It looks like putting in the extra time to wrap Kaswyn's leg is paying off already. Two days of being wrapped and the inflammation was gone when I unwrapped him. It's wonderful. I can tell that he feels better just by the way he's acting. It's now been four days and the wound looks so much better. It's been very cold here and the horses haven't been going out, so having someone unwrap and re-wrap him has not been an issue. I've been out every day to walk him and tend the leg myself.
There are three reasons why I'm hesitant to ask someone to wrap him for me.
#1 - I want it done right, and since there are a lot of steps (see below) I'm afraid that it might not all get done to my liking.
#2 - If someone else wrapped him and there was an issue then we'd both feel bad about it.
#3 - It's kind of a pain in the butt to do. This is what I do every time I wrap him -
Step #1 - Clean the wound.
After walking Kaswyn in the arena, the wound gets arena dirt all over it. So it looks like this -
The wound needs to be cleaned gently with Nolvasan surgical scrub using sterile saline and gauze pads. I don't scrub it hard, but just gently clean it. Then it needs to be rinsed with more saline, and dried with gauze. After it's been cleaned, it looks like this -
Step #2 - Apply Dermagel to the wound and let dry a bit if possible.
The Dermagel looks like apple jelly.
It's a bit thick and will dry with a skin on it if you leave it long enough. I don't know if it makes a difference, but I usually put the Dermagel on and then groom Kaswyn and get his wraps all ready to go so that I give the Dermagel a chance to dry at least a little.
Step #3 - Put silver ointment on a gauze pad and stick it to the wound.
The silver ointment is white, but it's got silver in it to help the wound from getting infected. It's thick and a little goopy. I just scoop a little onto a gauze pad...
...and stick it right to the wound. The ointment is so thick that the gauze will stick there until I can get the wrap ready.
Step #4 - Add the pastern cuff.
In order to keep the wrap in place, and to keep a bit of pressure on the wound, Dr. G told me I must wrap the leg with a pastern cuff. It's just thick cotton wrapping that is cut to the size of his pastern, then wrapped around and secured with a strip of duct tape. High tech, I know!
Step #5 - Wrap the cannon bone with another cuff.
This cuff makes the pastern and the cannon bone the same size as the fetlock, but allows the fetlock freedom of movement. Dr. G also told me how to do it this way. Again, this is secured with duct tape.
Step #6 - Wrap whole leg with standing wrap and bandage.
I'm using no-bow wraps, but I was using my trainer's thick quilted wraps when he first came back from Dr. G's. The no-bows are working just fine, but the quilts are nicer.
I wrap the other leg too, just because I was taught to always wrap both legs if you're going to wrap one.
And here is the bucket I keep all of my wound treatment stuff in.
So that is six steps to re-wrapping his leg. It's not like someone would be able to just slap a wrap on him and be done with it. That's why I'm going to have to get my butt out to the barn every day until this thing is healed. Which might not be that much longer, because the wound looked fantastic today. The pics of the wound above are three days old. It already looks so much better than it did. I'll have to take some pictures tomorrow. It really looks good.
So good, in fact, that I did just a little trotting and cantering today on Kaswyn. The whole ride was ten minutes, with a lot of walking, but I wanted to see how he felt. Not only did he feel good, but he also was super willing. I was riding him bareback and in a halter and was not prepared for the big jumping canter depart he did when I asked him to canter. He certainly was eager to go after all this time of not working.
I am hopeful. Maybe two more weeks and the wound will be skinned over - maybe sooner.
One last thing - what's your opinion on wrapping an injured leg? Do you wrap just the injured leg or do you wrap the corresponding leg in the pair (like both front or both hind legs)? Just curious about what other people do, or were taught to do and why. I was taught that the uninjured leg should be supported. So what do you think, what do you do, and why?
A little upbeat introduction to 2014 :)
10 hours ago