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Discussion on Rope burn, lack of circulation, or both?

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Christina M Starkweather
New Member
Username: ezra1

Post Number: 5
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 - 6:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I took two of my Rocky Mountain geldings on a volunteer outing to count Wild horses in the Ochocos. It was for three days and each group has a knowledgable leader to guide and help out at camp. Most horses in our group were on highlines mine included. Highlines always worry me as I'm always afraid they could get hung up being horses so I constantly am going back and forth shortening and lengthening the leads. The second night out I checked both horses before bed and each could just barely reach the ground. Feeling they were safe for the night I turned in and was woken by someone screaming my name. Of course my worst fear came true and my gelding was down with the lead wrapped around his right rear pastern being a mellow guy he never moved and was quickly cut free. We had no idea how long he may have been in that position and he refused to put any weight on that leg. The leader thought he was having muscle spasms below his hip so she thought I should walk him and massage him in between laps. This lady had been volunteering for the past 40 years and said she's never had a horse get hung up like that, she even double checked to make sure all the highlines had been put up correctly. I also gave him bute then banamine when the bute didn't seem to help. Anyway I thought he was a goner plus it was my Birthday so that didn't help. I hauled him to the nearest vet by that point it appeared he had a large hematoma near his hip. The vet checked him over briefly flexed and palpated the swollen area and said he didn't think any major damage had been done stall rest, hand walk, bute, and panalog on what looked like a MINOR rope burn. By the time I got him home the swelling was gone and he was walking nearly back to normal. I thought I had panalog at home but didn't so I used Nolvasan ointment (creamy). My regular vet came out a few days later to work on a friends horses and gave me some EnteDerm ointment to use. The injury orrured on June 25th and I treated the burn by keeping it clean and using the EnteDerm all seemed well no more swelling and I thought it was healing. I hadn't treated it the last few days and noticed this morning he was lying down than again after breakfast this is Ezra who's known for mild colic. But this wasn't his colicky self he also was cocking that foot again so I went for a closer look. There is some swelling just in the back above and below the crease in the burn, doesn't look infected, maybe a little proud flesh. I went ahead and cold soaked it for 15 minutes then scrubbed it out with warm water and dilute betadine scraping off any scabs that didn't look healthy, re-treated it with EnterDerm, wrapped the leg good, gave him 2 grams bute, and put him back on stall rest. My concern is there a possibility he could have lost circulation below the burn? He has a pulse and it's warm (not hot), what would I look for if there was a circulation issue? I'm probably just over-reacting but would like to err on the side of caution. The thing is neither vet really looked at his burn very hard and I will feel better knowing chances are that's all I'm dealing with it's been over two weeks. Also if it is just what the 1st vet said a mild rope burn how long do they take to heal generally?
P.S. I think I'll invest in a portable corral for overnights especially with Ezra. I've decided he's an accident waiting to happen but a sweet one.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 24981
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 - 7:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

A mild rope burn may take a month or more to heal and such a injury is not likely to effect distal circulation.
DrO
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Christina M Starkweather
Member
Username: ezra1

Post Number: 6
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 - 4:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Dr. Oglesby that makes me feel better just knowing it takes awhile so I shouldn't worry prematurely.
I would like to ask a couple more questions though regarding continued care of the wound. Like I said I have him bandaged and will leave current one on until tomorrow as it looks good and is staying clean. I'm running low on EnteDerm and wondered if I can switch to Nolvasan when I run out? Now that I have him in a stall should I continue to wrap, I read that due to the area wounds of this nature have a harder time healing because of the constant bending? At what point can I start hand walking?
I will take a couple pics tomorrow after I take the bandage off so you can see what I'm working with.

Thanks again,
Tina & my accident prone Rocky Ezra

List of injuries/issues
1. cut cornea on eye needed sutures as a 5 year old.
2. Off and on belly issues since move from Ca. 2005 to present.
3. Was ran into t-post by other horses when we attempted to put him on 10 acre pasture. Luck for him laceration was deep, 8 inches long but diagnal on chest right between front legs. May 2010.
4. Most recent hung up on highline.

I know there are many horses that have much longer list. But frankly it's getting old and he and I need to have a long talk
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 24984
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 - 7:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Christina, while I can make general statements I cannot recommend specific treatment for your horse. It requires an examination to do that. I would consult with the vets who have seen the wound for specific advice. For more on treating wounds see HorseAdvice.com » Diseases of Horses » Skin Diseases, Wounds, and Swellings » Wounds / Burns.

As to the difficulty of treating wounds in this area, if you have a full skin thickness wound (the wound is down to the flexor tendon) it is prone to forming proud flesh. But good wound care and an occasional trimming back of the proud flesh will usually result in a good outcome.
DrO
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Christina M Starkweather
Member
Username: ezra1

Post Number: 8
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 - 9:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks again for your advice. I went ahead and took some pics so you can see what I'm dealing with I took these after removing the wrap.
Also this is the same horse that gets belly aches for no obvious reason. After removing his wrap I gave him a bath letting him graze on our lawn he was happy as can be. After re-wrapping his leg he immediatly started acting colicky his main first sign is flehming over and over. I took him for a short walk he passed manure, gut sounds good, but still in obvious discomfort so I gave him some banamine. Now he's back to his old self. I just don't understand what is bothering him and when I call the vet out he's never really that bad. It has to be something???

I know you can't tell me where to go from here with the wound but from what you see does it appear to be healing?
rope burnrope burn 2rope burn 3
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