Tallahassee,FL (April 21, 2015) Beri came to the Vista, California barn of Laura A. in August
2013 with large, open wounds and abrasions on his knees, ankles, and hocks. At first, she hoped that simply keeping the wounds clean and dressed, and moving the gelding into a sanitary, well-bedded paddock would be enough to help his lacerations heal. And it did. But six weeks later she saw the wounds on his knees and ankles refused to close. The abrasions were smaller than when he first arrived, but would not heal completely.
“They’d scab and reopen in a frustrating cycle,” she said. “I decided to try to 'protect' the wounded areas by bandaging, wrapping, etc. This was obviously problematic because knees and ankles are not particularly easy to wrap or protect. Wraps and bandages have the potential to help but also harm (too tight, no air circulation, removed too easily). I tried gauze, bandaging tapes, duct tape, human athletic tape, neoprene knee boots (worn only for short periods when it was likely he would roll), and experimented with a range of commercial wound dressings and bandages from both veterinary and human medicine. For example, I tried the bandages used for people with diabetic heel ulcers.
“Nothing worked. After nine weeks, I was desperate for a solution and an internet search led me to Sox For Horses, Inc. and Summer Whinnys®. After a series of emails with Raymond Petterson, President of Sox For Horses (SFHs), Inc., I ordered Summer Whinnys® Silver. The customer service was fantastic. I was helped with sizing; but most importantly, Mr. Petterson considered my horse’s unique situation and brainstormed possible solutions. His ideas even included products not associated with his company. Our shared goal was my horse’s healing.”
“Laura used the Summer Whinnys® in a slightly unconventional way,” Petterson said, “pulling them up over the knees, but they were undoubtedly key to this horse’s healing process.” The difference in Beri’s knees between October 2013 — when his Summer Whinnys arrived — and December 2013 showed substantial healing and broke the bedsores cycle.”
Many horses living in difficult terrain areas suffer from sores on fetlocks and hocks due to lying down to rest on rough, hard ground that cannot provide a cushion to these joints. Horses given deeply bedded stalls seldom suffer bedsores. Unfortunately, many owners don’t have stalls for their horses, or have a horse that prefers to rest outside on the ground. The results of constant resting on rough hard ground are sores that can develop on the joints: And getting them to resolve is like a bad dream that keeps coming back.
It is important to resolve bed sores quickly as they can turn into chronic pressure ulcers that become repeatedly infected and more difficult to heal. The longer a sore remains unresolved, the weaker any new skin or tissue developed will be. Weakened tissue is the revolving door of nearly-healed to back-to-open oozing. Veterinarians suggest if sores aren’t ulcerated and infected, applying a Vetericyn wound dressing and bedsore boots can protect them while they heal.
But bed sore boots can create a “Catch-22” situation. Commonly made of neoprene (a thick rubber material once used in making dive suits), bed sore boots are thick and durable enough to offer protection of fetlocks, knees and hocks. Their downside is preventing air from reaching sores and skin. They retain body heat and cause sweating, which exacerbates skin reactions to the rubber and just as people have reactions to latex, horses can react to neoprene.
“If bed sores are also present,” said Petterson, “it becomes the worst environment for healing possible. Sores need air and the absence of dirt, moisture and heat. Summer Whinnys® Silver, now called Silver Whinnys™ can defeat these enemies of healing.”
He recommended that, once Beri’s sores were healed, to assess if the socks were strong enough protect the legs from further injury. If not, use the socks beneath the boots to keep the skin free from the heat buildup and sweat normally associated with neoprene. “The good thing is that Laura was able to see her horse twice a day to make sure the socks were adjusted as needed so that the sores were protected.”
Every situation is different for horses with bed sores. SFHs looks to assess each circumstance and offer a solution. “But make no mistake,” Petterson said, “you must heal the sores first. I know the socks can help every owner accomplish that. Then Silver Whinnys™ can work in tandem with bed sore boots to make them more effective and safe against your horse’s skin while preventing further injury.
“Fitting hocks can be an issue if you have a large horse. Deconstructed socks used as medical tubing or a wound dressing beneath a bed sore boot may be a good solution for large hocks. SFHs is happy to discuss individual situations and help owners find the appropriate application for their horse.”
Laura and Beri will vouch for that: “I am very grateful to Sox For Horses, Inc., and will continue using Silver Whinnys™, for Beri to keep his knees and ankles healthy, and as designed, for fly protection, for my other horse.”
Bedsores can be healed and prevented. Find Laura and Beri’s story and before/after images on Testimonials at www.soxforhorses.com. If their nightmare sounds like yours, you are not far from a solution.
The mission of Sox For Horses, Inc is to help owners better help their equines, make a difference in the lives of people and animals by supporting equine and animal rescue organizations, and secure and add jobs in American manufacturing as an American Manufacturer. Silver Whinnys™/ Summer Whinnys® and their warm winter socks, Whinny Warmers® are Made In America. Visit www.soxforhorses.com or call (850) 907-5724 to talk to a real person about fitting the right socks for your horse.