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BUtting heads with BO...

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  • BUtting heads with BO...

    So my 22 yo mare has melanomas. She has a lot of them, and they do ulcerate rather often. We have tried the cimetadine, had her seen at Ohio State, etc. We have a treatment plan in place that works wel for her, being that the cimetadine did not have an impact.

    When one of them ulcerates, we flush the whole area with saline, pat dry, and apply desitin. With this plan of action, they dry up and heal within 5-7 days. She's only uncomfortable for 1-2 days. She is retired on a private farm, and since I can't be there everyday, the BO often finds them, and treats them. Which is nice, BUT she won't use the deisitin. She insists on using a gel based antibacterial (like furazone) which makes it more painful and takes longer to heal.

    On numerous occasions, I mean we are talking once every 2 weeks, at least, for the last year, I have tried to explain to her why it has to be done with desitin, and why we do it the way that we do. We flush it to make sure the area is clean, then the desitin dries it up and makes it heal, making her more comfortable, and when done consistently, it takes only a few days.

    So again I get an email today that one ulcerated last night, and she cleaned it up and put furazone on it, since it's an open wound. I am at my wits end. I don't know what else I can do or say to get this to sink in. Yes I know it's good intentions, BUT it leads to an ulceration that lasts 2+ weeks, and my mare is sore and miserable.

    I have been taking a calm, educational approach, trying to explain what the melanomas are, why they ulcerate, why the doctors at OSU and I have been using this treatment method for the last 5 years... and I'm hitting a brick wall. What else can I do to get my point across??
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

  • #2
    Can you have your vet talk to her or write out the instructions for you to give her?
    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
    Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.


    • #3
      What a frustrating situation. I feel for you.

      Do you have written discharge or treatment instructions from OSU? Or can you have OSU or another vet write them up, specifically with a line about using Desitin and no other topicals? Maybe she'll be more inclined to follow the treatment protocol if she has an "official" hard copy.

      At least you can be very thankful you have a BO who's attentive to your horse.
      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


      • #4
        how frustrating, I hate furazone. I was told a long time ago to use gloves when applying it because it is carcenagenic- which turned me off to it forever.

        I think it's time to be a little firmer with BO. Start with thank you for caring for my horse, do you remember when we had the conversation the last time this happened and I explained why we must use desitin?

        Wait for BO reaction.

        I truly appreciate you caring for my horse, however, by applying Furazone you are making the situation worse. If you can't use the desitin when this happens, perhaps just a heads up to me so that I can properly care for the melanoma and avoid the further problems the furazone is causing.

        Also- can you put a note on the stall door- sometimes stalls have charts. If so do it when the BO is there.


        • #5
          How hard for you and your horse.

          Have the vet write up the instructions and bring the to the barn with ample supplies. I would hand them over to the BO with a big smile and a small thank you gift for all the care she is giving your horse.

          It's all you can do short of moving to new digs

          Best wishes to you all!
          "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


          • #6
            I was just thinking... if you haven't done so already, next time you visit, drop off a boat load of desitin. Make sure she has plenty of it conveniently located. If she's using your furazone, take it home with you so there's no temptation.

            Sometimes folks have the best of intentions, but get hung up on a favorite product out of habit or convenience.

            ETA: I was typing while Woodland was posting. Sorry to repeat!
            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


            • #7
              We use desitin on our 24 year old gray that has ulcerating melanomas but only on the skin below the drainage. It helps protect the skin and keeps him from getting scald. Our vet told us to use the desitin, but he never mentioned using it on the ulceration itself. I'm guessing yours aren't ulcerating as bad as ours - because there is no way I'd want to use the desitin on it. We leave them open to drain - the desitin would trap the moisture I would think? Granted, when Rocky's burst, it's huge and the drainage is insane. But even on the smaller ones that do heal up in a few days I couldn't imagine using the desitin.

              That said - we don't use anything topical on the melanomas themselves. They aren't a wound, they are a tumor, and the toxins need to drain and not go into the body. There is a risk of infection from the tumors if they can't drain ... and that needs to be treated. Right now we are fighting an anaerobic infection with Rocky because one of the tumors drained internally. Luckily it came to the surface and abscessed and drained so we knew it or it would have killed him.

              However, you are in a tough spot since your BO is willing to do the treatment for you. If your vets say you should use desitin, I'd start with getting a treatment plan in writing from them. You can try explaining that an ulcerating melanoma is NOT a wound that needs to be treated with furazone, but it sounds like you've tried that. I would say your only other option is to treat them yourself. That's what I do - I would never expect our barn owner to clean his melanomas, and already feel bad that she has to feed him an extra bran mash every morning right now, even though I set it up at night and set up his antibiotics. Your barn owner is going above and beyond by treating his melanomas so regularly, but if you aren't happy with the care and she's just not willing to use what you use then I see no other option than doing it yourself. I'd tell her as he is getting older you want to keep a closer eye on the melanomas and the ulcerations and to give you call when she sees one so that you can come out and treat it.
              If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
              ~ Maya Angelou


              • #8
                If you hadn't already had the conversation, I'd put the desitin in a plain container with vet-written instructions indicating it's a prescription.

                In any case, I think it's just time to get much firmer. Make sure there's a good supply of desitin on hand, mark it clearly, and maybe have the vet talk to her.
                "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                My CANTER blog.


                • #9
                  So...how about this....

                  Could vet have the pharmacy make up a tube of stuff that is desitin like? Looks all official?

                  I have a few creams that are compounded by the pharmacy for my horse (sarcoids) and it sure looks nice and official. Bet they could put some damned desitin in an official looking tube.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                  • #10
                    Has she ever read the back label of Furazone?

                    "Carcinogenesis: Nitrofurazone, The Active Ingredient Of Furazone Ointment Has Been Shown To Produce Mammary Tumors In Rats And Ovarian Tumors In Mice. Some People May Be Hypersensitive To This Product. Either Wear Gloves When Applying, Or Wash Hands Afterwards."

                    Because that certainly turned me off from using it!

                    If it does that to mice who knows what it could do to us or even our horses. There are far safer products on the market.


                    • #11
                      Not suggesting this is at all appropriate, just playing devil's advocate here, but is there any chance at all that the BO is trying to tell you she doesn't want the added responsibility of this care? Is it contracted for? Are you paying extra for it?

                      If it's contracted care and you're paying for it, and she's just being dense or a butthead, then move the horse.

                      If it's extra, non-contracted care, then do it yourself or contract with someone who will do it properly.


                      • Original Poster

                        Giving her the vets instructions...so simple I'm embarassed for not thinking of that. Thankfully, I still have the email I got after the consult with complete instructions, so I forwarded it to her. Hopefully that will straighten things out.

                        Its not a matter of her not doing the care. If she didn't want to do it, she wouldn't do anything, not go out of her way to clean it and put her choice of topical on it. Of course, I supposed it's possible, and I'll bring it up again tonight. She has always said that she doens't mind the extra health things... and I have always told her that I can come out and do it everyday. When she has needed extra care, since she won't accept financial extras, I always bake, or do extra chores, etc. To show my appreciation.

                        I don't EXPECT the care to be given, she offers. I really think it was just not understanding my reasoning, and after reading the vets email again, I probably wasn't explaining it clear enough. I've been at this for the last 5 years, and it's second nature to me now. I forgot how I felt in the beginning, as it is rather overwhelming. Tonight when I see her, I'll again offer to come out everyday and take care of it, if she'd rather not.

                        So we'll see if the further education helps. I love this woman to death, and this is the only single issue we have ever butted heads on. She takes perfect care of my girl and the farm is a dream.

                        Thanks for the replies! Hopefully this works.
                        Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                        • #13
                          Not sure this is the case but I cannot stand or use desitin. I cannot even get close to an animal or human that has it on. I am highly allergic to the fragrance they put in it.
                          I can use any other zinc oxide that does not have an fragrance to it.

                          Maybe the barn owner has a problem with the smell also, maybe without even realizing it.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Woodland View Post
                            How hard for you and your horse.

                            Have the vet write up the instructions and bring the to the barn with ample supplies. I would hand them over to the BO with a big smile and a small thank you gift for all the care she is giving your horse.
                            AMEN! As a BO, I certainly do everything in my power to accomodate care requests coming from a vet. Perhaps this BO doesn't realize that the vet is the one behind the Desitin?
                            JB-Infinity Farm


                            • Original Poster


                              Well I forwarded on the email I got from the oncologist that did our consult and recommended the desitin treatment. It goes into great detail about what the ulcerations are, why it happens, and why you shouldn't treat them like a "wound" but as specifically for what they are.

                              She was really grateful and said she had no idea why the desitin was so important and also didn't know anything about how the melanomas worked, but will definitely use the desitin going forward.

                              She was seeing them as open wounds, and that's why she was using her other wound cream. (I also made her read the label on furazone as I gave it up years ago, and she promptly tossed it in the trash can.)

                              So thankfully, it was as I was hoping, just a lack of education/understanding ont he issue, and now all is right in the world again. My girl's bottom will FINALLY clear up again. It was the difference in treatments that was prolonging all this. Now that we are ont he same page, we can get it cleared up and no one will have to get under her tail on a regular basis anymore
                              Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                              • #16
                                Hey, good for you! Glad to hear it was only a lack of understanding/communication. Jingles for a speedy recovery of your girl's bottom!


                                • #17
                                  Great! What a good ending for all involved - no drama, just education, and your horse will get the treatment she needs. Good job!
                                  If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                                  ~ Maya Angelou