Whats wrong with my horse's leg? [warning, graphic pictures]

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Miss Red, May 19, 2010.

  1. Miss Red

    Miss Red Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    Trinity, Texas
    A month ago Maya started losing skin all down her leg. Now she's gained a strange proud flesh type of injury showing up on the front of her back leg. I have no idea what it is, the vet has no idea what it is, and it's spreading. It's like a slow moving flesh eating disease...

    Does anyone have ANY ideas on what in the world this is? It started off as a small cut, now it's taken up places all the way around that area of her leg. Here's four angles of the injury. The larger portion is on the front of her leg.




  2. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    I had a gelding get like that and turned out to be an allergy he had rubbed on the fence to scratch and it got a staph infection.
  3. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    I was also thinking it sounded "staph-y".

    Good luck! I hope your vet is able to find something to help. Make sure you keep the flies out. Yucky.
  4. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    There is a flesh-eating bacterial disease- Necrotizing Fasciitis. Hope it's not that. Try some StaphAseptic gel. You can find it at a good pharmacy (OTC) or on eBay. [​IMG]
  5. pnp4kidz

    pnp4kidz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Agree with them, staph infection, and remember, we have lots of resistant staph now...
    it is also creating proudflesh...
    I use one wound protocol for lower legs in particular... as they are prone to infection AND proudflesh due to the lower blood supply and lack of underlying soft tissue. We do this on humans too (I'm a Nurse Practitioner) but using different products... :)

    Supplies needed:
    Polo Wrap
    Rolled guaze, 3 inch or 4 inch wide.
    Telfa pad large enough to cover the area, or two if it takes that many, for each area
    Derma Gel (obtain from Valley Vet if not in your feed store, or look on line, it's more places now)
    Equine Elite Blue Spray (also Valley Vet or Horse.com, or their own website)
    1% hydrocortisone CREAM (the people stuff from Safeway or CVS)
    Meat Tenderizer powder (this is a papaya based powder, obtain from Safeway, it 'dissolves' proudflesh gently)

    And here are instructions...

    1. No more cleaning it... None, Nada, NUTHING... no hosing, no rinsing, NOTHING. Don't touch it.
    (this is the HARDEST part... you can't touch it. seriously NO touching with ANYTHING liquid or solid!)

    2. Re-read number 1. This is the VERY hardest part. you must NOT touch or clean it, any cleaning will 'anger' it or stimulate it, and stimulation causes it to 'overgrow' which is proudflesh. Touching CREATES the problem.

    3. for the first 3-5 days, spray with blue spray (just a few sprays does it, doesn't need to drip, and no fair trying to 'clean' it by overspraying with blue spray), then apply a moderate blob of Derma Gel over the entire wound area, to create a gel layer. (Do NOT give in to temptation to apply 'thin' so you can 'feel' the wound... that 'IS' touching, and you can't touch.) just spread the gel without rubbing the wound.

    4. Apply telfa over all open areas, and cover with roll gauze loosely. Then wrap over the top with a polo, again, loose... you do NOT want anything tight. You of course have to keep it ON, but not a tight wrap... just a 'no tension' wrap.

    5. Change this daily, doing steps 1 - 4 until day 3-5.

    6. On day 3-5, if there is still granular tissue that is higher than the level of the skin... apply a mixture of a blob of 1% hydrocortisone CREAM mixed with a tablespoon or so of the meat tenderizer to form a granular paste (not too dry or it won't stay on, experiment to get the right combo/ratio)

    7. Apply a Telfa to cover the entire wound area, and wrap with roll gauze and polo as before.

    8. Unwrap in 1 day to check, if the telfa is stuck, and the area is dark and looks 'scabbed' leave it there and check daily for a couple of days until is comes off itself. (usually 1-2 days, sometimes right away tho, and that's ok)
    If the telfa comes off, and there is a dry, dark scab looking thing, leave it alone, and re wrap with guaze and polo. Check daily until it comes off itself onto the guaze. (usually 1-2 days, sometimes right away or longer, both ok)
    If the area is not totally 'scabbed' over, there are still granulation areas that didn't cauterize... repeat the tenderizer step 6 one time only. then start this step 8 again.
    (NOTE: the eschar often comes off one side at a time, like a big scab... stuck in some places, not in others, and with some 'goo' underneath it. Let it come off mostly on it's own. Don't ANGER the wound!)

    9. Once the 'scab' comes off (actually it is an eschar, or burned off granular tissue) apply 1% hydrocortisone to area, spray with blue spray, and cover with derma gel.
    Cover with telfa, and wrap with gauze then a polo.

    10. Unwrap daily (but DON"T clean!!!) and reapply hydrocortisone, blue spray and derma gel for 3 days after scab/eschar comes off.

    11. After 3 days of hydrocortisone, go back to the steps 1-5 for 3-5 days

    12. If at day 3-5 there is NO granulation tissue, then apply hydrocortisone, blue spray, and derma gel. Cover with telfa, wrap with guaze and a polo. Not tight!

    13. so long as no granular tissue grows again (and it usually doesn't unless you somehow anger it again... which sometimes 'things happen' and they get the wrap off and take a nice dirt bath... argh... resist temptation! just wrap it and let the dirt come off on the wraps with the derma gel)
    alternate the two regimines until it is TOTALLY closed up.
    for 3-5 days do blue spray and derma gel
    then for 3 days do hydrocortison, blue spray and derma gel

    14. When it is nearly healed... KEEP WRAPPING!
    if you want to go to just all derma gel and a telfa covered with Polo, that is ok, but don't fall into 'it's almost done' and stop wrapping... it will 'stall' if you let it dry and scab...
    I promise, it will heal a LOT faster under a wrap with derma gel and or blue spray daily, even every other day by the end... until there is NO scab, NO teeny damp area... nothing.
    then, you might cover with just the polo for a week to protect and make sure it's done.

    I hope this was clear enough, and not overwhelming...
    we've rehabbed a LOT of severe wounds that were abandoned by others as they thought they were hopeless... and a few that the vets said would 'never heal'

    One had healed to a dime size that refused to heal, so at that point, we did one course of a really strong antibiotic for 3 weeks, and it finished up healing.
    Don't give up! and don't give IN to cleaning!
    (I swear, that is the #1 hardest part!)
  6. GGchick

    GGchick Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2010
    It could also be dew poisoning. Though not in the traditional area, if your horse had a wound the fungus in the dew that causes dew poisoning could have gotten into it. Is your horse out all night on grass that gets dewey? It sounds like the instructions in the last post could get rid of dew poisoning too. Keep it covered and dry while he's out on dewey grass.
  7. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    Has your vet treated it as a fistula? It's most common on the withers from an ill-fitting saddle, but Blue Spray or Wound Kote has always been a God-send for me!
  8. Miss Red

    Miss Red Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    Trinity, Texas
    She's on a bare pasture right now. My landlord just sold all the lumber so what hasn't been cut down / laying around is preventing grass growth in most areas.

    Took her back to my vet today, he looked her over thinks its a form of summers itch (the type caused by a mite) and gave her some ivermectrin and penicillin.

    I was told to give her 5-7 days, not touching the wound and pretending it doesn't exist, before checking for improvements. If no imrovements treat it like a staph infection or bring her back up for a skin scrape if it gets extreme.

    The thing that gets me is she isn't lame, and runs around frantic when we ride off without her. She's not enjoying her time off. Whatever it is hasn't caused lameness yet.

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