ORIGINALLY POSTED ALMOST A YEAR AGO – I AM POSTING AGAIN TODAY because WordPress (the program that lets me write the blogs) is broken. So, since I was going to write about Team Maggot and their arrival today for MT, I figured reposting this post would be a good second choice. And, I forgot to take pics today so there’s that as well…
Today, the selfless Founder Warrior drove the 5+ hours round trip to help Mama Tess again.
This time she brought the medical maggots.
Well, MT has so much necrotic (dead) and infected material in her left foot from the horrible founder, inflammations and infection/abscesses, we are afraid of an infection migrating to her coffin bone.
We need to get that old, dead tissue out of there so she can heal – instead of her body trying to expel all that by itself and continuing to deform her foot in the process.
Especially since there is less circulation in her hooves due to the founder (remember that awful venogram…). Antibiotics do not reach this area well… and maggots are quicker and less stressful for the horse.
For me, I just want her to get better. Fast. I want the infection to be gone.
So, bring in the little buggers!
These particular maggots are grown in a sterile environment. Their entire goal is to eat necrotic tissue. All of it. Eat, eat, eat. That’s all they do. Eat and grow.
ABOUT MEDICAL MAGGOTS
The Founder Warrior bought these maggots from Monarch Labs. They are the industry leader in medical maggots for use in humans and equines.
In maggot debridement therapy, germ-free (“disinfected”) larvae of therapeutic fly species (“medical grade maggots”) are used to treat and manage wounds in a procedure known as “maggot therapy.” The maggots are applied to the wound for 2 or 3 days within special dressings to keep the maggots from migrating. Since medicinal maggots can not dissolve or feed on healthy tissue, their natural instinct is to crawl elsewhere as soon as the wounds are clean, or the larvae are satiated.
The scientific literature identifies three primary actions of medical grade maggots on wounds:
- They debride (clean) the wound by dissolving dead and infected tissue with their proteolytic, digestive enzymes;
- They disinfect the wound (kill bacteria) by secreting antimicrobial molecules, by ingesting and killing microbes within their gut, and by dissolving biofilm;
- They stimulate the growth of healthy tissue.
HOW TO APPLY MAGGOTS TO A HORSE HOOF
Example 2. Here is a set of images from Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital (Lexington, KY) illustrating penetrating hoof injuries, treated with maggot therapy.
MAGGOTS FOR MAMA TESS!
The Founder Warrior brought Mark, the local farrier who is studying under her, again to help with MT.
Mark had been telling his wife, Terry, all about Tess so she wanted to come along today. And, thank goodness she did because we needed all hands on deck for this one! (Horsegod bless these good humans for donating their time, energy and faith for MT…)
The FW instructed us on our duties while she was debriding MT’s hooves. Luckily, the poultice wraps I had been applying continuously for the last several days in preparation did soften the soles and draw out much of the abscess.
The abscess holes are the places for the maggots to enter her hoof.
We wanted to make sure there were no chemicals of any kind left on her hoof that could kill the maggots. So, we rinsed and soaked her hoof thoroughly.
FW taught Mark how to prepare the boot she would wear for the next 48 hours. They cut out the toe of the pad we inserted into the boot. This cutout toe would be the ‘break room’ for the maggots when they needed to come out for air and water. If the hole wasn’t there, the maggots would suffocate.
The pad was inserted into the boot. We had saline soaked gauze at the ready to cover the maggot gauze that we were going to insert into the largest sole opening – then wrap the whole thing and stick her foot into the boot.
And that is exactly what we did!
We had 1000 maggots in our container. (Actually, the container said it had 1005 maggots and had the name of the woman who counted them right on the container. Now THAT would be a great job to discuss at dinner parties…)
Anyway, I didn’t take photos because we were so busy at this point.
Terry took the helm, feeding/distracting Tess – one pellet at a time…
The FW and Mark took the gauze full of fresh, baby maggots and inserted it into the clean abscess area.
My favorite part of this process was when the FW inserted her index finger into the maggot jar and scooped up the last of the maggots the way one would get frosting off of the cake bowl… Yum! Then she boldly rubbed her finger’s contents onto the excess gauze and stuck it up in there.
Furiously, they wrapped the foot as MT was pushing to have her hoof back… ai ai yi, the stress!
But they did it! Her foot was wrapped and inserted into the prepared boot!
We stepped back and were silent for a moment. All of us, who have grown to love her so much, silently asked Horsegods and the Maggotgods to do their thing and save this very brave girl…
Shortly thereafter, this team of angels left us to brave the winter storm and head home.
CHEERLEADER FOR THE MAGGOT TEAM!
I snuck down to the barn a few hours later to check on MT. She had been totally asleep when I arrived.
I looked at her boot and couldn’t help myself… “Go Maggots, Go! E-A-T! Eat! EAT! GET FAT, FAT, FAT!”
There were 1005 little, hungry warriors in there whose sole purpose was to get fat.
I wanted them to succeed.
And MT, well, she just wanted more shut-eye.
MT: “Are you done?”
Me: Yes, my girl, for tonight, we are done. G’night maggots! May you all survive to take pride in a job well done!
BIG ‘25% OFF’ JEWELRY SALE to benefit Mama Tess (she needs Team Maggot this week).
All jewelry on the JWP page is 25% off with shipping included!!