Category Archives: Mama Tess

MAMA TESS UPDATE AND OUR PLAN MOVING FORWARD.






The Founder Warrior came today – bless her…

She was just at that big convention in Nashville that everyone else who is into horse feet – went to.

I missed her while she was gone (she kept in contact via email) and again was amazed that she was willing to make the 5 hour roundtrip to see our girl so soon after returning to her home from across the country.

She was feeling good today!

She was feeling good today!

FOUNDER WARRIOR WAS PLEASED WITH TESS!

There is no question that Tess is very lame and there is still the paralyzing notion that she may have a fatal coffin bone infection.

But…

Today, the FW felt that Tess was moving around much more then previously and seemed considerably bright.

(I didn’t tell her that I broke down two days ago and called upon every horsegod in the vicinity to help us…)

The FW thought Tess’ coat looked great and her weight was good… other than the fact that she was horribly foundered and lame, the mare looked very perky and healthy!

The FW was amazed at how bright she was - considering...

The FW was amazed at how bright she was – considering… (Note the several small, cushioned mats… I use them constantly.  Easy to move and perfect for placing under sore feet.  You can get them at Bed Bath and Beyond)

CORONET BAND

I might have mentioned earlier that Tess’ coronet band is our fear area.  We know she has necrotic tissue under there and we know the new hoof is not attaching properly because of it.  The hoof wall has to connect to the lamina or she will never be sound.  We fear the infection here is what threatens her coffin bone.

Because her circulation is compromised – and the bones of the feet are so far away from the heart anyway – it is almost impossible to heal a coffin bone infection without surgery.  And, I am told that Tess is not a candidate for surgery due to her age and compromised condition.

That is why we sent in the maggots.  To go after the necrotic tissue and try to stop the infection from migrating to the coffin bone.

But, the maggots have not been able to get in under the coronet band, until the very last application.  The wall and coronet band opened up just enough to let the little buggers in…  I’d see them crawl up her hoof wall and disappear into a miniscule crack in her outer hoof.  Kinda creepy and cool at the same time.

Her coronet band and  hoof wall softened up enough so the maggots could finally get in to the miniscule cracks and do their work!

Her coronet band and hoof wall softened up enough so the maggots could finally get in to the miniscule cracks and do their work!

The maggots around her coronet band looked like a tiny, Hazmat suited crew of white cleanup men…

Anyway, today, when the FW looked at Tess’ coronet band she said, “I cannot believe how this mare holds onto that coronet band.  If anyone were to look at this, they would not believe that it hasn’t ruptured or separated.  I mean, LOOK AT IT!  But, it is still together, God bless her.  She is fighting to keep her hoof together!  Let’s just hope the next round of maggots cleans it all up for us and she heals.”

(I didn’t tell her that Tess was incredibly sore the last few days and that I got on my knees and held onto her hoof and begged Horsegod to heal her…)

She had to trim the right foot on the outside because Tess wouldn't hold up her foot long enough to use the nippers.  It worked fine!

She had to trim the right foot on the outside because Tess wouldn’t hold up her foot long enough to use the nippers. It worked fine!

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 5.55.10 PM

She was able to get the wall trimmed up enough that a rasp could finish it off – instead of making her hold up her right hoof and bearing weight on her bad foot.

TRIM AND XRAYS

MT was a very good girl for her trim and Xrays, considering.

According to her Xrays, she had once again grown huge amounts of sole (Thank you, Theraplate).  Her right foot is growing back perfectly!  The rotation has abated and all the new tissue is attached.  Phew.  Total success on that foot.

However, on the left foot (the bad one), it was clear that the new wall had not attached.

All that the FW could do was trim off more of the dead area and hope that the last batch of maggots arriving tomorrow will finish the clean up.

The news which I am holding as GOOD NEWS – so far – is that the Xray does not confirm or deny bone infection.  It isn’t clear one way or the other.

So, I’m going with no infection and pushing forward.

This is the right foot.  The good foot.  It is healing perfectly and the new tissue is adhering to the lamina as it should.  She is growing huge sole!  Thank you, Theraplate!

This is the right foot. The good foot. It is healing perfectly and the new tissue is adhering to the lamina as it should.  She is growing huge sole! Thank you, Theraplate!

This is the left foot.  It is growing lots of sole - but the wall is not adhering to the lamina - yet.  Too much damage and necrotic tissue.  More maggots on the way.  And, perhaps revolutionary stem cell treatment for this hoof...

This is the left foot (she is not bearing weight – which is why her pastern is at an angle, she is pulling back). It is growing lots of sole – but the wall is not adhering to the lamina – yet. Too much damage and necrotic tissue. More maggots on the way. And, perhaps revolutionary stem cell treatment for this hoof…

We had a tough time getting  her to point her toe for this one... but this is the uncertain view.  We cannot confirm or deny a coffin bone infection. I am choosing to believe we have no infection.

We had a tough time getting her to point her toe for this one… this is the uncertain view. We cannot confirm or deny a coffin bone infection. I am choosing to believe we have no infection.

POTENTIAL TEST GROUP PROTOCOL – moving forward

While at the seminar the FW recently attended, Chip from Theraplate, told Tess’ story to certain attendees at the convention.

One vet in the group spent an hour poring over all of Tess’ past Xrays.

He graciously decided to offer us the ability to procure the medicine and technology being used in a new (closed) Founder study.  It involves stem cells harvested from fat cells.  Those stem cells are profused into the limb.  It helps with bone regeneration… along with a drug that inhibits bone degeneration.

All of this helps with circulation which is the goal – to get enough circulation down there to help her white cells get rid of the infection.

We’ll see… the procedure has to be done in a hospital setting.  We also need to figure out which of the two labs in the US (are there more?) would be able to harvest her fat cells into stem cells.  And, we have to make sure she could handle the transportation back to the equine hospital.

The Founder Warrior has already offered her services for free – just to be involved with something so new and experimental.  Maybe the vet hospital will also offer their services for the same education.  I will work on that when we have all of our ducks in a row.

For now, our girl is good.  She is good.

This is the huge, cavernous hole at her toe that the maggots cleaned out of necrotic tissue... Amazing.  Huge.  Scary.  But, clean.

This is the huge, cavernous hole at her toe that the maggots cleaned out of necrotic tissue… Amazing. Huge. Scary. But, clean. (I couldn’t get a clear shot.)

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 5.56.37 PM

Here is a view where you can see the hole at her toe in relation to her sole. Finally, we can see the frog! Thank you, Founder Warrior!

I CAN CHOOSE TO BELIEVE WHATEVER GETS ME THROUGH THE DAYS…

A wise person once told me that when an outcome is not clear, you can choose what to believe until you know the outcome.  You can choose to believe the worst, or you can choose to believe the best…

And as I finish writing this, I picture the barn in my head… it is filled with spirits of all kinds… people I have loved, animals I have loved, spirits I don’t know and beings I feel are benevolent… all hanging out in the barn.  Taking turns working on Tess… some are casually talking to each other, some are flying about, some are floating and playing… all the while, Tess absorbs the energy sent her way.

I picture myself going into the barn and all the entities simply carry on… as if I wasn’t there.  Chatting, playing, healing, loving… being.

That is how I will picture the barn from now on – until they are no longer needed to engulf her in their cushiony arms.

I called in my chips.  And, I’m praying they all listened and are gracefully doing what they are there to do.

Heal her.

Phew!  Mama Tess was tired after all of that... time for a girl to nap!

Phew! Mama Tess was tired after all of that… time for a girl to nap!

 

Mollie is newly rescued at the same wonderful facility (BHFER) as Betsy Rose.  She is far from safe but she is up!  Click image to go to the Bucket Fund!

DECEMBER BUCKET FUND:  Mollie is newly rescued at the same wonderful facility (BHFER) as Betsy Rose. She is far from safe but she is up! Click image to go to the Bucket Fund!

Betsy Rose, starved in her own pasture, is coming along nicely but she has quite a ways to go...

DECEMBER BUCKET FUND: Betsy Rose, starved in her own pasture, is coming along nicely but she has quite a ways to go…

DECEMBER BUCKET FUND!  CLICK IMAGE!  Look at this sweet, old pony who was dumped by his family after working for many years... Abandoned and starved after giving his entire life.

DECEMBER BUCKET FUND! CLICK IMAGE! Look at this sweet, old pony who was dumped by his family after working for many years… Abandoned and starved after giving his entire life.




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MAMA TESS UPDATE and WHERE IS ‘THING’ WHEN YOU NEED HIM?!


Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 | Filed under Mama Tess




Remember ‘Thing’ from The Addams Family?

I kept thinking about him today…  I needed him.

I’ll get to that later.

Do you remember 'Thing' from The Addams Family?  I needed him today...

Do you remember ‘Thing’ from The Addams Family? I needed him today…

WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM ROUNDS 1-3 OF MAGGOT THERAPY…

Today was Round 4 of the maggot therapy.

Why so many Rounds?

Well, Round 1 went great but we didn’t know that there was more infection in there… and it came back.

Round 2 went well – and that time we knew to do a Round 3 right away because we wanted all the maggots to die of starvation (means there is no more dead tissue in there to eat) instead of growing fat, happy and plump – which they all were.

Not the best photo of our girl.  The light was going... As you can see, she is sporting HorseAngel Aladdin's heavy blanket.  He passed suddenly and this blanket was almost new.  It was difficult to see it on her but I hope it carries him with it - I hope he is helping in his way.

Not the best photo of our girl. The light was going… As you can see, she is sporting HorseAngel Aladdin’s heavy blanket. He passed suddenly and this blanket was almost new. It was difficult to see it on her but I hope it carries him with it – I hope he is helping in his way.

ROUND 3

So, Round 3 happened last Friday.

Well… it all went to heck in a handbasket.  First off, her boot came off during the night, so I was sure all the maggots had been crushed.  Next, Hubby fed her and turned on the Theraplate, not thinking much of it.  Tess was standing on the Theraplate, so he turned it on, naturally.

Well, I was sure that the Theraplate killed whatever maggots were left.

So, I had the vet order more maggot for today.

But last Sunday, on a hunch, I decided to put in the maggots I had stored in the refrigerator (in the barn) because I wasn’t able to scoop them all out of the container – so I held them in the fridge.  Anyway, they were still alive on Sunday so I unwrapped her hoof and inserted the leftover bugs.

OMG!  Out poured a ton of fat and healthy maggots!!

They had survived no boots and the Theraplate!

Hearty little buggers.

They must have been way up inside her hoof, eating, when the boot came off.  And, clearly, they didn’t mind the Theraplate.  In fact, if I had to judge, I’d say they thrived with the vibration!  These maggots were the healthiest I had seen!  (Another hidden wonder of the Theraplate.)

Anyway, I inserted the tiny bugs that had been in my refer last Sunday morning.

And, on Monday night, they were fully mature.

Ugh.  So, we know that she has enough food (necrotic tissue) to grow a maggot in a very short time.

Yikes.  We need more troops!

The newest Troops!

The newest Troops!

PREPARATION

I’m getting good at this.

Except, I needed ‘Thing’.

Just one more hand… that’s all.  One hand to hold up her foot as I wrap it.

As it was, I balanced her hoof on my knee.  But, I also wanted to put bugs on the front of her hoof by her coronet band and that was tough while holding her hoof on my knee.

Anyway, first I had the sterile gauze saturated with saline solution.

Then, I prepped the wrap.  I put the scissors nearby because this vetwrap doesn’t tear well (ugh).

I had cleaned and inserted the cut-out pad into her Equine Slipper.

(For me, the Equine Slipper stays on the best.  It is ground level and has really strong velcro.  She seems to like it best as well.)

Oh, and the towel.  She needs to stand on a clean towel.

I had it all ready.

Here are my tools. The saline filled gauze, scissors and vetwrap (not pictured).

Here are my tools. The saline filled gauze, scissors and vetwrap (not pictured).

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 5.44.15 PM

This is her Equine Slipper. We’ve modified it with a pad that has a cut-out at the toe so that the maggots have a ‘break room’ without being crushed.

NO COOPERATION FROM THE QUEEN

Mama Tess had had a day without anything in or on her hoof and I think she liked it.  Because when I went to pick up her hoof to put the towel under her hoof, she declined.

This is when THING would have been a benefit…

Tess and I argued about this for a few minutes until I relented and gave her more soaked beet pulp.

She lifted her foot.

As I mentally prepared myself to wipe, pack, gauze, wrap and boot in a nanosecond, I looked up at her.

Me:  Why are you fighting me today?

MT:  YOU have bugs trapped in your foot and see how you feel!

Me:  Is it weird feeling?

MT:  What do you think?…

Me:  Sorry, but they are doing a good job.

MT:  Well, it feels like my hoof is constantly tingling and vibrating and stinging a bit.

Me:  But they are only eating dead stuff.

MT:  I’m just sayin’…

She walked off the Theraplate and was more comfortable.  I think the big maggots feel weird in there.  She doesn't seem to notice the itty, bitty sized maggots.

She walked off the Theraplate and was more comfortable. I think the big maggots feel weird in there. She doesn’t seem to notice the itty, bitty sized maggots.

For me, the Equine Slipper is the most effective boot.  It doesn't come off and the insert fits well. And, it is flush to the ground.

For me, the Equine Slipper is the most effective boot. It doesn’t come off and the insert fits well. And, it is flush to the ground.

AND PRESTO CHANGO, IT WAS DONE!

Likity split, when she agreed to lift her foot, I sprung into action!

Again, there were too many escapee maggots for me to get them all into her hoof.  So, I put the extras in the refer.  I’ll use them on Thursday.

For now, she has been rewarded with dry NSC hay and more soaked beet pulp.

She was happy.

She was happy.

She was happy.

WHA?

I was trying to understand how it felt to her to have her hoof/nail unstable… She seems bugged but not agitated by the pain.

And then… as I was reaching for the umpteenth bandaid for my splitting fingers, I knew.

My finger tips have split and I cannot control it.  My right hand (dominant) has 4 split fingers.  I’ve never, ever had this happen to me.  But, for the last several months, one or all of my fingers on my right hand are in stages of split.

Ouch.  Tough to do just about anything.  Typing, washing dishes, opening anything, writing, grabbing, driving, pushing the button on the camera… everything that involves my fingers – hurts.  Annoying but doable.

Um hmmm.  I think I’ll ponder that one a bit – on a few levels.

 

Two of my split fingers.

Two of my split fingers.

 

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BUCKET FUND donor giftee certificates available to give the gift of freedom and food!

BUCKET FUND donor giftee certificates available to give as a gift to a friend… guiltless donations for this season!

BUCKET FUND donor giftee certificates available to give the gift of freedom and food!

BUCKET FUND donor giftee certificates available to give the gift!  You can donate and give the certificate as a stocking stuffer or barn gift… Any way you’d like!

 

 




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