donkey with severe muzzle laceration (graphic photo)

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donkeymom

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just wanted to share the battle i have been facing for months with bo, my 3 year old mini donkey. he cut his lip this past february, not sure on what - a chunk out of it actually, and i tried treating it with blue kote. the wound was not healing and getting wider - vet came and i she told me to use granulex spray and clean the wound every day. She also gave me some type of spray that helps with grow skin. She told me to use that along with antibiotics and bute and that if it didn't work we could suture it. Well it got even worse and to the point where i could not even get near his face ( by now half his lip is gone) So she comes back like 2 months later and says we have to suture because it is sooo bad now it won't heal on its own. THere is sooo much proud flesh. she cuts his face more to get clean skin to suture - a little deformed but who cares as long as he gets better. He wears a grazing muzzle immediatley after surgery so that he can't itch it anymore. Next day 90 degree weather - he blows his stitches out! Vet says keep muzzle on him for a month and hopefully it will keep him from itching it and it will heal. Nope - flys are terrible and the wound is HUGE now and oozing. Now we are in the process of doing a biopsy. She told me it would take 7-10 days for the results and its already been 11 business days and she has not heard from the pathologist. She is not charging me for her services just the meds i need. I just bought Equaide and am going to give it a shot - this is a last resort because my husband says we should put him down. The vet is willing to try anything at this point also. I don't want anymore surgery for him - he wont have a muzzle left! I wanted to share this with all you because i have been able to find nothing on the internet like this wound. Please share it with others - if nothing else comes of this and i have to put him down - i would like others to be aware of what can happen and hopefully someone somewhere will have an answer to fix it. I am going to continue to document his progress if any on equaide and and all the other products and treatments i do. Hopefully in the future this may help someone.

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drmatthewtaylor

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I feel so sorry for you and your donkey.

Due respect to your Vet, but after >6 months of care and getting this result it is clearly time to refer. I appreciate her desire to help for free and that may sound appealing to you, but none of us are experts in everything (myself included) and its time to involve a wound specialist. Most people worry about what it will all cost at the end, I would encourage you to think of it as one appointment to get more information. After the appointment you can decide what course of action to take based on an expert's opinion.

I would not hazard a guess from afar about treatment, but I will go over some of the things that happened here to help provide information. Please understand my intent is to inform, not find fault or place blame.

1)Always call your Vet before providing any nursing care. Suturing the laceration at the time of the accident would have been a better starting point for your Vet rather than an already failing wound healing.

2)Odds are the biopsy will yield 'granulation tissue' which is proud flesh. Granulation tissue becomes exuberant when it is irritated. Irritants include; topically applied powders/salves/sprays, movement (what moves more than a equine's nose?), infection, bugs. I never use Granulex as it is intended to be irritating, I'm sure your Vet has had success past with it, but in this case I think it likely caused more problems.

Given the young age of this individual I think the likelihood this can be reasonably healed is quite good, unfortunately the path to healing will be long and may not be cheap.

Good Luck to you both!

Dr. Taylor
 

chandab

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Aw, poor little guy. Hope you are able to get the help and/or meds he needs to heal. Which like Dr Taylor said may very well take seeing another vet. [i didn't have but one vet uptil 18 months ago, then he retired, but a gal took over his practice and about the same time another vet opened a practice in another nearby town, I've used both these vets and like them both very much. And, of course, my horses were happy to abliged the new vets and make sure I needed to call each of them more than once.]

I know you've already tried lots of things with the help of your vet, but I've always been very happy with Schreiner's Herbal solution for healing wounds.

http://www.schreiners.com/ You might be able to find it from vet catalogs, but I know you can buy direct from the company.
 

Margo_C-T

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The warning was certainly correct.

With all due respect, I strongly feel, after 62 years experience in caring for equine of all sorts(I have owned a mini donkey and a mule, along with numerous horses), that the best lessons to be learned from this would be: NOT TO USE OTC medications, meant for minor cuts and scratches, on major, gaping laceration wounds,unless a well-qualified equine vet directs you to, and to have such a wound seen IMMEDIATELY by such a well-qualified vet. No, I am NOT a vet, but I have learned much in my many years with equines. I am NOT well-off financially,and I do much of the health care of my own, but I also fully recognize that my trusted, knowledgable equine veterinarian will be my FIRST STOP in the case of ANY serious laceration/penetrating wound.

My heart goes out to the little donkey; equines are generally fairly stoic, but that has to be painful. My sincere wishes for the best outcome for him.

Margo
 

drmatthewtaylor

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Surprisingly, granulation tissue isn't painful. It has no nerves, but the surface infection does cause it to be itchy.

Dr. Taylor
 

donkeymom

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thank you so much for your input and i completely agree. She has contacted another vet from a larger city that treats wounds like this. He recommended doing the biopsy first before any course of action. Today she stopped to give me more antibiotics and said she will call 1st thing tuesday morning to find out about his diagnosis. I kinda figure it will come back as just proud flesh ( i hope) and not cancer.

I have been applying equaide since friday and it does seem to be drying the wound. I wash the wound every day with a surgical soap and apply the equaide and then put his grazing muzzle on. The flys have been terrible and about the only thing that works keeping them away is Vick;s vapor rub. I apply it to his legs and around his nose and chin and halter and muzzle ( fly spray and powders suck). I .have not used the granulex in months, i actually didn't use it a whole lot because i was worried about him licking it. I was just spraying it with Vetercyin (??) after i cleaned his wound but i have stopped since using equaide. my hope is that this product will get ridof the proud flesh and hopefully grow healthy tissue. I know that this will not happen overnight - i've already been at this for months now and we have worked it into a routine . My sister also works at another vet clinic so i have help from there to as far as their opinions, contacts, discounts on meds., etc. He is such a good boy, very gentle, loving and not a mean bone in his body. I will continue to post on his progression or otherwise. when all else fails, pray.
 

donkeymom

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the biopsy results are in. No cancer, no parasitic infection or infection otherwise. She said that it was chronic allergic tissue. she would like me to ship him to see another vet for a consult to perform more surgery on his face. At this point i do not want anymore of his face to be cut. This was a cut that started as only an inch wide to 2 inches wide when the vet did surgery the first time and this is what i am left with since surgery? I don't think so, besides if this wound is itchy what is going to prevent him from rubbing it again - how is surgery going to be any better than the last time? Nope. She also said we could try steroids to help with the itch - considering that but will have to take him off bute ( and i was told from others that bute helps with the itch). I am continuing to use equiade everyday and putting his grazing muzzle on after applying it. I hope it not just wishful thinking but it looks like some of the swelling has gone down. I will take a picture on Friday because it will be a week since using it and post the results.
 

drmatthewtaylor

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We General Practitioners do a poor job of explaining referrals. Generally we tell Clients what the Specialist is going to do and even how much its going to cost before the Specialist has even seen it once.

Instead what we should do is simply present the idea that we are not the experts in all areas and this case has graduated to the expert level. An appointment with a Specialist has some cost, but it won't be thousands of dollars up front. Clients with difficult cases would be better served to simply listen to a Specialist's opinion and then make an informed decision.

I'm sorry we General Practitioners aren't better at referring and I hope you reconsider taking your donkey to a Specialist.

Dr. Taylor
 

Norah

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Maybe the best lesson learned from this horrible exoierence you have had is that all cuts, no matter how minor need to be checked by a vet within the first few days. A 1 inch cut for me would need to be stitched ... therefore a vet would have come out the same day ..I would expect healing to begin within the next 3 days, if not i would then seek a more skilled vet .. I think many of us think we can self medicate our horses with topical solutions ...I do know a woman whos horse cut his fetlock on a wire fence, she self treated the wound , and chose not to get a vet involved to save the money...in the end the horse suffered for over 2 months before it was finally euthanized , costing thousands of dollars.Cuts can get way out of control in as fast as a day or 2, IMO , lesson I learned by your donkey, dont take anything too lightly.... a minor can become major very quickly . Best wishes , and keep us posted on the outcome , I really hope this is under control soom : (
 

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