As most of you know, we are treating my horribly foundered (rotation, sinkage and chronic abscessing) mare, Tess, with medical maggot therapy.
The company, Monarch Labs, who cultivates the medical maggots for human and equine use has been in business for over 20 years.
(To read about Tess’ initial maggot therapy – insertion – click here.)
The Founder Warrior, who has been the most successful vet with Tess thus far, wanted to try maggot therapy to clean her abscess holes of infection to stop the abscessing and prep the wound for healing. Maggots leave behind an environment that is not conducive to infection – NICE.
Our hope it to keep infection from the coffin bone.
TAKING OFF THE BANDAGE.
The Founder Warrior asked me to take off the bandage and check on the maggots.
She told me that if they were really fat with a black stripe down their back, then they were mature and done. If they were still little or mid-sized, we should re-apply the gauze and wrap the foot back up.
What we didn’t want were dead maggots. We hoped we had created the proper environment (no residual chemicals) so they would thrive.
The idea is to have the maggots eat until there is no more food (necrotic tissue and infection) and then they die off. You don’t really want them to get fat and mature because that means they were eating too well and there is probably more necrotic tissue in there…
The FW said that she has had to reapply the maggots when there is an abundance of necrotic tissue.
We used over 1000 maggots this first time around, so hopefully, we won’t need a 2nd regiment to arrive.
Anyway, it was time to take off the bandage – 48 hours had passed. Farrier Mark came by (bless him) with his wife, Terry. They are such good souls – so interested and great cheerleaders.
We picked our jobs. Mark would take off the boot. I would cut away the bandage. Mark would lift the foot while Terry took movies of the maggots. I was to get the new gauze ready and I was to rewrap her foot.
So, that is what we did!
GRAPHIC VIDEO – NOT TOO BAD, THOUGH…
Here is the video of the procedure:
MAGGOTS MEDIUM SIZED SO WE WRAPPED HER BACK UP!
The maggots seemed to be medium sized and very active – so we felt they still had work to do. Therefore, we wrapped her foot and rebooted.
I will check again in 48 hours.
It is difficult to compare size of the maggots because of the focal points of my camera.
But, suffice it to say that when the maggots arrived, they were difficult to see and there were 1005 of them in that one small piece of gauze inside the small plastic tub.
When we took off Tess’ wrap after 48 hours, the maggots were clearly visible and larger – the were very active.
Unfortunately, we got shavings mixed in with the maggots on the towel we used under Tess’ feet. So, it is difficult to tell which is which. But, in a way, that is helpful because shavings aren’t microscopic! Clearly they had grown.