Monday, March 16, 2009

The Big Slough Off!?

Aw, look who was at the gate waiting for me on Friday! And I thought treating this sarcoid was going to cause issues for me and my horse.....hardly the case! He's been in heaven. After all, every time he gets sarcoid meds put on, he's eating carrots, cookies, or his grain. What's not to like about that? A positive association, for sure!

As you can see from this picture, the bump had been oozing last week. The hair underneath the bump, towards the halter ring, was pretty matted with goo that had been draining. Per the vet's instructions, I was to keep applying the Xxterra for a few more days, trying to get this thing to react a little more.

The weather turned Saturday. It was wet, but the clouds took a break when I arrived. My Boy was looking a bit like a drowned rat. His fur was curled and damp and coated in dirt and shavings from his sleepover in his turnout shed. My handsome boy was looking a bit disheveled!

This time, the bump was definitely scabby and oozing. I could actually lift the corner of it a tiny bit (blech) and see more goo brewing underneath. It wasn't hanging there, and I wasn't going to pull it off, but I could tell that it was start to "lift up."

The Painted Creek Farm gets it's name from a little creek that runs between the house and the horse pastures. It only runs fall-spring, usually drying up in the summer. Every time I finish with my horse and leave the pastures and head towards the lawn and garage, I always stop and rinse my boots in the creek. It works great!

Saturday night, about 5 hours after I treated My Boy, I get an email from Paint Girl. She said that when her cowboy fed the horses their dinner, My Boy's matted bump was gone! It was bloody and raw. What? That was fast! I was just there 4 hours previously! Maybe he'd rubbed it off on a tree, or while rolling? Regardless, I have no pictures of the most gory part of all. Can you believe it? Sorry to let down all of you gore fans!

I called Paint Girl's cowboy on Sunday morning.

"So, I hear that My Boy's bump thing came off? Was it like, raw flesh underneath?"


"So, it was kind of bloody, but it was pink, like a skin wound?"


Paint Girl's cowboy is a man of few words.

I woke up Sunday to a wet snowy start to the day. Luckily by mid-day, a sharp and gusty wind had blown the rain away so I drove to the Painted Creek. Blue peeked out of the low, dark clouds as they rolled by in the sky. I stopped at the farm store to pick up some necessities.

I bought some Chicago screws, supplement (grain), dewormer, and randomly tossed in a Farm & Ranch Living magazine. When I got to the Painted Creek and checked out the bump myself, I noticed it had kind of scabbed over, but it was still a little bloody and gooey, although dry.

It was not as scary looking as I thought it might be, judging from the bloody flesh description I'd gotten from the cowboy. I wasn't sure if I was to apply more Xxterra, the vet was not taking calls this weekend and the answering service took my number for the on-call vet, who didn't get back to me. I went ahead and put on another coat as it didn't appear to be raw flesh and wasn't bothering him. I'm not sure if it has completely sloughed, or, is still in the sloughing phase?

There does appear to be a bit of a "crater" effect going on, so I am hoping this did the trick.
This medication certainly did (or is doing) what it is supposed to, it took about 5 days and it didn't inflame as bad as I heard it might. I will talk to the vet tomorrow but I have a feeling at this point we'll just let it rest and heal up. For those of you experienced with Xxterra, what is the next phase? Does it just scab and heal and flake off, and will the hair grow back?

After applying the medication I groomed My Boy then went to check the bedding in his shed.

My Boy licking his bucket clean as I picked out his run-in shed.

Pony Girl, stop that cleaning, get back here, and gimme me a refill, will ya?

So, are you tired of sarcoid pictures yet?

I'm ready to get back to some sense of normalcy with my horse. I haven't worked him since this whole sarcoid treatment started, partially due to that, and partially due to weather. Next Saturday we have the farrier visit so he'll have tender hooves for a day. I feel like I'll never be back in the saddle again!


  1. Sounds like he is healing from what the Vet told you to look for! What a relief huh? He is a beautiful App...I had always heard they are a bit high strung are they? I've never had the joy of knowing any Apps, but I've always thought they were some of the most beautiful horses! What do you do to work him? We dont currently have a round pen and I'm wracking my brain to figure out how to work mine without far I just feel like I NEED a round pen with soft soil and sand....any ideas?

  2. PG, that WAS fast. And thanks to your great posting, I now know what one looks like and won't panic if one of my horses gets one.

    Kyfarmlife, I didn't have a RP for a long time. I suck at longeing, so my trainer taught me to drive him with long lines. I tacked him up like normal but used long lines instead of reins. I think mine are 30 ft, but 20 ft. would be better so you don't have so much excess to contend with. Bring them back thru the stirrups. Stand far enough behind that you are out of kick range. Watch your lines so you don't loop yourself. Once you get the feel of it, you can shorten one of the lines (this will be your inside line), while allowing the other one to loop around his butt (outside line). Keep that outside line above his hocks. This will get him going in a circle.

    Another thing you can do is obstacles, which they seem to LOVE. I just used some wooden fence posts on the ground about 15 ft apart. Depending on how many you have, you can make some cool configurations with them. Traffic cones, barrels -- use your imagination.

    I wouldn't say Apps are high strung, but SOME can have what we lovingly refer to as Appytude. PGs and my Appy boy can be pills when they want to.

  3. Good news , I wondered if it might do something like that .Let us know what the vet says

  4. My experience with treating a sarcoid - it was somewhat bigger than your boy's, and much more bumpy, was that the sarcoid part sloughs off, leaving behind normal tissue that looks hairless but not particularly raw - pretty much what I think you're seeing. Then, after a while, the skin looks like the surrounding skin and hair starts to grow back in. I'm sure this doesn't happen in all cases, but it did for our mare (luckily, as her sarcoid was in a spot on her neck - directly over her carotid artery - that was otherwise difficult to treat).

  5. It looks like you tended it well. We'll all be back in the saddle before long!

  6. If the hair grows back, let us know. I'll switch from Rogaine to Xxterra in a New York minute! LOL

    Garlic Man
    Jacksboro, TX

  7. I bet it did get itchy for him--and he probably did rub it off, but it sure is healing well with the new scab.

  8. sometimes it gets uglier before it gets better... onward and upward

  9. PG, hang in've done a great job with treating your guy! Happier days are ahead of you as far as the riding has been a LONG winter for a lot of us! This too shall pass. It was great just getting out of dodge for the day! KyFarm, my Appy was as calm as they come as a kid and he wasn't a dead head either! They usually have very special personalities....can't explain it!

  10. For me, sloughing meant no hair or skin, and a little moistness from lymph fluids, but no oozing. It takes a while, but the skin and hair do grow back, unless the original blemish was advanced enough at the time of treatment to prevent the hair from growing back, which was the case with melanomas.

  11. Yay- I am glad the bump is oozing it's stuff out. It's an ugly process but in my experience that is how it is going.

  12. Great job on treating your boy! I know it's hard for you to get there during the week, and then the weather keeps playing with you. As soon as you think you're getting a break, it SNOWS! I am too spoiled now days, don't think I could handle a PNW winter!

  13. We are very happy your boy is getting better and the meds seem to work. I will keep you posted this week on how it looks.
    Kyfarmlife- I didn't have an arena for 3 years and had to longe and ride on a flat piece of land I have with no fence. It was very challenging especially with 2 horses that were very greenbroke. But we got through it. My pasture wasn't level enough to do any type of riding or longing.
    The 2 Appys I had as a teenager were very mellow and laid back. Never have had a high strung one! One was extremely lazy and the other was my show horse so she had alot of training.

  14. I think that what I've heard about Apps is all wrong!!! LOL Actually the way I see it any breed can be rank! I know they are beauties!
    Thanks for all the suggestions on ground work with no round pen! That does really help me out....not to find some level ground, get my babes on out there working!

  15. Looks better to me but what would I know!!!

    I think I may have ALMOST had enough oozy pics... at least when I am having a coffee and cinnamon roll (not that I am... but if I WERE!).

    CAn I ask Paint Girl if her blog is open to newcomers - couldn't get in the other day when I tried??

  16. {BB}~ Paint Girl's blog is private and open to family members only. I have been trying to convince her to start a new, public blog, but she is up in the air. I'll be the first to let y'all know if she changes her mind! ;)

  17. It seems like all I have been doing is doctoring up animals, too! First the goat, now our other horse with a sinus cyst that has to be drained (talk about yucky!). I feel your pain. :)
    About the ball from my Piper blog post...I don't know where they bought it. But I will ask and if I find something out, I'll let you know. Piper had a "ball" (ha - pun intended) playing with it and chasing after it.

  18. It looks like it is healing up really well. If it is sort of crater-ish right now, I would imagine it will fill in once the healing is complete. Hope you get to ride again soon -- we are going to try to get some ground work in tomorrow afternoon (they are predicting 70 degrees) and I plan to ride Divna bareback. I haven't done that in a while. Keep us posted on the progress of the bump!


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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