|Summer sore & swelling|
Unlike the last two winters, when we broke record after record with extreme cold, the winter of 2011-2012 was relatively mild. So mild, that in April, I made a comment about how nice it was that we were actually having a spring in Florida, rather than going straight from winter to summer...then I realized that pretty much all of our winter was really just an early spring!
I like the cold and I really felt cheated that we didn't have too many cold days. I hate our summer and the winter is a much needed reprieve for my body and soul. And in nature, the cold is beneficial in that it kills off many of the fly, mosquito, no-see-ums, fleas and tick populations.
A mild winter means that the bug population is going to be especially wicked this year. Despite using both Frontline and Preventic tick collars, we are finding little ticks on our dogs. The fly population at the barn is horrendous. Now that we seem to be getting back to our daily deluge of afternoon storms, I am sure the mosquito population will be making the news with West Nile Fever, and EEE cases.
These all spell trouble for Tucker and his allergies. For the last 2 years, I have managed to micro-manage his skin issues, reducing his "allergy season" from 6-7 months to about 6-8 weeks. Not perfect, but pretty damn good. And he does look good. Other than some sores on his face, which would be non-existent if he would leave the fly mask on, and some sores that pop up from time to time on the mid-line, overall, he is doing pretty well, especially compared to years past:
The Hilton Herbs Bye Bye Itch lotion and supplement are still working its magic. His tail looks amazing and the hives are still gone. We flip flop on the mid-line though. It definitely is not as bad as has gotten.
He still gets the crusty sores on his legs, like the one which turned into the habronema from hell. They heal in a day or 2. But one did not, and for the last month, I have been doing everything possible to keep it from turning into another habronema. This week it really got out of control. Just like before, it would start to heal, then Tucker would lose the fly boot, the flies get at it, he rubs it and then it is a bloody mess.
Heather, my Cavalor feed rep, saw photos I posted on facebook and was so kind to come to my barn that evening, bringing with her lots of goodies from Kentucky Horse Wear, which is another company she reps. She had been wanting to come by and see how their products fit on Tucker anyhow, and this provided the perfect opportunity.
My absolute favorite product is the tendon grip: http://legacyequestrianoutfitters.com/store/products/KENTUCKY-TENDON-GRIP.html
It is a cotton, elasticated tubular bandage, which comes in a 5 yard roll. You cut it to the length you desire and pull it on over the horse's hoof. It goes on about as easy as a pull on bell boot, which means that a bit of an effort is needed, especially over a hoof Tucker's size, but it was pretty quick to pull on. Once over the hoof, pull it up high and then pull it down over the leg.
Heather also left these:
Bettina Hoy developed these. I used them on Tucker over the grips, while in his stall for the day. They are like a stable bandage, but are applied like a shipping boot. They are very well made, the only suggestion I would make would be to make the velcro longer for the big fellas! There seemed to be a bit of reduction in the swelling from the cellulitis that the sore has caused. However, his legs were a bit hot, as any stable bandages would cause this time of year. I would not hesitate to use them again, but in the heat, would not leave them on all day.
So after trying the grips, I have to say, these are a product that no tack room should be without. They have so many purposes! I have already shown them to my vet and one of his techs, as well as mentioned them to a local tack store owner.
Now if only someone would invent a fly mask that stays on!