From Endurance to Dressage
Izzy's Leg: Update 3
We went back to the vet last night for our fourth vet visit of 2015. Izzy's first visit was without me, but the last three have been with my regular, awesome vet, Dr. Tolley. The $$$ are accruing ...
The calcium alginate pad (the link shows a smaller version of what we used) didn't perform to our expectations. After only six days, a layer of granulated tissue had reformed. The calcium alginate pads are around $15.00; for the price, I was hoping for a clean wound bed. I went though three bandage changes in six days. Since I'm going to be wrapping for several months, a $20 bandage change every two to three days was going to get rather pricey.
But then again, maybe the $45.00 (plus other material) I spent on the pads was worth it. Each time I changed the bandage a fair amount of goopy drainage had to be cleaned away. Dr. Tolley explained that this goop is evidence of proud flesh that was "melted off." Those are totally my words. I can't remember the terms he used, but basically, the goo was tissue that sloughed off. So maybe the pads slowed the granulation more than we thought.
Once again, my best friend, KG, met me at the barn to accompany me to BVH. It's a good thing she was there because Izzy gave an emphatic No way, José when asked to get in the trailer. I don't blame him for not wanting to get in. So far, he hasn't been trailered anyplace fun. Either, way, I still have to be able to get him in by myself, so KG coaxed as little as possible.
When he refused, I sent his hindquarters spinning a few times with a sharp flick of the tail of my lead rope. That got his attention. He knows when he's in trouble as he gets this horrified expression on his face. Once he's busted though, he doesn't quite know what to do. I lined him up with trailer door and gave a sharp tug. He hopped right in, but I get the feeling there may be some schooling in his future.
Unfortunately, the drive to the vet hospital wasn't as smooth as I like to give my horses. We were driving across town in the late afternoon, so the traffic was pretty bad. Even though I was going less than 50 mph on the freeway, the two right hand lanes of traffic came to a sudden stop, and I was forced to tap my breaks pretty firmly and swerve into the next lane. By the time Izzy unloaded, he was pretty sweaty.
I stood in the trailer with him for a few minutes just patting his neck and reassuring him that everything was okay. He backed out quietly and walked into the exam bay without any issues.
After Dr. Tolley had again debrided the wound (that procedure creates alarming puddles of blood), we discussed our next course of action. Due to the cost versus benefit of the calcium alginate pads, Dr. Tolley opted to use the White Lotion, a lead-based product they make there at the hospital.
The protocol will continue as before: re-wrap every other day. I am to saturate a telfa pad with the white lotion and apply it directly to the wound. That gets wrapped with brown gauze to hold it firmly in place. That is followed with cotton sheeting and a firmly applied roll of more brown gauze. A roll of vet wrap (or cheaper brand) binds the whole thing together.
At the end of the week, I am to call Dr. Tolley and let him know if more proud flesh has developed. He's hoping that we have it under control now and that a visit won't be necessary. I am certain that we'll need to debride the wound again, but hopefully it won't be every week.
There was good news. Since I see the wound every other day, I haven't been able to gauge it's size very well. Luckily, Dr. Gonzalez was there with his iPhone. As I was watching Dr. Tolley work, Dr. Gonzalez was comparing the photos that I had sent two weeks ago with the wound as it appeared on Friday. When he showed me the difference, even I could see that the wound was shrinking.
The first photo was from the day Izzy came home, four days after the initial laceration. The second photo shows substantial proud flesh. In the third photo, you can see that the wound is much narrower at the top and that it is much shorter. When Dr. Tolley first told me that it would take ten weeks to heal, I was horrified. That long?!?!?! Now, I am praying that it heals in ten weeks.
Until it's healed, I'll continue hand walking and teaching Izzy how to be a model equine citizen. I really like this horse and feel confident that things will just get better and better.
Oh, one more thing. While at the vet hospital, KG was once again on hand walking duty while I took care of the bill. She was all smiles when I went out to meet her. She can't quite saying what a great horse he is. She might like him even more than I do!
1/31/2015 12:19:02 am
So glad to see some good initial healing! Soldier on Izzy!
1/31/2015 02:06:55 am
Slow and steady, right? :0)
It's good to have those progress photos! I'm sure there will be a tipping point, when it seems like it's healing faster and faster every day, and then the last week will just feel soooooo sloooooow.
1/31/2015 02:08:46 am
I am hoping to get enough photos that I can put them together in a video format to show the wound close in a time elapsed video. Without the photos, I wouldn't believe how much it has already closed up. It still looks awful in real life. :0)
2/1/2015 09:33:04 pm
I am glad that you're enjoying Izzy's story. Writing about the treatment and healing process gives me a way to focus on the positive things - such as improvement. :0)
2/1/2015 11:06:19 am
Looks good. Every time the wound is surgically debrided, you'll see a real "jump" in the rate of healing. And as someone else said yep, that last couple of weeks will take FOREVER.
2/1/2015 09:36:22 pm
I hope so. Today is another re-wrap day, so I am hoping it looks flat and smooth. If not, I am probably looking at another vet visit on Saturday. My fingers are crossed.
2/9/2015 07:55:56 am
Hi mrs Sweaney
2/9/2015 08:53:05 am
Hi Adrian!!!! It's great to hear from you! I hope school is going well. I miss everyone at Laurelglen. :0)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: