Millicent’s Tumor Removal… PROGRESS REPORT!

WARNING! If you are sqeamish, don’t look at the photos…

After having a large Mast Cell Tumor removed, Millie came home from the hospital last Monday. She ended up staying quite a bit LONGER than expected because her stitches didn’t hold. Sadly, this is quite common in equines! Originally we thought she would be there for 3-5 days, but she ended up staying a full TWO WEEKS! The extended hospital stay cost an extra $50 PER NIGHT, so please consider sharing her GoFundMe campaign! Caring IS sharing!!! We don’t have Twitter, so if any of y’all could tweet about Millie that would be GREAT!!! (\_/)

This first photo collage is from that first night home. The cleaning went really well, and I was forewarned that logistically hind legs are more tricky to do than front legs. I was really apprehensive because we do NOT have any kind of a chute to put her in. This proved to be true, but not horribly so. The most difficult part was getting the medicated spray (Scarlet Oil) on. Millie hasn’t ever really liked sprays… they hiss like a snake, ya know! Some of them also STING! I was almost ready to toss in the towel, but knew she really needed me to do this. So we took a short break, setting aside the evil spray bottle, and I told her I just wanted to rub her butt. This is something she LOVES! I scratched both sides, above her boo-boo, of course, and got her really relaxed… then tried the spray again. This time she just stood there and I got it really well coated! The rest of her coat got a good dousing of fly spray, too, to keep those pests away.

I think Millie was really apprehensive about what I was doing because the vet did all sorts of things “back there” while she was at the hospital. Most recently, just yesterday morning, in fact, they had removed the final stitches (which weren’t holding anything any more) and the last small bit of drain tube, too. No telling what Millie THOUGHT I was going to be doing, but that short butt rub gave her the reassurance she needed. This morning’s session went much more quickly, partly because it is cooler here this morning and so I didn’t run the hose all over her like I did last night. When it’s really HOT she actually enjoys cooling off in the water!1st day home Collage

Millie had been home a full week, and the open incision area was filling in nicely, but over the weekend I noticed it was really starting to get some PROUD FLESH!
For you non-equine folks, “Proud flesh is normal tissue, but it just reproduces too fast in an attempt to heal the wound. The problem is that if it allowed to get out of control, it will heal that way and the skin will protrude above the normal level.” So I’m doing some on-line reading about different things to prevent/remove proud flesh. So far, I’m leaning towards trying the SUGAR SCRUB method. At first it sounds rough, but women often use sugar scrubs on our faces/lips to exfoliate! The sugar sounds less traumatic than the caustic scrubs, too. Here is the best “instruction” for the sugar scrub that I’ve found:
“Sugar has mild anti-bacterial properties and it’s slightly abrasive, so I decided to give it a go. I think that I’ve gotten rid of all the proud flesh by now – I just have to wait and see if the hair comes through!I really liked using the sugar and I think I’ll use it for any future leg wounds because it dries to form a nice protective crust over the wound. It doesn’t just rub off like other ointments seem to do on the legs.What I did was:
1. Get a spray bottle full of clean water and set it to a thin, powerful stream.
2. Clean the area thoroughly using the jet of water.
3. Put about a quarter of a teaspoon (or maybe a half – you’ll see how much you need) of white sugar in the palm of your hand.
4. Use your spray bottle to put a few drops of water onto the sugar and then mix it with a finger from your other hand. It’s very important not to use too much water since the sugar will dissolve and the paste will get more liquidy than it first appeared. You want to add just enough water so the sugar all sticks together nicely, but not so much that it’s runny.
5. Apply the sugar paste to the wound, rubbing it into the proud flesh gently.
6. Leave the sugar there for a day.
7. Use your spray bottle to dissolve the sugar off of the wound, again rubbing it as you go.
8. Peel off any bits of proudflesh that are loosening up.
9. Rinse with water and repeat steps 3 onward. I was really impressed by the sugar method. It still took a few weeks to get rid of it completely, but it was much less gross than scrubbing it the old way.”1383130_10203317936201616_6518321463541451176_n
Another person commented on the sugar scrub: “We have used sugar as well, but in combination with iodine and it worked amazing. We’ve gone through two significant injuries, and the first time proud flesh came, second time we were able to prevent it. What we did was mix sugar and iodine into a paste [almost like toothpaste] and then put it on the proud flesh. We then used a non-stick pad and put it overtop of the ‘sugardine’ mixture on the injury. Then wrapped with vetrap. And we changed it once a day.”
So, over the weekend I started using the SUGAR SCRUB, with iodine… have both items on hand! However, Millie’s spot cannot be covered or wrapped in any way.
Sugar Scrub Collage4

This last photo from yesterday morning, after rinsing away previous night’s dirt and muck, doing a Sugar Scrub and rinsing it again… Notice there is STILL quite a bit of PROUD FLESH, mostly up at the top. I told Millie that I thought her butt looked like a fried pork chop. She didn’t think it was funny. Any way, THIS is the photo I sent to the vet yesterday afternoon! He called last night and wants me to try Betamethasone cream on it, but it’s a prescription (he thought it was over-the-counter) so I had to call his office today and ask if they can please call it in to the local pharmacy. So now I won’t be able to pick it up until tomorrow afternoon! Oh, and one small tube will cost about $48… not sure how many tubes we will end up needing!?!?! The open area is roughly the size of my hand, and I don’t have small hands!

Aug. 18, 2014

August 18th… getting SMALLER!


Millie’s wound, showing proud flesh…



8.10.14 update

Sugar Scrub last weekend and then Betamethasone latter half of the week… I made sure the photo showed the lower end of the incision where her sutures HELD! Wish is all looked THAT good, but it is what is is… and it’s going to be fine, eventually!



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