We asked horse training expert Cheyanne West. More about Cheyanne
My 11-year-old quarter horse gelding is suffering from a recurring infection that appears to be stemming from an old wound. Following are the details:
I purchased “Tucker” in March of 1999 – he is turned out daily (either pasture or paddock, depending on the weather) with approximately 10-12 other horses – and brought in each evening to eat and spend the night is his box stall.
In September of 1999 he came in in the evening with a huge, gaping wound in his neck. It was a clean slice about mid-way between his throat and chest – a little more to the right of center. This slice went through the muscle and just missed his windpuff & jugular vein by mms. There was surprisingly very little blood and Tucker seemed oblivious – he was eating as usual. (To give you an idea of the size of this wound, I could fit my fist through the opening and once inside open my hand completely.) Needless to say the vet was called immediately, as was I – we arrived within minutes of each other.
After his initial examination, the vet flushed the wound – it appeared to be very clean and very recent – stitched the muscle layer together, then stitched the skin together – he also put in a drain and gave Tucker the usual Tetanus booster and antibiotics. It didn’t look too bad, all things considered. Tucker was “stall bound” for about seven days – the drain was removed during that time and the wound healed beautifully. The vet did tell me that Tucker would have a slight ridge or knot in his neck, but other than that there should be no evidence that anything had happened.
This spring (maybe mid-April) I noticed that “the ridge” or “knot” appeared to be larger than it was before – I called my vet (the same one who handled the original injury) and he said he’d take a look, but felt it was probably just scar tissue. After his exam, he recommended a cortisone shot – saying it would the size of the scar tissue for some time (6 mos or more). I told him to go ahead with the shot and the results were pretty dramatic – for about two weeks. Then I noticed what appeared to be a knob on top of the knot – I thought that maybe it was an insect bite, etc. and kept my eye on it. (That was on Wednesday.) Sunday of that same week, while checking the knot – I touched it to see if it was hard or hot, etc. it burst open and blood and pus came spilling out. Needless to say, I called the vet, we put Tucker on some antibiotics and we discussed the possible cause – probably not a bug bite, as I thought originally, etc. maybe contamination from the cortisone shot. At any rate, the swelling went down and the ridge looked about normal all summer. Until about two weeks ago – at first I thought the ridge looked different (larger, slightly swollen) because Tucker’s winter coat was starting to come in – then I noticed the knot again – and sure enough this past Sunday it burst again and was once again filled with some blood and pus – not as much as the first time. I called the vet and he brought out more antibiotics – which brings us up-to-date – the knot is healing as before and the ridge is about normal again. However, I am very concerned about why this keeps happening – as is my vet. He seems to think there may be some pocket of infection somewhere in there and would like to open the original wound again – and as much as I’d like to get to the bottom of this, I really don’t want to do that unless absolutely necessary. Do you have any suggestions that might help resolve this problem without opening him up again.
Sorry for the long-winded explanation . . .
Opening him up might be a way to let it drain or you can use 2 different homeopathic remedies. One is called Hepar Sulph that is used to absorb abscesses and the other is Calendula used to heal wounds from the inside out. They can be purchased at a health food store. For the Hepar Sulph dissolve one pellet in water and draw that into a syringe and squirt that into the
mouth 2 times per day for a couple days. For the calendula dissolve one pellet in water and pour that into the water bucket daily for about 2 weeks or until healed. We believe it is good when things like that burst, getting the infection out. The “knot” can be dissolved too at a later date with homeopathy.
Keep us posted,
Cheyanne West C-Hom