Friday, January 27, 2012

Success at last! (June-July 2011)

I would like to start this post with a big thank you to everyone reading this blog. I love looking at the stats each day to see where the readers are located. And like yesterday's post title states "we've gone global!". I am amazed, thrilled and grateful to everyone in my home country and beyond who has shown an interest in Suki's story! So thank you. With the help of Mr. X of My Pet's Brace and Lori and myself, we were finally able to tweak the protective garment. Of course, me being the worrier that I am, was still uncertain about Suki wearing it during unsupervised turnout. My concerns primarily surrounded the twisting of the sheet resulting in Suki becoming tangled....So we started with Suki wearing it in her stall during the heat of the day, then wearing the sleazy at night. Even with the special protective sheet, a bandage would still be required. At least for now. So here it is! And I apologize for not taking a photo of this when it was brand new. But a muddy picture is better than none at all! I'll have to see if Lori has one.
The original draft did not have the piece of fabric from the chest piece running beteen the front legs and connecting to the belly strap. Prior to adding that strap the sheet shifted back slightly during running, jumping and rolling....Suki's all time favorite activities during turnout! So as we continued through the weeks, the wound FINALLY began to actually heal. This photo was prior to using the sheet regularly.
And just a 10 days later! We were finally getting some where! Even when Suki performed one of her particularly exhuberant rolls, including a complete rollover onto her back, scratching it like a dog (when our Weimaraner does this we call him pretzel boy), the bandage was not affected and the wound beneath it perfect!
At this point, some of the plugs are still apparent, but some have epithelialized enough to appear like a sheet of skin. This really was a huge milestone, and I finally started to feel a sense of relief. I was beginning to think that Suki and I would be dealing with this wound forever! Not that I still wasn't constantly worrying, of course. But the new sheet really seemed to do the job. Even on the hottest days, Suki would just sweat slightly beneath the fabric. In her stall during the heat of the day, Suki had a fan bloeing on her. She was also checked midday, and if she seemed warm, was given a cool shower and the sheet put back in place. There was a lot of extra care required, but I had a few people helping me with this to ease the burden and ensure Suki's comfort! On the cool evenings I lunged Suki to keep her active and her mind engaged. Overnight turnouts worked well for her. We just kept plugging along.... During the hottest week of July, I brought Nikki with the Valley Mist Farm contingency to a horse show. She would stay there for the week, and be shown one or two days in the hunter show. The main goal was to get her off the farm and expose her to a show situation. She was completely unfazed except for the water truck, which spewed water from both ends! But she was such a good girl....really seemed quite comfortable with the change of scenery.
On the way home we blew a tire on the trailer...Thank you heavens above for the inventor of Trailer Aid...we were able to change the tire without unloading a 4 year old! While I was away I was contacted by Fox News about doing a story about Suki. They liked the connection to human therapy, which was something I continued to build upon. The piece with Fox did not come about , although I am still in contact with the correspondent. I think that it is important to continue training and working with additional burn survivors, so that we would be able to develop a real program. The first opportunity was an invitation to visit a children's burn survivor camp less than an hour from home. January 27, 2012 Rainy, windy day today. No turnout for the girls. Nikki was ridden, but Suki was stuck in her stall. After grooming and moisturizing, Suki seemed happier. The temperatures have fluctuated greatly, so I find that I am often changing blankets and sheets to accomodate the weather. The girls need to be comfortable after all!

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