Sunday, August 14, 2011

Amazing Healing

Sunday August 14 2011

What progress!

You read about Sunny's battle with barbed wire, where she about ripped her hind leg off.

You saw the wound the first time we changed the bandage, Day #9 after the accident, where 4" of bone was still exposed: Holy Moly.

Next update was August 1, Day #14; you can see how much the wound healed in just 8 days: Healing Power.

Here are new updates:

August 4, Day #17 - still a small blood clot over the hole - which is still shrinking

August 7, Day #20 - still a small blood clot over the hole, which is shrinking more

August 10, Day #23 - I knew something was wrong in the evening when I went to feed, and Sunny nickered for her evening hay, but she didn't move her nose from the hay feeder where she was waiting. She always follows me around hoping I'll have some grain on me. She didn't want to move, didn't want to put any weight on her leg. Uh oh.

We took her out (she followed Steph reluctantly and slowly) to change her bandage; as I cut then peeled the layers off, a lot of hot fluid poured out with the bandages - not from the wound, but from her lower leg - which was hot and swollen and irritated, and almost hairless. I must have put the last bandage on too tight. Dammit! The wound itself look very good and had, incredibly, almost completely closed over the bone except for one small spot.

You can see how pink and irritated and fat the rest of the leg is below the wound.

I tried to think back to how long she'd been standing in one spot. I was quite sure she'd been moving around that morning - but the longer a horse stands still with no weight on a leg, you start to worry about the "L" word - laminitis - in the other leg(s), because you just don't have enough to worry about with one gaping wound.

I cold water hosed the wound and hot leg for 20-30 minutes. It brought the temperature of it down (and she was able to relax, after a while of holding her leg in the air), although as soon as I dried her leg off and started bandaging again, it was hot.

Steph suggested vaseline on the lower leg to prevent any fluid from sticking to the leg/bandages, and this time I made sure I left the lower leg wrapped looser. I put the sticky elasticon (to hold the whole bandage in place) at the least irritated spot I could find near her ankle, and I put a lot of it above the hock to hold the bandage up. We gave her some bute, too, to reduce the swelling and pain in the lower leg (the wound itself seems remarkably almost pain-free). Steph walked her around a while to get her using the leg; by morning she was moving freely and the bandage looked good - staying up, and not too tight at the bottom.

Here's August 13, Day #26:

Unbelievable! The wound has now completely grown over the exposed bone. No more blood clots, and the tissue still looks quite healthy. She's getting a little proud flesh, but we have ointment for that, and anyway she'll have to go back to the vet to get that lower flap of skin cut off at some point, so if she has too much proud flesh, he can deal with it. The lower leg is still a bit fat, but not hot, and not weeping, and is looking slightly less irritated.

I don't have a photo of the original wound - I think the vet might, if we can get that I'll share it - but you can see the amazing progress Sunny's made already. Despite human's sometimes not-so-competent bandaging, the leg is healing itself.

She still has a ways to go, but her progress so far has been simply astonishing.


  1. The wound seems to be healing nicely. I'm glad for Sunny that she's doing so well. Amazing how fast a wound like that can heal.

  2. Greetings folks from the Amish community of Lebanon county. Richard from Amish Stories.

  3. Oh, dear. But is does happen sometimes. Glad you caught the mistake before it became too serious.

    Some of the proud flesh will probably have to be dealt with, but all in all, an amazing amount of healing already. Wishing Sunny well for more days of good care and feeling better.

  4. It really is healing up nicely. Great set of pictures!

  5. How quickly it is healing; good job of keeping it clean. Also, thanks for sharing photos; I know that might sound a little odd, but it is good to know that even such a horrible wound can heal so well, and gives us hope and even guidelines in case, God forbid, it should ever happen to one of our beloved horses.

  6. Overall, it looks very healthy. Good news.

  7. i'm so glad this lovely mare is recovering. i tried to bandage a hock recently and failed totally.

  8. Oh merri that looks very bad! poor horse ): It's healing very well!

  9. This has been a tough go--thanks to your good doctoring and some luck, looks like she's on the mend. I have eastern friends who are super-critical of the use of barbed wire (I've seen a few of our neighbors' horses hung up on it over the years), but the scale of western land makes board fences a pricey proposition. Maybe jackleg, though, if you've got lots of lodgepoles?

  10. That was a scary injury, but the improvement is huge! The healing process is an amazing thing. I'm glad she's doing so well.

  11. Wow! Amazing healing taking place :) YAY

  12. Looks much better!!!

  13. Never heard of this before but just read about it and made me think of Sunny girl!

  14. Wow, it's just amazing how fast it's healing! I agree with Shirley, thanks for giving so much information. Looking very hopeful for a full recovery!