Monday, January 26, 2015

Driving Me Crazy

The struggle to get the swelling out of Shooter's leg continues. Uugghh!!

I had most of the swelling down, although there was still noticeable thickness all the way around his ankle. I asked the vet if he thought it would be okay to turn Shooter out in the pasture and he said, if he wasn't lame on it, it would probably be alright.

He wasn't lame and there was no change in his leg for several days, but one morning while throwing hay I noticed it was swelling up again, so I pulled him, cold-hosed, put him in the corral again and started using the BOT boot on him at night.

The swelling wasn't budging and even though Shooter is completely sound on the leg, it was hot to the touch....

There is probably always going to be some thickness to the leg, due to the extent of his injuries, but the oddity of the swelling around his ankle just came about in December, when I thought he had injured himself. Even when I had the swelling out of the rest of the leg, the ankle stayed enlarged.

Welll....This cannot be good, so I had to go full-on furacin/dmso sweat wrap...

The full treatment is; cold hose leg and make sure it is clean. Smear furacin on, smear DMSO on (I prefer the gel under wraps because I have noticed the 'heating up' process of the DMSO is not as intense with the gel and that means less chance of blistering), wrap leg with paper towels, wrap with saran wrap, wrap with cotton, polo wrap with pressure. In Shooter's case, the combination of the thickness of his leg and the thickness of the cotton, requires 2 polo wraps.

The sweat wrap stays on for 24 hours. Is pulled and the leg cold-hosed. The wrap stays off for 24 hours and cold-hosing at least once in between. Aannnndddd repeat the whole process the next day.

Sweats #1 and #2 haven't made much difference. A little of the swelling is retreating from the cannon bone, but the ankle remains large and hot. The vet said to give it a week and if there is no marked improvement then it is probably time to put him on some antibiotics.

He said I could give him a couple grams of bute to help with the inflammation, but I have Shooter on 40,000mg's of MSM a day and a natural anti-inflammatory product. If we have to go to antibiotics, we will probably also switch to a chemical anti-flam. Obviously, bute is the most common, but there are others that are less inclined to disturb the hind-gut with prolonged use.

I've heard that cellulitis is frustrating to deal with, but I've never dealt with it before. Now I know the stories are not exaggerated. This crap is a real pain in the butt to get ahead of.


Shirley said...

Sounds like it is the kind of thing that keeps hanging in there! Dang! Hope you get it conquered- if anyone can, you can.

fernvalley01 said...

man! that is frustrating! Sounds like you have a good plan but I can imagine you might be getting stressed. I have never used DMSO, I have often heard of it but never had need or known enough about it to use it, I may need to pick your brain about it sometime, never too much info in our arsenals

C-ingspots said...

So frustrating! Sounds like a good plan, hope it works. You probably already know this, but making sure the leg is absolutely dry will diminish the heating up because dmso and water chemically react and that's what causes the heat.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Actually C-ingspots...I did not know that. But it suddenly explains why I have noticed that sometimes I can literally feel the DMSO heating up on my hand and other times I'm like...Is this crap working? The wet vs. dry correlation never once dawned on me.

Thanks for that little tidbit. :-)

Crystal said...

Ugh never had to deal with that (and fingers crossed I wont) But I had cellulitis in my arm once from a bad bug bite. The doctors got all in a panic and gave me some super duper antibiotics and made me come back in 12 hours cause if it wasn't better they were gonna iv it. Thankfully it was a lot less swollen cause I wasn't even in a panic yet(hmm maybe I shoulda been)

Hope it works easy for him too.

cdncowgirl said...

I've heard some of those cellulitis stories, sorry you have to deal with it.
Makes me extra grateful that even though Odin will have a scar and a bit of a thick spot on his leg that we never had to deal with it myself!
**knock wood**

Have to say, you've mentioned DMSO in the past and I can't remember *quite* what it was you said but it made me scared to ever use it lol

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Probably that it was a 'carrier', which freaks a lot of people out. DMSO has the capability to carry other products into the skin/tissue, so you always want to make sure that the area is clean of any substances that are not meant for that; flyspray, most liniments, etc.