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Horse with infected wound

LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning ModeratorManitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin
edited November 2020 in Horses

Well, as I mentioned in a plantain thread, I would feed lots of this to the horse and certainly poultice this cut with plantain. It was found later than we would like, so of course it is already infected with pus & blood showing. There is a bit of a scab forming over top, but that will get gently removed today in order to irrigate it & treat it further & hopefully more effectively. My problem with plantain is that snow cover is still very much on the ground.

The cause is uncertain...either a branch or the bull's horns. We have removed her from his pasture, just in case. The horse has a history of "playing" with others & getting them wound up, and speeding around like she is on fire, so who knows. She is a stinker.

We put Fiskes on it last night, which is made of a pine tar base with essential oils of wintergreen, camphor, eucalyptus, thymol, & peppermint. Reading the benefits of each makes it still sound pretty perfect for the job ahead. We have used in on other past wounds with great success, but those wounds were fresh. Horse fanciers up here always have Fiskes in their first aid kit.

We are irrigating the wound again today with epsom salts & warm water, then will dry it well. We plan on putting a mixture of honey, ground dried plantain (I only had about 1 Tbsp. left), some cayenne & ground marshmallow root. After this, we will put more Fiskes on it as well as massage the infected area with the Fiskes, toward the wound.

I was reading a bit at Homegrown Herbalist about a case of a dog wound & possible treatments and do have some of the additional herbs on hand, but wonder if the above might be enough to start a positive healing process.

Externally: I have a bit of flax seed (using flax as a drawing agent was mentioned, but I don't know how to use it in this way), & my flower garden's yarrow (which should work like the wild stuff, I understand). There were other great herbs mentioned, but I just don't have them right now.

Internally, suggestions (that I have) are burdock root pieces, no dandelion root (but I have leaves), red clover (there was concern expressed with using this), cleavers (I have extremely little), marshmallow root powder, tame garden yarrow flowers & leaves, and I have thyme. I have no idea if she would eat any of these things aside from dandelion leaf & clover...I am hesitant about the clover anyway.

Update...We can get the scab partly off and have irrigated what we can. The honey is not sticking due to pus. :( Massaging toward the wound is our next plan of action & applying Fiskes directly to the wound. If the pus lessens, the honey will be applied before the Fiskes. We will cut off the piece of scab once my husband comes home.

What does everyone think about using these things? I am particularly interested in what @torey might wish to say.


  • toreytorey Posts: 2,773 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning I think you are doing the best things possible. All are things I would do. Keep at it. The epsom salts soak is very good. I make a drawing poultice to treat infections, using powdered epsom salts and just enough glycerine to make a paste (similar to thick toothpaste). Apply it on a gauze pad and bandage. (powdered epsom salts can be obtained at any compounding pharmacy; it is very tedious grinding the crystals) Might be difficult to get a bandage on the area, though. If you can get some yarrow from somewhere (health food stores might be a little low as it is a good diaphoretic for viral infections), I would add that to the epsom salts soaks.

    I was not familiar with Fiskes and looked it up. Sounds like a great product. When I was very young and around horses a lot, there was an old vet in the area that made a potion called Dowd's Elixer and used it to treat a wide variety of wounds and infections. I think the base was turpentine and it worked so well. Unfortunately, he passed without passing the recipe. But sounds similar to the ingredients in Fiskes. Anything that comes from the conifers seems to help horses. So my other suggestion would be, if you have any spruce trees in your area and could collect some pitch, it could be applied directly to the wound or made into a salve. There were studies done at UBC with a variety of pitches and while they all had good antimicrobial properties, spruce was by far the best, killing almost everything it came in contact with. You could use any pitch but spruce would be best.

    I like Oregon Grape Root as a tincture to treat infections in general. In this case, you could put it in a bottle and spray the area. It will sting (a lot) so be ready for that. Maybe dilute it a bit.

    As to internal, I have found that horses are very individual in their tastes and she may or may not want to eat any of these herbs, even if they were mixed in with grain or treats.

    Good luck but I'm sure what you are doing will bring about healing in short order.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin

    @torey Thank you very much.

    We do have molasses, which might help her eat some internal type herbs. My offerings would be quite skimpy, however, so I am not sure how much it would help.

    I too had wondered how one could attach a poultice. It is behind her shoulder in an awkward place.

    Her upper leg has become swollen, but she is still walking well. She is somewhat sensitive to touch in the swollen area, but that is to be expected. There is no visible signs of gangrene at this point.

    Thank you for the encouragement.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭

    I use Argetyn 23 hydrosol silver. colloidal silver also works well. betadyne or topical iodine is another option. these suggestions are in addition to the excellent things you are already doing.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin

    @tomandcara Thank you for your suggestion.

    The horse has improved greatly. We noticed her respond within 24 hours with reduced swelling & healing of the wound. She was chasing the old milk cow and picking on the dog...so that is very normal for her. Lol She is not mean, just likes to light her Christmas tree, as we say in our ADHD household. Haha

    I am relieved, because it was quite swollen & we really didn't want to mess with a vet, especially right now.

  • maimovermaimover Posts: 342 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning i don’t know much about horses but have listened to Doc Jones and he uses herbal poultices for wound healing and it sounds like it works great! Good luck

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin

    @maimover I checked his site. He is good. Great suggestion!

    There was no way to put a poultice on that area (a spray could have worked) and I didn't have all of the herbs or the amounts required of the herbs that I did have. So, we worked with what we had.

  • maimovermaimover Posts: 342 ✭✭✭

    Glad you’re seeing improvement...

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning So glad to hear your horse is back to being a bit of an imp. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the update.

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