Monday, November 12, 2012

another setback

I was just starting to breathe normally and feel relieved, thinking we were through the worst of it, when I arrived at the barn yesterday to find Lucy's front right looking very swollen around the tendon. In fact, it looked like a classic bow to me. I immediately felt sick and panicky. I brought her inside and inspected it from every angle, feeling for heat and any other injuries I had missed. I wracked my brain, thinking, "how haven't I noticed this before?" All of my standing wraps were at home in the washing machine so I gave her a gram of bute with her dinner and ran home to get supplies.

At home, I grabbed my standing wraps, pillow wraps, and all the ice I had in my freezer. I was absolutely beside myself so Kenny came with me to the barn so that we could do our best to bring the swelling down. I poured the ice in a big Home Depot bucket, filled the bucket to the brim with water, and had Lucy stand with her leg in there for 25 minutes. The leg looked a little bit better but still not great. I decided to leave it unwrapped for the night because I didn't want to do more harm.

This morning, the leg looked about the same. I cold-hosed it and iced it intermittently throughout the whole day (I had the day off of work for Veteran's Day). At 4pm, I did a Furazone sweat to try and draw out some fluid. The tendon never really got hot - it was a bit warm but nothing crazy.

I believe this is actually a bandage bow so now I have another thing to beat myself up over. I think I caught it very early and after the Furazone sweat, the leg looks quite good. There is some localized swelling on the tendon but very limited heat. I am going through bags of carrots like they are going out of style, but Lucy is an excellent patient and her cooperation makes all of these therapeutic tasks a lot easier to get through.


Last night (11/11) when I noticed it initially

11/11 PM from the inside of the leg. Notice the
fluid build-up above the ankle, too.

11/12 AM - after being iced for 25 minutes. the swelling
on the tendon had gone down but the lower half of the
leg had increased edema.

11/12 PM. 
After I iced the leg in the morning, I put Sore No More poultice on it and wrapped it lightly with cotton, then secured the top and bottom of the cotton wrap. That stayed on for about 6 hours. When I got to the barn in the afternoon, I wrapped the leg with this Ice Tape cold therapy wrap (click here to see it on Dover's website so that I didn't have to stand there and cold hose her for another 25 minutes.

Instead, she could graze in the dark while the
wrap did its thing.

After the cold therapy wrap was finished, I did the
Furazone sweat and left that on for four hours. This is
what the leg looked like after I washed all of the
Furazone off. Much better!
I left the leg naked for the night so the tendons could have a break from being wrapped. She also got another gram of bute with dinner. This is such a nightmare and I am running myself ragged trying to do as much as I can to prevent further damage, but if she's sound at the end of it, it will be worth the effort. I called my vet today to keep her in the loop but decided not to have her come out just yet.


  1. Sounds like you did everything you could to remedy it. Hope Lucy continues to heal quickly!

  2. Well, that just sucks. So sorry.

  3. At the end of the day, I hope its nothing major.

  4. I hope she gets better, you'll get through it :)

  5. Moments of scary! I feel you, when I had to wrap Laz's legs for MONTHS on end, I was always worried about cording his tendons.
    You are doing everything right to heal it, so I'm sure she'll bounce back to normal, quickly.
    When you do wrap her, are you keeping to the 12 hr on, 12 hr off?

  6. Just a note about the Ice Therapy wraps.....I used them on Daatje once and they BLISTERED the crap out of her legs. No idea why, or how, but they did. They were the only thing I used that day and the next day her legs were tender and the skin crackly and peeling. So, word of caution about those things! Sorry to hear you are continuing to have difficulties with her in the healing process. Fingers crossed that this is just a small bump in the road and you'll be back in the saddle in no time!

  7. I know how worried you must be - haven't we all been there?! Hoping Lucy is better today!

  8. Go to walgreens and get some Arnica. It's amazing and WILL stop swelling, bruising etc. Love that stuff use it on myself and all my animals. Best of all it is natural.

    1. Ditto on the arnica! It really does work. I have used it on myself, dogs, and horse! I personally like Traumeel. It comes in many different forms but I like to use both the cream and the tablets. Read more about Traumeel on their website:

  9. Hey Kate, sorry to hear about this! I just wanted to share another idea...

    My guy had the same thing happen, I freaked out thinking it was a bow. I called my friend the leg expert over and she said - no bow. What it was was an abscess in his foot, but it produced inflammation and swelling up his leg.

    Is she lame? Can you pinch the tendon, and how does she react? Bad pain?

    A bandage bow would have to be caused by really poor bandaging...I just can't see you doing that. I would suggest soaking her foot in epsom salts and warm water, then poulticing her foot with a wrap and poulticing her leg. At the very least it wouldn't do any harm.

    Good luck and I hope it's nothing serious.

    1. Unfortunately this is most definitely a bandage bow :( I had wrapped her with vet wrap and while it wasn't a "bad" bandaging job in terms of technique, the vet wrap is so stretchy that it creates unevenness in pressure throughout the wrap, which causes the tendon to overheat in a specific spot, creating the strain. Bottom line, never wrap with vet wrap!

      Lesson learned :(

  10. Aye girl I am so sorry! Hope she is a-ok! :)


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