Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Healing difficulties again (June 2011)

Suki was becoming a bit difficult to handle with all of her time spent inside, so we decided to turn her out again. I was still very nervous about the pontoon sheet unsupervised, so we went with the bandage and the sleezy. This, of course, led to ups and downs of wound healing. It was harder to endure because of the investment of all of the people at Centenary involved in the skin graft. We continued with Suki checks twice a day and tried to keep her from getting too itchy. That was a big part of the problem. As the healing continued and the area became more itchier, Suki's rolling became more agressive.
A week later, there was a bit of improvement
The rollercoaster of healing was simply not acceptable. As the warmer weather approached Suki would soon be turned out over night and staying in during the day. The fly sheet was not good protection of the wound. Although the sleazy was slighty better, it would be too warm for summer. The owner of the company My Pet's Brace, visited Lori's small animal veterinary hospital to discuss casting, dog/cat prosthetics, braces, etc. Lori explained Suki's situation, and although he had never worked on a horse before he was willing to give it a try. He came out to see Suki and dtermine the best type of protective garment. Lori and I explained that the garment needed to be light weight and breathable to reduce sweating and overheating, but the saddle area of her back with the graft site needed to be well protected from rolling and scratching. Mr.x took measurements, made sketches and we set up another appointment to further determine Suki's needs. The next time Mr X came out he had a garment for a first fitting. It was made from the breathable fabric that is used to cover the area that rests against a prosthesis. The fabric was strong and breathable. The sheet itself was an abbreviated version of a regular horse sheet, to further cut down on over hreating. The strapping needed to be tweaked, but it was a great first draft. To cover the graft site, Mr. X heat-formed a 1 inch thick, porous material that would harden to the shape of Suki's back. It is about the size of a racing saddle. This would fit into a pocket on the sheet, which would prevent the wound from coming into contact with the ground....that was the theory... During this time Nikki continued to thrive. I rode her 3-4 times a week, working on her dressage and Meaghan rode her 1-2 times per week over fences. Nikki seemed to enjoy jumping and it was helping her dressage. Meaghan, in turn, said that she couldn't believe how much basic dressage training makes it easier to teach a baby how to jump. Nikki was honest over fences and the varied routine kept her young brain happy!

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