"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Lily's Leg, A Novel: Chapter 2, The Bandage Materials Hunt

Friday, July 10

I want to note that while I could have stocked up on bandage materials at work before Lily's discharge, I chose not to because I wasn't sure what I would need and I didn't want to spend unnecessarily. 

HA. Hahahaha...*sob*

Well, on Friday I got up first thing and figured I would go to Southern States in Mt. Airy (about 20 min away on the south side of Frederick but also about 20 min from the barn) to get my bandage supplies.

Things I needed:
  • Telfa pads (nonstick gauze pads with the shiny covering, like what's inside a band-aid. There are generic ones available, but the popular brand is Telfa. They are also used in human medicine.)
  • Kling gauze aka rolled stretchy gauze, or brown gauze
  • Vetrap
  • Elastikon (there should be a black market for this...seriously)
  • Sheet cotton
  • Betadine Scrub
  • Large square gauze - 1 pack
Well. I found the Vetrap, the cotton, gauze squares, generic iodine surgical scrub and...nothing else. I bought a giant bag of Stud Muffins and I don't remember what else. There is a tack shop called Stablemates less 5 minutes away. So I stopped by there. The MOST important 2 things I needed were the Elastikon and the Telfa pads.

Stablemates had Elastikon!

Except they only had 1 roll of it left IN THE ENTIRE STORE. 1 ROLL! And ONE SINGLE ROLL is $9. Yup, it is THE MOST EXPENSIVE of the bandage material stuff (I knew that going in though). Because the stuff is magikal and lined in gold. 

As luck would have it, they had a sale going on that day and I got 20% off on it. Yay!

I needed more though. I was estimating one roll of Elastikon per bandage change. So I needed 2-3 more rolls. 

There is a little store in Jefferson MD, right by the stallion farm, where I've been buying the girls' grain. I wondered if they would have what I was needing...But it is on the OTHER side of Frederick (north), it was a weekday (traffic) and I was trying to get to the barn by 2:30 before stall board turnout because I wanted to ace Lily before the other horses went out. It was already 1:00 pm. 

So I stopped by Tractor Supply, which is maybe another 10 minutes down the road. Nothing. They had NOTHING. I looked and looked and paced the aisles thinking maybe I was missing something. Nope: didn't have Elastikon. 

By this point I was starting to get quite agitated. This was supposed to be a simple mission and it was turning out to be so much more complicated than originally thought and started beating myself up over not just getting the materials from New Bolton so I could have them and not have to go through this freaking mission.

I stopped by a Weiss supermarket next to Tractor Supply looking for the goddamn Telfas. Nope, no Telfas. I was leaving the shopping plaza, when I realized on the way out that there is a CVS in that plaza, turned around, looked for parking again (I was in the Beast, which means parking in a small country shopping mall can be a mission all by itself) and ran into CVS...YES they had the Telfa pads! Generic and ON SALE! 2 boxes of 10 for $8. I bought 4 boxes. 

You also want some of these in your equine and human first aid kits. They are da bomb and are great for improvised band-aids on animals and people.
By this point I was almost running late to get back to the barn and my levels of agitation were skyrocketing: I was livid at myself by this point. I figured fuck it with the Elastikon; I had enough for today. I ordered a case of 6 on Amazon for $26 that would arrive on Sunday (because Prime shipping rocks!)

I ultimately was able to make it to the barn right on time and as luck would have it, the young man that does afternoon turnout was late on this day so I had enough time to take Lily into the wash stall and change her bandage. The leg looked AWESOME. Just a small amount of localized swelling and she was very comfortable on it: no lameness at all. I figured this would all just be a breeze from now on. 

Nice, tight leg. The wound at the back of the leg looks goopy because of the SSD.

Close up.

Not actually touching the leg because no gloves: I've been washing my hands and wearing gloves to do everything with this leg, with glove changes any time I touch something dirty. But just pointing at the drain hole: this is where the drain was inserted into her leg to allow any fluid build up from inside the leg to exit and thus prevent an abscess from forming.
Healing nicely.
Swelling very localized to the wound itself. I was thrilled.

And my bag full of minocycline.

SSD applied to wounds, which conveniently makes them temporarily sticky for the Telfa pads.

Rolled cotton layer.
I asked her to weight the leg while applying; she kept wanting to rest the leg. She has since come to understand that anytime I'm messing with the leg, she is to weight it. She's really good like that.
No kling/brown gauze because I never could find it. But that's okay.

Finished bandage with blue Vetrap and Elastikon top and bottom to seal it.

And maybe I should just expect the worst from now on like I normally do because my mental exercises in positivity just mean that I fall that much harder when things go wrong anyway. 

I then picked her stall and aced her right as the other horses were being turned out. She screamed and paced a while and then it kicked in...but she was really lackadaisical about her food and most of her hay from the evening before was still untouched. I swore she had dropped more weight overnight. I was told she had taken forever to eat her grain that morning too. I gave her a dose of UlcerGard and almost forgot to give her her minocycline. I syringed it to her and she managed to spit at least half of it all over me. Fun. And worry about her not getting enough antibiotic. This was before I started adding molasses to the mix: the molasses made her far more receptive to these dosings.

After this I tried taking her out to hand graze but she wanted to gawk at the other horses and walk in circles around me, so back she went into the stall. I gave her alfalfa as a last resort (because it tends to get her jacked up when she is confined) and she munched on that. Whatever. At least she was eating SOMETHING.

I took Gracie up to the round pen and we had a really wonderful session at liberty. The first time she has offered up to do the things we had been practicing in spring, but without any lead rope as an aid. It was so so so awesome. I didn't ride; I didn't feel like it. The groundwork was very relaxing though.

Good mare

One week later, I have started having dreams of doing bandage changes on Lily and not having the right/enough materials...


  1. TSC is a huge disappointment when it comes to equine products. At least to me it is. They need to sell less dog food and more "farm related". I couldn't even buy a set of hoof testers yesterday. So I'm feeling your pain. And am also jealous you found rolled cotton. Might need to try CVS!

    1. Yeah, with this trip I remembered why I never go to TSC! Southern States is definitely far superior when it comes to the horse stuff. Basically all they were missing were the Telfas and the Elastikon. :)

  2. A friend of mine has a horse who had to have a tumor removed from her hoof a few years ago and I remember all the crazy supplies she needed. I think she ended up using CVS and Amazon for just about everything too because of the same problems you had. I'm so glad Lily is doing OK and that you were able to get what you needed:)

  3. Ugh that search for materials sounds super stressful!! Fingers crossed you'll be able to avoid it in the future !!

    1. I think we *might* just be set until this whole ordeal is over! *knocks on wood*

  4. If you have walgreens there tbey have awesome off brand brown stick gauze. I used that when Houston hurt himself - lifesaver.

    1. I will definitely be checking out Walgreens! Thank you for the tip, HIllary! :)

  5. I'm not gonna say where I got most of my supplies, but the stuff I wasn't gifted, I actually got at Wal-Mart. They've got non-stick pads and had wrap-gauze, but the human Vetwrap (Coban or something?) was still pricier than employee discount.

    I don't miss it. :)

    1. Hahaha I'm sure you don't. ;) Walmart...why didn't I think of that? Yeah, the human version of Vetrap is more expensive and it doesn't stick as well.