BY SYDNEY JONES/PHELPS MEDIA GROUP
Sometimes a horse’s life isn’t full of blue ribbons and victory gallops. Unfortunately, horses are not always dealt the best hand, which was the case for Streaker and Majesty. Streaker, who was found abandoned at a boarding barn three and a half years ago, had a fly mask that had grown into a wound on his face and the wrap on his right leg had become a part of the leg. After several unsuccessful treatments and misdiagnosis, finally, on September 17th, 2021, the team caring for Streaker was introduced to VetBlue and there was no looking back. Majesty was found with much less severe wounds, but unsuccessful initial treatments caused his wounds to get worse until he was introduced to VetBlue about seven months ago.
VetBlue is a medical wound care product that extends the offerings of its parent product, Hydrofera Blue, to animals. Hydrofera Blue is a trusted and award-winning line of wound care dressings for humans that has been available since 2003. When studies showed that animal wounds were benefiting from the healing powers of Hydrofera Blue, VetBlue was created. The VetBlue product line consists of two main wound healing foams, the Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) Foam dressings and the Polyurethane (PU) Foam dressings. Both of these foams are impregnated with methylene blue and gentian violet, and are effective against the broad spectrum of microorganisms commonly found in both human and animal wounds. Successful wound management requires management of bioburden, maintaining moisture balance and removal of devitalized tissue. VetBlue foam dressings contain bioburden indicators, maintain a moist wound environment, can debride non-viable tissue while allowing healthy tissue to grow, and are easy to use. VetBlue foams are applied directly to the wound, and ointments, creams and powders are not needed. A secondary bandage is applied over VetBlue and can be left on for up to seven days depending upon the bioburden in the wound and the amount of drainage.
Streaker was found in very poor condition. Not only was he suffering from visible wounds, but also mentally suffering from the effects of such abandonment. He couldn’t connect with other animals or people. He constantly tried to bite his owner, Vicki Moore, as well as any vet that was trying to address his wounds. It took thousands of dollars, five different vets, and too many injections to count before Vicki finally got a proper diagnosis – Pythiosis; a fungus-like infection that can affect the skin, bones, intestines, lungs and arteries of a horse.
Due to the severity of Streaker’s wounds, healing did not necessarily occur overnight. He was still a very timid horse that had a hard time trusting humans and other animals. It was no easy task for the VetBlue team to apply his dressings. They addressed all of his wound areas, which included his face, neck, and legs, with the VetBlue PVA dressings due to the exposed proud flesh and dead tissue present.
Over the last nine months, however, Moore has seen significant improvement in not just his physical condition, but in his personality as well. “He’s a completely different horse. He used to not even be able to bend his leg; it was all so swollen. You can’t even tell where his wounds used to be in some places. He’s even taken in one of my minis and now they can’t be separated. It’s been amazing to see his transformation,” she said.
Majesty’s story is a bit different, yet remains a major success. His owner, Allyn Maix, found him in July of 2021. He had minimal wounds on his left hind heel, but none of them were anything jaw-dropping. Maix had a vet address the wounds in which Majesty was given two tubes of Ivermectin and topical therapies. Almost three months went by along with the use of several different antibiotics and topical treatments, and the wounds hadn’t gotten any better; in fact they were getting worse. Maix had to consider putting Majesty down at one point because his wounds had gotten so bad.
When Maix was introduced to VetBlue in early September, the VetBlue PVA dressing began wicking Kunkers out of the wound. This was an important indication that Majesty had Pythiosis. Labs were sent and it was confirmed. Slowly but surely, he started to get his leg back. Changing his VetBlue PVA dressing every 1-3 days, the hyper granulation tissue began to break down to expose the wound bed and allow for proper healing to occur. “We should’ve started with VetBlue from the beginning. I’ve been in the equine supplements business a long time, and can guarantee that if we would’ve found VetBlue earlier, we would’ve never gotten to this point. Majesty probably would’ve been healed of his wounds in 90 days. Now we’re on month seven and seeing significant improvements, but because things had gotten so bad before we started VetBlue, it will just take him longer to get back to 100% again” said Maix.
There’s no doubt that watching your horse come full circle will tug on the heartstrings. Maix said, “Due to his wounds when we found him, he’s the cheapest horse I’ve ever owned (price wise), yet he holds one of the biggest spots in my heart. I don’t know where we would be if we didn’t find VetBlue.” VetBlue has given Streaker and Majesty another chance at life, and the same can be true for you and your horse.