Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Update on an Arabian Horse - Scandalous Echo

I told you all months ago about Scandalous Echo , the yearling purebred Arabian filly who tried to cut her leg off last spring. When I last posted about her, she wouldn't leave her dressing alone and had done quite a bit of damage to the wound.

After input from other bloggers and posters on the MareStare site I had adapted a hockey shin guard to help protect the wound from the aggressive filly. When I last posted about this Arabian horse, the shin guard was working and the wound was much improved.

I have uploaded a picture of the wound in its later improved condition. Don't be fooled by the word "improved" this wound was horrible. It is extremely graphic so I've included it as a hidden picutre. Click on the link
(see Echos' wound) only if you really want to see what I was dealing with. Remember this picture is about 3 weeks after I started protecting the wound with the shin guard. The gray line running around her knee is duct tape that was helping to keep the shin guard in place.

Healing for this wound was slow and tedious. It took months before the wound was finally closed. Echo had long since had it with the whole thing and was a difficult patient. It was impossible to change her dressing or debreed the wound without two people.

Even with two people taking care of the wound was dangerous and frustrating. To say that I was happy with my attempts would be a downright lie! I struggled to do a thorough job and the filly gave it everything she had to stop me from even touching it, let alone removing excess tissue. It was a nightmare.

Fortunately, I was sent some dressings and ointment that are used for burn victims. While I still had a lot of trouble being able to get these dressing on let alone keep them in place, they were helpful in debreeding the wound for me.

Even though Echo would try to throw herself to the ground to stop me from touching the wound at all, I was able to get the ointment and pads placed correctly. Once the wound was covered and I began applying the outter dressing to protect it and keep it on, Echo would stop fighting. So at least that part went well.

The dressings rarely stayed in place for even four hours but fortunately that seemed to be enough. When all was said and done, there was very little scar tissue in the form of proud flesh remaining. You'll notice I said "very little."

There was a thin ridge of proud flesh that went along the upper edge of the wound and all the way across the leg. This ridge caused the hair to push away from Echo's leg instead of laying flat. In addition there were several locations where there are scars and white hairs. This picture above is Echo at the open house. I'm afraid with it this small it's hard to see the scar unless you know what you are looking for. Trust me there is an irregularity near the top of her leg.

I know that people believe because this filly is gray that scars with white hairs will not show so they don't really matter. But I'm hear to tell you from experience that as the horse grays, the scars turn black and show.

Because this filly is such high quality and sure to be a show horse, I decided to see if we could do better as far as the scarring. I opted to have cosmetic surgery done on the scar.

To do this, the vet totally cut our the old scar and then stitched the filly up again. This time, the wound was just the line across the top part of the filly's leg. This time I had the shin guard to protect the incision from the start. I was confident that we could get this wound healed up better than it had the first time.

By the time we hit the fourteen day mark, I was sure I'd done the right thing. All of the stitches had held and the area looked clean and smooth. I have had wounds pop open after the stitches are removed so we decided to take the safe route and leave them in three more days.

Unfortunately, by the time the vet was to remove the stitches all across one side of the incision had popped the stitches and was granulating. The other side hadn't popped yet but did granulate some after the stitches were removed.

By the time it was all said and done, the corrective surgery didn't work. The scar actually ended up at least twice as bad as what I had before the corrective surgery. (And my pocket book was $250 lighter!)

The young Arabian horse is not very trusting. She heads for the corner whenever anyone enters the stall. She conintually moves away in a defensive manner trying to protect her leg. Even when haltered the horse still struggles with standing still thinking I want to hurt her leg.


  1. Oh that poor filly. She'll get over it eventually, but it just tears at you when they get so defensive over something that's for thier own good.

    My Nahima was like that when she hurt herself last Dec. It was almost May before I could even touch her again.

    She's much better now, so they do come around. :)

  2. lady of chaos, yes, I hate that she is so defensive when I was only trying to help her. She is good about everything else just worried about that leg.

    Tonight I tried to take a picture of it to post and there was NO WAY she was going to let me turn that part towards me. Poor filly. Once I did het her cornered, I stroked that leg and she was pretty good about it. But I never did get a picture I could use.

  3. Awwww....poor girl! Hope she forgives soon and allows that leg to be fiddled with! ((HUGS!!)) to her and you all!

  4. I'm so sorry for all of you. Time does make scars better.

    I wonder if some of the silicon gel patches they have for human scars could work on horses? And the steroid shots?

    I had a bad scar on me that had to be "revised." That meant a bigger scar where they made the incision, and then the new scar started to look as bad as the old. So they had to do it AGAIN, making an even bigger incision. Fortunately, they used some kind of steroid shot in the wound and I had to wear a silicon patch for six months or so, but the scar is nice and flat now. (It was hypertrophic.)

    Good luck!

  5. Wow, that was a nasty looking wound. I'm sure it looks much better now though.

    I'm sure you'll work with that filly and get her confidence back. I kind of don't blame her, but what you did was really necessary.

  6. injuries like that are stubborn to heal!

    it seems youve done the best you can. I hope your little filly learns to be trusting again. That poor baby!

  7. I had this problem with one of my horses. He got quite defensive. He'd dance and dance until finally he'd stop and let me look at it. But he had to let me know what his opinion was about being doctored each and every time during that long healing process. She is a beautiful filly.

  8. Poor thing. I'm glad she's healing up OK. Hope she gets over her fear.

    May I ask why you are selling most of your horses? Did I miss something in a previous post? I haven't read everything, but do know about the twin foals and the huge vet bills. I like Scandalous Dare! She's pretty and my type of horse. I've always wanted a Khemo decendant, but I can't afford a horse or a place to board one. :(

  9. I hope she gets over the trauma pretty quickly. If I were an Arab breeder I don't think I'd mind the scar. I would probably use her for a great trail horse, if the scar would count against her even in performance events (although I hope it's not that way!) and later for breeding. She could definitely be a great producer - I hope other people look at it the same way!

  10. MiKael I feel your pain as you well know. Leg wounds are the worst and the two young studs that we have bred that are the nicest and most likely to have show careers have both hurt their legs. Blue was really good and I had no problems with him, the whole ordeal over 4-5 months actually made us very close. Taxes on the other hand could have been a problem if his hadn't healed so quickly. I was surprised that it did and will take a pic tomorrow of the scar which isnt as bad as I thought it would be.

    The judges do tend to mark down for scars which is a real shame. Echo will settle down eventually once she understands that you dont want to mess with her anymore, it is such a shame, you know it is for her own good but how do you tell them that when they have pain and you seem to be the source of it for them. Sigh. She is a beautiful filly.