Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. ----Discussion Forum

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Ok I have another question. We have a cradle on chick so she won't chew the bandage on her leg, but we got to thinking that maybe we could just get by with a grazing muzzle. So my question is....Has anyone ever used either a cradle or a muzzle and what do you think about a muzzle? If she can actually graze with it on that would allow her to turn her head and be alittle more comfy wouldn't it? Any info or input would be awesome!!!
Tammy Mn

I've used a "best friend" brand grazing muzzle for the last 3 years and love it.  You just need to be mindful of what they can get it caught on in the pasture they are in.  That brand has a safety breakaway latch on it.  The muzzle allows them to graze and move their head and neck freely.

I have news on Chick. Friday when we changed the bandage on her leg the bone that was still showing was wiggling like a loose tooth. We about hit the ground thinking that she had somehow broken her leg and that all the work we had done was over. After calling the vet at home he said that we could take a deep breath and relax for a second while he explained what was going on.  He said that it was the bone that had died and that it would fall all the way off when it was ready. He said it may or may not be covered under the bone but that he thought it may have at least started. She wasn't going to get her bandage changed again until Sunday but Friday night she went to chewing on her leg so we had to change it Saturday. After we got it unwrapped and started to wash it down, about 4inches of the bone just slid off and hit the floor. She is 100% covered under it and NO BONE is showing. We go back to the vet today to change her treatment and adjust her cast. I am going to send in some pictures and hope that Karen or Scott can get them posted. I really want everyone to see her leg.
Tammy Mn

That is wonderful news Joni !!  I hope to see a picture!

Another question from me today!!! 
Am I reading your description correctly?  Are you saying that the broken bone sloughed off?  That a new bone grew in the place of the broken one??  Can that be??  Wouldn't that have been a compound fracture then?  I had a tib/fib fracture 18 years ago.....the bones were re-set and grew together.  They certainly never sloughed off!  Somebody set me straight on this.....
mel d

So happy to hear this news!

From what the vet said that is what happen. We are just getting ready to load up and find out exactly what is going on. From the way he said it on the phone, the few days at the first when she did it and no one knew the bone had already started to die out because it got dry. Some or all of the meds she has been getting along with the cleaning and topicals on the actual open wound have already helped it cover under the bone and when it got covered enough to not need that piece of bone it just came off. I may not be explaining it like the Doc White did but when he put it in panicked owner terms...it was like a finger nail that was coming off. When the tissue under it gets strong enough the nail comes off and a new one grows. I will fill you in some more in a few hours. THANKS!!!!
We just got back from the vet and she is 100% covered over the bone. He said no more half cast and she can start getting turned out in the small pasture after she learns to walk without the half cast. The bone wasn't broken it was just dying off from being dry the first 3 days after it happen. It was about 5inches long and at the widest point maybe 2 inches across, more like 11/2. He seems to think that maybe another 6 weeks or so hair should start growing over it and after that she can get turned out in the big pasture. He said he didn't know yet about the chance of her being a working horse but so far he thinks she may have a chance. Both Doc White and his 3 assistants said she is doing wonderful and way ahead of  what they thought she would be. I have about a dozen pictures I'm going to send in.
Wendy W - WI

What great new Joni!  I hope to see the pictures of your progress so we can all learn.  Great news indeed!


We took Chick back to the vet Monday because part of her leg broke open and got really nasty really fast. Doc White said not to worry about it. He said it was the tendons and ligaments trying to re-grow and re-attach. Now I have trusted this vet for many years with my horses, but can the tendons and ligaments re-grow? I know that may be a stupid question but I can't find a good answer to it and kinda hoped someone would know. He also said that it really would not hurt to let the flies get on it and let the maggots eat the dead flesh and clean it up, but I just CAN NOT do that. I'm not sure if maybe he was having an off day or a senior moment (no offense yall) or what in the hell he was thinking but that was the first time I have ever left his clinic not feeling right. The rest of her leg is healing up wonderfully and some hair is growing back on the top of it. He put her back in the splint cast for another 6 weeks to help hold her still while stuff 're-grows'. I just don't understand how almost 8" of tendons and ligaments can grow back so fast. ANYONE HAVE A CLUE???

Lori W
Was the leg abcessed that it broke open? Also, I'm not sure, but know of someone that severd a tendon in her arm trying to start a lawn mower, and had to have it surgically repaired. Athletes get ligaments repaired all the time in their knees and shoulders. It does sound strange if he used the word "re-attach"...makes it sound like a substantial injury. Not sure how a horse would tolerate bearing weight on the leg, if the ligaments and tendons were injured to the degree of "re-attaching". What's everyone else think?

Sometimes if your gut doesn't feel right about something, it's best if you follow that, and get another opinion. We had a vet, for our dogs, that we trusted for years. Then suddenly, an incident came up where we really questioned his judgement. Then got yelled at by him, when we questioned him. Lucky for us and our Pug, we made the decision to try a different vet that came highly recommended, and we've been with him since. Had we trusted what the first vet said...Buckwheat would've been put down, instead of being the now dominate, healthy, bossy, little king of the house he now is. It never hurts to get a second opinion.
Laurie L.

I'm not sure why you just can't do as the vet, who you have trusted, suggested....is it the thought of maggots, and thinking that the vet might be off his rocker?  Because he's 100% correct about the maggots.  More and more human doctors have used maggots on human patients for the exact same thing - - to clean up infected and dying flesh so that the new can grow.  It apparently does hurt at all (I saw a documentary thing about this one lady that had the maggot treatment and she said it was gross to thinnk about, but just kinda tickly).  Please reconsider, it could be the best thing for your horse, and you obviously love the daylights outta him, it's easy to see from your posts....best of luck to your and your buddy.

It is mostly the thought of the maggots that really grosses me out and I'm not sure I could clean that up without throwing up a million times. I know that the eat the dead stuff away and help clean up but GOOD LORD thats gross!!! As far as the tendons and things being gone let me tell you this. The day we found her all the tendons and things on the front side of her back right leg looked like a carrot or apple when you peel them but all the way down to the bone. The first vet that she went to (the last owners choice) cut all the flesh and meat off.( It was laying over the top of her hoof) leaving just the bone. I know that people have surgery to get that kind of thing repaired but she has had no surgery. I really hate to second guess Doc.White since he has been an Equine Vet for the last 30 years. He only does horses and has said that he has seen horses get cut up way worse than she has and make it all the way back.
Laurie L.

Well that's good news, Joni (that your vet told you he's seen worse that have recovered).  Does she use that leg now?  It's hard to imagine a horse with NO tendons or ligaments in any part of the leg that wouldn't be just crippled.  I do understand what you mean about the absolute grossness of the maggot thing.  I don't mind mud, poop, vomit, blood, etc.  Creepy crawlie things are another matter.  Good luck with your horse.

Kiersten A,
What breed of horse is Chick, out of curiousity? I knew a filly once who had a very similar injury on the same leg (maybe there's a connection? Probably not, the horse I knew has been missing for almost three years lol).

Anyway, sorry to be so random and intrude on your thread. I'll be praying that your horse heals with minimal stress on both you and her. ^^ Best of luck, and hopefully you'll find a solution that does not involve maggots.
She is a Paint. She may as well have been missing! I shouldn't say that but her previous owner sure wasn't looking after her or his other horses. He had his paint stud in the stud stall in the barn by himself, and 2 geldings, a mare, a 3yr old stud colt and chick running the 20 acres. It was the 3yr old stud that ran Chick into the fence and caused her to get hurt. Me and a friend went riding one afternoon and when she didn't come up with the rest of the horses we new something was wrong. So we put our horses in the barn and ran down to the bottom of the 20 acres and found out why she didn't come up. She had been like that for 3 days (that was my first guess and thats what the vet figured) without water feed or much grass. I know sometimes an owner may not make it out for 1 day but 3!!!!! Anyway maggots are gross!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kiersten A.
Ugh, that's awful that Chick was so poorly looked after by her old owners. Thank God you got a hold of her - it sounds like you care about her a lot, and dealing with such a bad injury must be rough on you both. I'll keep praying for a complete recovery.
Thanks to everyone for the support!!! I have a picture of chick and a few of her leg at different stages in the mail to Scott and Karen hoping that they could find a way to post them. I still can't find the cable from the camera to the computer, but I really want everyone to see what this poor girl has been through. I will get a picture from my friend of the day we found her and a body picture now that she is healthy and get them in the mail if Scott and Karen can get them posted. I was looking at them before I put them in the mail and I can't believe the change in such a short time. Thanks Again EVERYONE
Chick is doing better and the empty 'hole' on her leg is filled in. She is drinking around 10 gallons if she gets to stay outside in the round pen. I'm not sure if it's the grass, being out in the air, or just everything but she HATES being in the barn. Maybe the pictures will get to Scott and Karen soon. Oh' If anyone ever has a horse that has to be bandaged and your horse likes to chew on it, don't waste your money with all the expensive stuff. Use tide powdered laundry soap, mix it with water and smear it on the bandage. Chick was a bad chewer but since Doc told us to use the tide she hasn't even nosed her leg.
Sharon Potter
Liquid Ivory soap works well too, and is easier than mixing. 
kathy atkins
I'm glad that she is doing so well. And thanks for sharing this experience. I find that I put information away in the back of my mind(sometimes it gets lost there)and then something happens on our farm and it becomes useful. Tide, huh? Where do people come up with these things? Oh- 'Necessity'- the mother of invention.
Tammy Mn

What a great tip, thanks for sharing that.  Who would have ever thought to use plain old Tide!


Geez Louiseee!! Sometimes the simplest things are the best problem SOLVERS.

Chick has broken another cast. She keeps running around the round pen and in the stall. I'm not sure how to keep her from breaking it other than to leave her tied up and I'm not comfortable doing that. We changed her bandage today and she is looking very good, but she was walking funny. She would swing her bad leg out and pull it up towards her belly before she would put it on the ground. I poked at a few spots on her from her hoof to her hip and she never really jumped around or acted like anything hurt so I'm not sure what is going on. She has a date with Doc on Tuesday to make sure nothing is bad wrong.  Any thoughts? Also I was wondering if the pictures had arrived yet.
kathy atkins
I don't have any answers but just want to give you some support and say hang in there. You are doing such a good job and I hope that you get some answers on Tuesday. Good luck!
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