Sorry for the complete lack of communication for the past week... I've been away with pretty much no Internet access. It was great!
In the meantime, Taran has been doing better and better. He's down to one Bute/day, and today is he is being weaned off of antibiotics injected directly into the joint and should be down to just oral antibiotics. He's actually be completely sound on the injured foot since the day of surgery too, which is fantastic news. If everything continues as planned, he'll come home at the end of the week!
Also, if you're in central Texas, I cannot recommend Austin Equine highly enough. They have called both Fuzzypony and myself EVERY DAY exactly when they said they would. The staff have been sooo friendly and helpful, and they all love Taran and are spoiling him rotten and taking the best care of him. At first I wondered if I shouldn't have taken him to a larger equine hospital, but I now know that Taran wouldn't have gotten such individual care anywhere else, and I also know that the communication would not be nearly as good either.
While I was there visiting Taran, I had a really interesting discussion about barefoot horse care with one of the vets - I explained that I had a horse that was sensitive to NSCs and how I'd worked to get that under control. He asked about diet and I explained what I was feeding. He agreed with what I was doing but suggested feeding more alfalfa since it's lower in NSCs that Bermuda hay, and I explained that I understood that alfalfa in large quantities could cause entroliths. He blinked once or twice and then spent 10 minutes discussing the pros and cons of alfalfa. It was the most informed discussion I've ever had with a vet about feeding a horse.
I mentioned we were working to get the boys more self-trimming and had installed a track, and he thought that tracks were great and asked how well it was working. I was completely shocked! Here's a vet that not ONLY didn't tell me to shoe my horse, but knew about tracks and how diet affects feet!!! I then asked if he knew any good barefoot trimmers, explaining the troubles I've had (yes, I'm still trimming the boys, but I would feel more comfortable if I had someone I could trust look in on them regularly). He commented that the problem with most trimmers was that they wanted to trim from the bottom and take off live sole and frog, instead of trimming from the top. OMG!!!! From the mouth of a VET!!! I was practically speechless! And then he told me that he'd get me the name of the one trimmer that he'd had good results with... and you know what? The vet clinic actually followed up - I now have the guy's name and number. I plan to call him this week and discuss his trimming methods to see if he might be a good match. Not gonna make that mistake again!
Anyway... please keep sending good thoughts to Taran. We're hoping for a white blood cell count below 5,000 in the joint, and we'll know we're on the way. Fingers crossed!