DMSO or is there something better?
Today when I showed up at the barn to feed Starship I got a serious scare, one of his front legs is swollen from below the knee all the way down.
I rode him in the arena yesterday and even when cooling down he seemed fine, he walked just as fast and even as he normally does.
We applied DMSO, gave him bute and wrapped him up for the night (he puts weight on his leg so I didn't think it was necessary to get the vet out on Friday evening).
Tomorrow his previous owner (race horse trainer) will come by to have a look at his leg, he has experience with strained and bowed tendons (please don't let it be that) and should he deem it necessary the vet will be called. We're still hoping for a spider or snake bite or anything besides the tendons.
Before tonight I had never heard of DMSO, is it the best "quick fix" or am I better off buying something else tomorrow? I'll be putting together a decent vet-kit to be better prepared in the future and will check out that particular post too, but I want to do right by Starship and get what will help best.
My personal opinion of DMSO is that it should only be used under a vet's direction and/or by horse folks that are very experienced in dealing with serious injuries and have a clear understanding of what DMSO is.
DMSO carries "things" into the blood stream, so use of it has to be done in as sterile conditions as possible. It is not meant for long-term use.
I have only used it once in my entire life of owning horses. It was for a very severe hoof/pastern injury and with the strictest of instructions from my vet. That was three years ago and I still have nearly 3/4 of an 8 ounce bottle left in the cupboard.
That all being said, I also have a jar of people DMSO at the house. I buy it at the old folks health food store and it is in gel form.
I only use it in the winter when it's cold and my old joints start locking up. And then only after a bath and my skin is clean.
The other DMSO option also came from a vet:
In a 32 ounce bottle of Absorbine, add a teaspoon of DMSO and several drops of wintergreen. Shake well before using and apply sparingly NOT liberally :)
That is just my opinion. I have spent the bulk of my life wearing a "No Fear" t-shirt, but there are some things I approach with caution --- DMSO is one of them :D
DMSO is not a cure in itself, but a solvent. It's properties allow it to carry whatever it is mixed with (and what ever is in the air) into the blood stream. I'm sure he's fine for one night, but there is probably something better out there... :)
DMSO was not good to my horse I used it for a splint because a vet told me to but I gave up on it because after the first few nights my horse wouldn't let me near his legs with the bottle.
If your horse isn't lame I'd try a sweat wrap, it always works on my horse, my preferred sweating agent is furazone but it's known to cause cancer in mice so wear gloves when you put it on. Then cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap and a stable bandage over it and you're set. I think it's worked 100% of the time to bring down swelling on my horse.
That's exactly what we did, we put a sweat wrap on him, but we mixed in DMSO with the furazone.
Earlier this evening I removed the wrap and hosed his leg down for about ten minutes and I saw most of the swelling had gone down except for one spot where I found a little wound. Most likely he kicked himself while we were riding and I had not put on sportsboots that time (that'll teach me!). Just to make sure we get all the bad stuff out of there I put another sweat wrap on for tonight and he's got himself at least a weeklong vacation, but most likely he'll be just fine.
I will never ride without boots ever again!
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