I changed Tessa's bandage this morning and found some interesting things. I've also had a number of people send me emails wanting to know more about how I am treating Tessa's foot so I thought to share it all here.
When I took the bandage off today, I found a number of small slivers of the flower stem that had worked their way out of the foot and were captured by the Magic Cushion. I used a sterilized horseshoe nail as a probe to gently examine the puncture and was able to remove several more slivers. There was a small amount of pus, which drained out with the removal of the splinters. Once that happened the wound bled cleanly just a bit.
This is Tessa's foot after I had cleaned off all the old hoof packing and cleaned the wound. You can see where I had to pare away a good deal of her frog to remove the stem. the frog appears black and nasty because of the hoof packing not because of disease.
This is what I have been using to pack the wound and I do think it has worked some magic.
It has simultaneously drawn out the offending slivers, protected the
wound from contamination and prevented infection. I don't usually go on
about stuff like this and the makers of Magic Cushion don't know I
exist, but I can't say enough about how this stuff works on abscesses
and puncture wounds in hooves.
I used this on Ramsey's foot a few months ago when he got an abscess in his bad foot. I have been watching that abscess slowly grow out since then and cringe when I see how much of his foot it affected. This nasty looking black goop may very well have saved his life.
I do hope that donkeys have as many lives as cats and I really hope Ramsey stops trying to use them up.
I won't say that this stuff is easy to work with. It is messy, its sticks to everything except what you want it to and if it gets on something you don't want it to, you may as well throw the thing away - unless it is something you can scrub with WD-45, which will clean it up.
The strategy I have come up with to work with this is to use a gauze sponge to scoop some of it out of the jar. You don't need a lot, a walnut sized glob is about right for a full size horse hoof.
Make sure you have everything ready before you start. If you have to put the foot down in the middle, you'll have to start over and you'll end up with sticky, black goo everywhere. Ask me how I know:)
As a side note, the bandage I am going to make is a real bear to get off. I have found that the best way to cut through it is with a set of wire cutters. Scissors won't do the job, but these will...
Make sure the hoof is clean and DRY (that makes applying the goop much easier) then use the gauze to apply the magic Cushion. Get it down into the crevices and covering the entire frog, but push the majority of goop forward towards the center of the hoof.
I used 2 inch Elastikon here. I am not worried about protecting the toe so I left it open. The toe is where the bandage will fail first. If you don't need the toe wrapped, leave it open and the bandage will hold up longer. I try to take the wrap around the back of the heel buttresses, but NOT over the heel bulbs. If a bandage covers the heel bulbs for any length of time, they will get very irritated and cause a lot of pain.
No matter where the roll of bandage ends, I always make sure to cut it off so that the end is on the bottom of the foot. This is always the part that wants to unravel first, if it is on the bottom of the foot, it gets stuck back into place with every step rather than pulled loose.
I try to overlap and criss-cross the bandage as much as possible as this makes it stronger. However, I do not like to cover the coronet band if I can avoid it....
so my final step is to trim the top back off the coronary band.
If there was not snow on the ground I would add several layers of duct tape to this. However, that does not work well in the snow. I fully expect this wrap to hold up for at least a week and I'll need the wire cutters and a lot of swearing to get it off. The thing I like the most about the Magic Cushion is that, no matter what kind of mud, snow or dirt Tessa walks through, when I take this off, the wound in her foot will still be clean and protected. The stuff is an antiseptic, a drawing slave, and a protective barrier all in one messy, sticky mass. That's why I think Magic Cushion really is magic.