Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dawn's Treatment Plan

The vet came out this morning and we began implementing Dawn's new treatment plan.  The swelling is much better as a result of the DMSO treatment last night, and the heat is gone, although the skin is still badly pleated and shedding dead skin and some serum. And boy does Dawn stink! - that nasty DMSO garlicky/rotten egg smell has to be experienced to be believed - I could smell her from outside the barn as I walked up.  Dawn is still somewhat lackluster - not her usual hyper alert self - although she's eating her hay and drinking.  She didn't want her a.m. pellets, but we think that's due to the bad odor/taste of the DMSO in her system - that should fade over the next day or so and there's nothing absolutely essential in her pellets.  There's no temperature and her blood work is back to normal. She's off the Uniprim, as she'd already had a 4 day dose and the swelling and heat was starting to come back again.  She's now on Exceed, which is a cephalosporin antibiotic.  This antibiotic is administered in 2 doses, 4 days apart.  There is some incidence (about 4%) of injection site reactions to this drug, partly due to the volume administered, and to minimize the chances of reactions, the vet split the dose into three separate injections.  I'll keep a close eye on the injection sites for any swelling.  There is also some incidence (about 9%) of mild to more serious diarrhea from this drug, so I'll be watching for that, too, and also giving her daily probiotics.  The vet was also glad that she's on full-day pasture turnout, as that should help minimize problems - movement and grazing will be helpful both to prevent injection site trouble and also to keep her digestive system working properly.  This is, in my opinion, not a drug that should necessarily be used in a horse that won't be carefully monitored over the multi-day period the antibiotic is active.

In the afternoons, I'm to slather her neck with Thermazene, which is an antibiotic creme often used to treat burns in humans - she's had her first application and seemed to find the creme soothing.  In the mornings, I'll apply a DMSO/furacin ointment, and then gently bath the area in the afternoon before putting on the antibiotic.  I'll be using gloves for both treatments, as I'm allergic to sulfa (which is in the Thermazene) and you don't want to get DMSO on your skin.  She'll continue to get a.m. and p.m. bute for now.

Cellulitis often takes a while to resolve and requires multiple treatments, as we're experiencing.  The vet thinks this treatment plan has good prospects to get Dawn on the road to complete healing - here's hoping.

14 comments:

  1. Poor girl. Hoping she recovers swiftly. And I agree, DMSO smells disgusting. It can easily stink up an entire barn. bleh!

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  2. Poor Dawn! Good grief. I'm glad she seems to be healing, but this has been quite a roller-coaster ride. Just an aside on DMSO--it's one of the treatments used in humans who have interstitial cystitis. They actually use it as an ingredient in bladder instillations, if you can believe that. I feel sorry for Dawn, as it does indeed leave a crummy taste in your mouth!

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  3. Poor Dawn! I remember when Lilly had cellulitis on her leg... definitely not a fun experience. I hope Dawn is feeling better soon!

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  4. Oh my, that is some complicated treatment, but I am sure you are up to being the proper nurse for Dawn.

    DMSO is certainly smelly stuff--rotten eggs and garlic--and I know just how it will smell up the whole barn. But it can be a very effective treatment for inflammation.

    Once again sending Dawn my good wishes for a speedy recovery.

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  5. Poor sweet Dawn. Thinking good thoughts for quick recovery.

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  6. Poor baby. She must feel awful. I'm hoping she heals well with this treatment. I'm glad you mentioned you were wearing gloves, that's the first thing I thought of when you mentioned the cream. Best wishes for Dawn.

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  7. The DMSO smell is overwhelming for sure. I use nitrile gloves when handling DMSO and not just regular exam gloves.

    Glad Dawn is feeling a bit better today. Whether it is vasculitis or cellulitis it can be tough to get it under control. Went through a bout of this with a horse last summer and it was like the never ending saga. Unfortunately this horse came to us with chronic lyme disease and this caused the lyme to flare up so we had two issues going on. I went through a lot of DMSO and furacin sweating his leg!!

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  8. Oh Kate, I'm so sorry you and Dawn are going through this. Here's to a speedy and complete recovery...

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  9. I've never had to use DMSO.... and from the sound of it, I hope I never have to!
    I'm glad that Dawn seems to be responding to your treatment.

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  10. You are such a responsible horse owner. I'm glad you and Dawn have each other. Hopefully she will improve quickly and get back to her old self.

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  11. We had to use DMSO on Shadow a few years ago for a swelling on his neck; nasty stuff. Here's hoping that your girl is right as rain in no time!

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  12. Poor Dawn, glad to hear that you have a good plan in place and that she seems to be responding to the treatment.

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  13. Oh my. I hope she recovers quickly.

    I am glad you are being careful with the DMSO and sulfa-based medication. The DMSO could move the sulfa-med through your skin if you did not have gloves on. I am sure that you know this, since you are taking precautions with the application. Nasty stuff.

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  14. Val - in fact I'm using nitrile gloves at my vet's recommendation as they're a better barrier than latex gloves.

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