He put my mind at ease regarding the crack and the hole after explaining a bit about how the hoof functions and what happens during an abscess. He said he sees these kinds of things all the time and it's usually not a big deal. (Anytime they say "usually" I get nervous...) I bet most of those horses don't have ligament injuries on the opposite leg, which is where most of my concern comes from.
He used his handy dandy hoof knife to cut off the parts of the hoof that were weak and no longer attached. Most of it was still pretty strong and he thinks the rest of it will grow out just fine, even if it does take forever!
He also thought bar shoes would be a good idea, and stressed the NEED for bell boots while she wears those. She has a habit of stepping all over herself even when she's in the stall, so once she gets to go back outside I'll have to keep a close eye on her. I don't need her stepping on these...
Here are some after shots:
My vet said everything looked fantastic and she didn't see any mottled areas on the ICL and nothing on the DDFT either. So she was diagnosed as being officially healed!!
I asked some questions about exactly how healed she is and what I can expect in the future. She said there's always a chance for her to reinjure the leg because of the injury and also because of the amount of scar tissue she has in her leg. So she advised me to be cautious, but said I didn't need to be super careful.
Ideally she'd like her turned out in a small paddock for a couple weeks but I don't have that luxury. At the new place there's a round pen but I'm not sure how often it's used and I don't want Lilly to be in the way of anyone. Hopefully if she's out with AJ and Baby she'll stay relatively calm, even if she has to burn off a bit of energy first.
AND, the best part is that I get to start riding! She gave me a rough timeline for bringing her back into full work and we're looking at about 4 weeks before I can really start cantering. The first show is March 5th (am I getting ahead of myself?) and I'd like to take her even if we only do showmanship and walk trot classes.
I plan to keep her on the tendon supplement and might put her back on something for her hooves to see if I can get that giant crater to grow out more quickly.
I'm in a happy place today. :)