Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Much Needed Update

I haven't been saying much about Steen lately because there is both too much and not enough to say. He's still injured, but the wound is still not, technically, severe. He doesn't limp. He doesn't favor the leg in any way. It seems likely that when it heals he'll be left with nothing but a nasty scar.

It's the "when" part that's getting me down.

Maybe it's just me, but this whole healing process just seems interminable. We've gone back and forth between bandaging and leaving it open a couple of times now. There are so many variables to weigh and so many different conflicting kinds of wisdom. I've been out to the barn the vast majority of days since he got his injury, which translates into a lot of time in the car. The wound is still draining a lot, and the drainage collects below the wound and scabs over, and if this doesn't get cleaned regularly, it start to eat into the healthy flesh and create more problems. But if we wrap it, the leg swells and the bandage sags and gets dirty.

So, I don't know. This morning when I was half awake I had the thought, "Gosh, I should go ride Steen today. It's been so long."

And while the vet said I could ride him after a few days if I wanted, everything I've read about proud flesh (which is, indeed, developing over the wound) says to limit movement and particularly weight-bearing activities to keep the accumulation to a minimum. So, basically, I shouldn't.

I know it could be worse. Horses do worse things to themselves all the time. And I do appreciate that, but I'll still be glad when this is over.

2 comments:

  1. "this whole healing process just seems interminable"

    Yep. When Trekker had that whole tooth abscess/swollen throat-latch thing, one vet basically told me "sometimes treatment is just trying something and seeing how it responds, and if that didn't work you try something else". Not terribly confidence-building, but probably true.

    Are you cleaning the drainage part with water or antibiotic stuff? My vet told me not to use water when cleaning the abscess, because water will just make the proud flesh worse. I was basically told to leave it if I could, and to clean with rubbing alcohol if it needed to be cleaned. Obviously you'd want to check with your vet on this, but I thought maybe it would help.

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  2. I hadn't heard that about water and proud-flesh, but that is good to know. I have not been cleaning the wound itself much. I've been using an aerosol anti-biotic spray on that every few days, and I've been cleaning the scabs off below the wound (no proud flesh or open wounds on that area) with water and shampoo to keep it from "scalding."

    Yeah, it seems like every vet and every book and every website have different opinions. I guess the truth is probably every horse/environment/injury combination are unique enough that we cannot generalize very well.

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