Wound won't heal

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SmalltimeOkie

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So I made a mistake and bought a 6 mo. angus heifer calf at auction with a wound on her leg. I didn't notice the wound when I bought her and yes, I should have done my due diligence and noticed the wound beforehand.

I'll grab some pictures next time I Dr. it. The wound is on her lower right leg between ankle joint and her knee. It looks like she got it caught up in some wire and sliced it badly. It was all swollen, infected, and oozing puss when I got her. We gave her some LA 300, opened up some of the infected area to drain the puss, flushed everything with saline solution, sprayed it with vetericyn, then packed it with a sugar and iodine poultice and wrapped it with the flexible, self adhesive wrap. I did that daily for about a week and it seemed to improve so I stopped wrapping it to let it dry out, but we still sprayed it with vetericyn twice a day. Did that for a couple weeks.

A few days ago she started limping on it really badly again and it started to ooze puss again. So I scrubbed it inside and out with epsom salts and my hand, flushed everything with saline, gave her another LA 300 shot, and I'm back to putting a sugar and iodine poultice on it once a day and keeping it wrapped.

It is still has puss every time I clean it, and the wound does not appear to be healing. It has these two what look like scar tissue lumps that have grown on either side of the slice, but the cavity is still probably two inches wide and an inch or so deep.

Does anybody have any ideas/suggestions?
 
Short of taking her to the vet it sounds like you have or are doing all you can do . I might give her a stronger antibiotic.
Trying really hard to avoid the expense of the vet. Something like penicillin?

My brother suggested I get a small wire brush and try to rough up/debride the wound inside and out.
 
Clean it with a antiseptic. Let it dry. Spray it with Iodine. Let it dry. Put a thick coat of blu-kote over it. Don't wrap it. If it needs to be covered, use a blue jean patch like you do on a pink eye calf. Keep the area sprayed for flies. Give her a shot of penicillin for three days.
 
Are you sure there is not some sort of foreign object, small piece of metal etc. still in the wound ?
I have only ever used epsom salt to help draw infection out, have never used it in an open wound.
Have used betadine to clean a wound, or to draw out infection in an abscessed foot, but not a a daily
treatment in an open wound, would have concerns of tissue damage with over use.
Have always understood it is very important that it an open wound heal from the inside out,
not be allowed to close from the outside first.
 
Are you sure there is not some sort of foreign object, small piece of metal etc. still in the wound ?
I have only ever used epsom salt to help draw infection out, have never used it in an open wound.
Have used betadine to clean a wound, or to draw out infection in an abscessed foot, but not a a daily
treatment in an open wound, would have concerns of tissue damage with over use.
Have always understood it is very important that it an open wound heal from the inside out,
not be allowed to close from the outside first.
I'm not sure of anything. Very new to owning cattle and playing cow Dr.

I really just used the epsom salts as an abrasive to try to rough up the wound. I was hoping to debride it a little bit and knock off any old tissue/get a little bit of blood flow again.

I've been using iodine and just white sugar on the outside of the wound to try and draw the puss/infection out.

I have felt around in the wound. I haven't felt any metal or foreign material/objects in the wound, but I'm not certain. I guess it could have healed around the objects and I can't feel them. She doesn't like me messing with her foot so it is always a battle.

I'll try and figure out where to get some penicillin today and give her a couple doses of it.
 
A lot of variables. First thought is to clean it out good like you have. Use a soft cloth or piece of cotton to absorb any
moisture residue from cleaning, then put something like triple antibiotic ointment into the wound.

Have also used the following for wounds. Please bear in mind these most likely are not veterinary approved.
Bag balm is one, Krestol Salve is another.
 
There is still infection (and maybe something foreign) in there if it won't heal. A foreign object is never going to let it heal until removed. If it is some infection, she needs a better antibiotic. I'm no vet, but perhaps my vet's "feedlot special" of a combo of LA200 and Sulpha by IV would get it rooted out, but if there is some small foreign material in there it still won't work.
 
If you need to establish a vet relationship... let this episode with this heifer do it... If they take animals at the clinic, it will be cheaper than a farm call... get them to look at it, do whatever treatment, get some stronger antibiotics... and then this may get you to a place where the vet will do "over the phone" consults for some things....
I have no real suggestions for anything else to try but the stronger antibiotic...
AND maybe if she gets cleared up... time to ship her with the prices being so good... sounds like a feed lot may be where she needs to go, not into a breeding herd.
 
Just like others have said, I'd have had her to my vet yesterday!!
An x-ray will show if there is anything in there. Doesn't even have to be a larger object to cause a problem.
Been my experience an open wound will most times heal on its own, as long as there isn't something inside causing the infection.

Bite the bullet before infection spreads and it's too late my friend.
 
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Just like others have said, I'd have had her to my vet yesterday!!
An x-ray will show if there is anything in there. Doesn't even have to be a larger object to cause a problem.
Been my experience an open wound will most times heal on its own, as long as there isn't something inside causing the infection.

Bite the bullet before infection spreads and it's too late my friend.
Okay, so I did. I took her into the vet, and I'm glad I did. There was some sort of thin elastic rope.... in the wound partly wrapped around her leg under the surface. It looked almost like a thin hair tie or something like that. Vet got it out, flushed it, gave her an antibiotic, tetanus, anti-inflammatory, and a pain med. Then he wrapped it with an iodine and Epsom salt poultice and told me to change it every two days for a week.
 
That was kinda my thought. Wanted someone else to tell me no though so I knew I wasn't completely crazy.
Several of the most knowledgeable cattlemen(women) on here has said to get her to a vet! They are right. Don't care if it is a $250 farm call, That is cheap compared to losing a $1500 heifer. She will never heal with what you are doing now. Like others have said...you need to be on a 1st name basis with a vet any way.
 
Glad you took her to the vet... and this way, she will feel better with the foreign object out... and hopefully she will heal up and be able to walk and get around with no problem.

We had a cow get a thin piece of metal, like a piece of thin electric fence wire, around 1 toe and could not see it... looked like she got a cut and it would not heal... finally I saw it "move" about a week later when I was watching her close, and got son to put her in chute and we managed to get it off... had the vet look at her the next week when he came for preg checks and he cleaned it out a little better although it seemed to be slowly healing but there was a pus pocket ... like it was around the top of the toe... like where the coronet band is on a horse.
She has finally healed, has a calf on the ground and has just a little limp and that toe grows a little funny... but it is hard to see those things sometimes. There are some "household dumps" here at this pasture and it is impossible to find all the wire and junk... not our place so we try to clean up what we find but not going to go digging all that sort of stuff out..
 
I'm late to the game but welcome to CT and SO GLAD you took her in! And, as others have said, you have to have a relationship with a vet to get essentially any antibiotics (including penicillin) because they are now RX only. And that's including anything in your feed, which requires a VFD.

You'd be surprised how something so small can cause so much damage! Cattle are curious and indiscriminate eaters. Basically, they'll eat anything and get into situations that just make you shake your head. And simple geography and possibly not cleaning up your pasture can make a world of difference. Last year I dug out a rock that had wedged sideways in between a calf's hoof. Couldn't figure what was wrong until I was able to thoroughly examine him.
 

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