From Endurance to Dressage
Izzy's Leg: Update 8
I learned how to wrap a leg with standing wraps early in my endurance years, but it's not something I do very often. Funny what we get good at! I would now call myself an expert at applying bandages - I've done a lot of it over the past two months!
Many people seem to be following Izzy's journey to recovery, so I thought I'd share photos that demonstrate how his leg is being treated. To start, here's that photo from January 10th, and next to it is a photo from March 7th. I think Dr. Tolley's bandage regimen is working!
I change Izzy's bandage every other day, which means three to four times a a week. I don't fool around with the days, which means I don't stretch it to a third day. If I feel as though the bandage looks frayed or chewed on, I change it right away even if that means I change it on consecutive days. Dr. Tolley did suggest I change it after exercise, but so far, the bandages aren't slipping or bunching with the lunge work I'm doing.
I take off the old bandaging material and gently clean the wound by dry-brushing the edges first. Dirt usually manages to slip in from the top of the bandage, so the edges of the wound will have bits of dirt and bedding. I sweep this away. I also have to remove the "goop" that builds up (see that here). I dry-brush that from the sides of the wound as well.
Once I have everything removed with the brush, I tear off a piece of the old cotton sheeting and dunk it in a bucket of water. I use the wet cotton to scrub at the stuck on goop and to gently wash away any loose hair or dust that is stuck to the wound. I use just plain water to do this, no soaps are added.
While I am removing the old bandages and cleaning the leg, I leave a telfa pad soaking in White Lotion. Telfa pads have a shiny, non-stick side and a furry, absorbent side. The shiny side is the part that goes against the wound.
Small admission here: one evening when I changed the bandages, it was pretty dark, and I accidentally put the furry side to the wound and wrapped it. When I next changed the bandages, the furry stuff was embedded in the wound, and I couldn't get it off. I used a small knife and even my fingernails, all to no avail. I was terrified that I had ruined all of my hard work. I called Dr. Tolley who just laughed and said it would eventually come off. He was right. By the next bandage change, the stuck on bits were gone.
The fuzzy side of the telfa pad is great for soaking up medications like White lotion. I fold the telfa pad into fourths with the furry side out and drop it into a plastic container. I douse it with White Lotion, flip it over, and douse it again. By the time I'm ready to apply the pad, it has absorbed all of the White Lotion.
The telfa pad is the first layer of the bandaging material. I don't add any other medication to the wound, just the White Lotion. I unfold the telfa pad and then refold it in half lengthwise, making sure that the shiny side is facing out and the furry sides are pressed together. I gently press this to the wound.
The next step is to cover the telfa pad with enough brown gauze to hold it in place.
Once the telfa pad is securely in place, I use cotton to pad the wound. I use two of BB Satin Star's cotton sheets which are 30" x 36" each.
The cotton is then covered as tightly as I can get it with an entire roll of brown gauze. Proud flesh can be prevented with a pressure bandage, so I pull the gauze as tightly as I can. I start in the middle of the leg and then wrap down, back up, and back down again. It's also important to leave some cotton sheeting sticking out of the top and bottom. This keeps the bandage from digging into the leg or rolling inward.
Dr. Tolley recommends pulling tightly across the front of the leg and then softly around the back. While I prefer to wrap from the outside to the inside, his technique requires a clockwise wrap. I couldn't pull it tight enough while wrapping inward.
The final step is to secure the bandage with a roll of vet wrap. I use Big Dee's brand as it was about the cheapest I could find. Again, I start in the middle, wrap down, up, and back down; I apply a medium pressure.
I've never timed how long this whole process takes, but I am sure I spend at least thirty minutes or more. Prepping my materials takes at least five minutes. While I keep everything together, each time I wrap I have to pull the bandaging supplies out of their plastic bags (which keeps them clean). I also fill my bucket with water and soak the telfa pad. Cleaning the wound takes the longest amount of time as I am super meticulous about picking off every stray bit of anything. While it's not actually painful, Izzy isn't a fan of the "picking," so I do it it gently and take my time.
Even though it is closing really fast, I still think it's going to need to be wrapped until at least the end of March. That's only three weeks away!
Each time I wrap, I wonder how much the entire bandaging process is costing, but I just haven't had the time or energy to do the math. My best guess is that each time I bandage, it costs about $5.00, which isn't really that bad. Other medications certainly can cost more, so maybe I got off easy.
More updates to come.
3/8/2015 11:17:11 pm
Wow, his leg is just looking better and better! It's hard to believe, considering how awful the original injury was.
3/9/2015 11:51:20 am
I think you've got me beat!!! I hope it doesn't take four months anyway. And every day? That must have gotten to be pretty tedious. My vet says that the good thing about this is that the horses tend to get very "vet broke" when they go though something like this. So, yah?! :0)
3/9/2015 11:53:38 am
Yeah ... I am taking one for the team, but that's okay because someone else has had to do something equally yucky, and I learned a lot from watching HER! :0)
3/9/2015 05:35:02 am
There are few things I love more than a freshly wrapped leg! So pretty and clean.
3/9/2015 11:54:17 am
Agreed! To bad they don't stay looking that way! :0)
I'm glad that it is healing well. It's actually quite interesting to watch how it is wrapped seeing as I want to be a vet. That's a lot of layers! I'm curious– is the white lotion you refer to actually lotion like the humans lotion or is it a vet thing made for horses just called lotion?
3/9/2015 12:02:45 pm
When you get your license to practice, I'll be sure to give you a call, Dr. P. :-)
3/9/2015 12:05:03 pm
3/11/2015 11:42:25 am
You know, Tracy, the vet wrap is the easiest and cheapest part of this whole thing. I tend to buy vet wrap by the box (18 rolls), so I always have plenty around. When you buy it in bulk, it runs about $1.00 a roll. The cotton sheets are more expensive as are the gauze rolls. The cotton is about $15.00 for 6 layers of wrapping, and the gauze is around $1.15 per roll. None of it on its own is very pricey, but when you add it all together, it's at least $5.00 per wrap. You wrap something 30 - 60 times and you start thinking about how many lessons that might have paid for. :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.
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Third Level: 62.105%
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