From Endurance to Dressage
Izzy's Leg: Week 2
I took Izzy to the vet on Saturday for his end of week two exam. While it's not horrible news, we didn't get a "woot woot" from the vet either. Although, the thought of Dr. Tolley woot wooting anything does make me laugh.
Best friend, KG, proved her worth yet again by meeting me at the barn on a ridiculously cold and foggy day to spend her Saturday afternoon with me shooting the breeze at Bakersfield Vet Hospital (BVH). We both agree that being at BVH is far more interesting when it's not your horse being examined or your wallet that's being emptied.
As I knew he would, Izzy hopped into the trailer fairly quickly. I did have to give him a few tugs and make a second run at it, but this horse is not a fighter. He does express a mild opinion, but ultimately he is easily persuaded to follow my suggestion. He unloaded quiet pleasantly, and even though he was in a strange place, he followed me willing into BVH's exam bay and stocks.
After unwrapping the wound, Dr. Tolley gave a bit of a frustrated sigh. Far more proud flesh had developed than he had hoped would. It seems as though my intuition had been right; we should have gone to the vet hospital last weekend. He said no harm had been done, but the healing had been put on hold.
For those who haven't dealt with proud before, basically, it's what happens when the inside tissue grows faster than the skin that covers it does. Proud flesh will continue to grow and mound, even growing over the edges of the skin. When this happens, the skin can't knit the wound closed.
Fortunately, proud flesh can be stopped with pharmaceutical assistance and bandaging, but it takes vigilant care and frequent debridement. When the vet debrides the wound, he literally cuts away the flesh that has over-grown its area. In Izzy's case, Dr. Tolley used what looked like a razor blade and simply sliced away the excess tissue until it was level with the skin. While I did watch the procedure in its entirety, it was pretty gross, so I refrained from shooting pictures.
As Dr. Tolley removed the excess tissue, the wound bled profusely. He staunched the wound as well as he could, but then wrapped it as I had been doing for the past two weeks. Izzy has another appointment on Friday. Dr. Tolley wants to keep checking on the wound as often as possible to ensure that we stop the development of proud flesh.
We are also going to try a different treatment from what he usually does. While he admitted that he hates change, he is curious to see if a new product will control the proud flesh more quickly than his own White Lotion. Instead of just using the moist pressure bandage, he applied a medicated pad that contains a calcium/something else mixture.
I teach a small amount of chemistry to my students and am more familiar with the periodic table of elements than most people, but he lost me as he rattled off the chemicals contained in this product verses those in the "White Lotion" that BVH makes. Both products are astringents that irritate the flesh, which slows the red blood cells from creating new tissue. The White Lotion that BVH makes is lead based which means it poses some health risks. This new product is calcium based and less of an irritant to the skin cells.
According to the creator of the medicated pad, it will more dramatically slow the growth of proud flesh which will enable the skin cells to do their work. At $14.50 a medicated pad, I hope they work pretty fast!
So our current plan is this: Dr. Tolley wrapped the wound with the medicated pad, covered that with brown gauze, added a telfa pad to cover the lowest part of the wound that the medicated pad couldn't cover and then topped that with more brown gauze. A roll of cotton sheet was then added. Topping that, he applied a pressure bandage of more brown gauze. He sealed the whole thing with a roll of Vet wrap.
I reapplied the same bandage on Monday night. We'll re-evaluate on Friday. One advantage with this calcium pad is that the bandage doesn't need to be changed every other day as with the moist bandage or white lotion. As long as Izzy doesn't damage the bandage, the medicated pad will work for four days. We shall see!
Since Izzy was already there, he also got a dental exam. More on that tomorrow.
Man, what a tough situation for your vet. I've had good luck using Equiaid for proud flesh, though not on such a big wound. I didn't have the courage to cut the proud flesh down to level, so now Guinness has a bump where I used the stuff. As soon as I started using it, the wound started to close up, instead of grow out. It was pretty cool.
1/28/2015 09:25:59 am
Many people have shared other solutions, but my vet has only offered the white lotion or medicated pads as treatment options. I am going to ask him about some of the other options on Friday. Not that I doubt him at all, but I am curious what he has to say about these other products. Thanks for the info!
1/28/2015 09:26:29 am
Fingers cross, but if not, ever onward. :0)
1/28/2015 09:27:13 am
Thanks, Amanda. I am adding that product to my "ask the vet on Friday" list. :0)
1/28/2015 09:27:49 am
That's pretty much my opinion too!
1/28/2015 09:29:07 am
I have no idea if it works or not. And Archie's wound looks so much deeper ... and scarier!!!! Nothing to do but follow directions and let time pass, right?
1/29/2015 09:30:41 am
HAHA - written with a drink in my hand!!!!!
1/28/2015 09:29:43 am
1/28/2015 09:22:53 pm
hope they work as well. It's such a large wound though. It's just going to take a lot of time for it to close up. But, like you said, we're doing lots of work from the ground. :0)
1/28/2015 11:28:19 pm
Proud flesh is the worst but those pads sound awesome, wish I'd had them a few years ago when I was dealing with this! It will seem like forever while you battle healing of the middle, keeping the "hairline" around it healthy, and watching the proud flesh fight for position. At least you don't have to wrap frequently...let the vet do it for sure! Good luck to you and Izzy. Oh, and Speedy is a rockstar!
1/29/2015 09:33:10 am
Speedy is a rock star, but keep it quiet. he already has a huge head. :0)
1/29/2015 09:34:25 am
Thanks for the suggestion! We're ABSOLUTELY keeping it wrapped at all times and as frequently as necessary. I hope the vet tells me it looks a it better tomorrow. When I wrapped it tonight, it looked pretty covered with proud flesh. Patience ....
1/31/2015 01:47:03 am
Debridement sounds like nasty business. Thanks for sparing us the pictures.
1/31/2015 02:05:57 am
Yeah ... it's a pretty gross procedure. :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
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Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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