vet from the same clinic. The conclusion was that Koda has improved, but not enough. The recommendation is to continue stall rest and hand walking. It is working, albeit slowly.
I found it interesting the vet mentioned this is the "year of lameness". Apparently they are treating a significantly higher then average number of horses in this area, makes a person wonder why.
Sending a big shout out and thanks to Lorie from C-ingspots blog for sharing her clinic experience of an alternate treatment, Shockwave. I found out our vet clinic also offers Shockwave Treatment, and asked about the effectiveness specific to Koda's injury. This vet recommends it and feels it has a high probability of being effective vs the original vet, who felt it (or other alternate methods) wouldn't effectively reach the injured area.
Without an MRI, we don't know exactly where the soft tissue injury is - which makes healing Koda somewhat of a guessing game. We decided to go with the higher odds recommendation that most soft tissue foot injuries are on the outer surface, fully knowing Shockwave might not be effective for Koda.
He is scheduled for his first treatment next week, then re-evaluated in three weeks before the tentative recommended second treatment (3 or 4 treatments are deemed better). Yep that makes four more weeks, which seems to be a reoccurring theme. As of today my lameness tracker puts us at 20 weeks from the start, and close to 10 weeks of stall rest...add these four upcoming weeks, and then a pending second treatment, and...
I'm beginning to think my original concern with not doing an MRI might be a valid one...at the end of this lameness ordeal (there will be an end, right??) we will have spent just as much $, wasted a ton of time, and made things worse for all of us - especially Koda.
We didn't opt for the MRI mostly because of the cost, and it isn't always a guaranteed revealed answer. In addition, some of the treatment for this type of lameness is the same regardless of the specific tissue injured. It likely would have been a more informative route to go, but we live by our choices.
The only thing that really matters is that Koda comes out of this sound. Perhaps then, the rest of the healing can begin...