Monday, August 06, 2012

Wrap It Up, Part 1

This summer has been crazy. I have three or four half-written posts, and one typed in as a note on my phone. It's been super crazy, with almost every night and evening booked up with some activity, either for me or for Craig and the girls. Add that to the fact that work has been too busy for me to bang out a post, and it means that I don't post much.

So, recently I've been having problems with Kaswyn's surgery site. The last surgery was Thanksgiving of 2010, and was a new procedure to eliminate the neuromas that he got from his neurectomy. It was done on both sides on the back of his left front pastern, with the outside (left side) healing fine, but the inside ended up splitting open into a nasty wound before it got a chance to heal. The scar, once it finally healed, always bothered Kaswyn if I touched it, and always seemed to get this crusty stuff on it. It looked like it never really healed. An equine massotherapist looked at it and suggested I rub lavender oil on it to soothe it. I've been doing that for over a year and it never seemed to get any better.

Over the past few months it seemed that Kaswyn had been carrying some fluid in that pastern, making it hypersensitive and painful. For the first few weeks I tried some bute, thinking that he just tweaked it, and the bute made him better. But he got worse again off the bute. I figured then that it was probably the heat that was making him swell in that area, so I started icing it after I worked him. That seemed a little counterproductive, so I started wrapping him in standing wraps.

Here is the deal with this pastern. It can't have tight pressure on it, like a stretchy polo wrap or vetwrap. I did that once and later that evening the barn called me and said he was acting like he was colicy. One gal said she thought the wrap might be bugging him, so they took it off, and by the time I got there he was much happier. I just think that area is very sensitive, so tight pressure or inflammation makes it painful.

But regular standing wraps pose two problems. First, only experienced people should apply them, which unfortunately knocks Debbie out of it. And sometimes she rides him when I'm not there, so she would need to re-wrap him. Second, for the wraps to really be effective the pastern needs to be wrapped and supported, and that doesn't usually happen with standing wraps.

When he was recovering from his surgery, the way they wrapped him was with a cotton wrap on just the cannon bone, then no cotton on the fetlock, then another narrow strip of cotton around the pastern so that it would make the pastern as fat as the fetlock. This allowed a standing wrap to be applied to the whole leg, and the pastern to get the support it needed without the wrap slipping up.

This is what I needed to work out - gentle, soft, evenly distributed pastern support that could be applied easily by anybody. This last point is important because I can't make it to the barn every day. Two days a week he gets turnout and I don't make it out there at all, which means the wraps must come off for turnout, but I'm not there to put them back on. Add this to the fact that the cotton I used as the pastern wrap got dirty easily, and shavings stuck to it like crazy, made it obvious that I needed a better solution.

I was seriously stressing about this for days. How could I solve this?

To be continued...


Anonymous said...

Let me see if I understand..

Your senior horse, who worked his tail off for you, is sore, is hurting, is uncomfortable..

and you still had someone riding and showing him?

Please justify for me (and everyone else) why this is "ok", especially in a world where FEI disqualifies a horse/rider because the horse had a small abrasion...

Adventures of the Super Ponies said...

So I know I've seen standing wraps with velcro on. There's no substitute for your skill full wraps but they might do the trick when you cant be there. I just found a few options via google. I saw something called boomers wraps and them therapeutic combo wraps. You might even be able to get some and personalize them by removing stuffing at his pressure points

I agree w you and your vet that the best thing for him is working. Especially training level dressage will keep his joints lubricated. Aside from the physical benefits he will get depressed if he doesn't have a job to do. I can tell from the videos that he loves to be out working. You know your horse and he will tell you what he is game for.

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