Ash - March 2016
In late November 2015 a devastating fire came through my practice area. Several horses died or were severely burned. Adelaide Plains Equine Clinic treated several horses for weeks and in one case over 4 months. The daily treatments consisted of removal of dead skin and wrapping burned limbs which had to be done under sedation. Pain control and prevention of infections was also instituted.
One owner, Kylie Kemp, had four horses that were among the worst of the burned victims. Kylie had previously purchased Hidez suits for her horses. When her first horse had started to show significant healing we put on his pre-fitted suit. I was very dubious for several reasons including the dark colour, pressure on the wounds and excessive heat generated by wearing “clothing” in our summer temperatures.
I noticed that the first horse actually showed no significant aversion to placement, and appeared quite comfortable in the suit. The temperatures at that time were quite hot (> 37°C or 100° F) and while that horse had access to shade, he seemed to prefer to stand in the sun with his suit on. He sweated on his shoulder but not under his suit.
The second horse, Ash, that also had a premade Hidez suit was much more severely burned and we were unable to put the suit on her as soon as we would have liked. At one point we did put it on her and she trotted around for several minutes when she had her evening turnout after the sun went down. That was the first time she showed significant movement. Ash had large areas on her body which had burned but were now covered in thin hairless skin and would burn easily. She was a magnet for biting flies, and her tail was a lethal weapon which she used to assault her itchy skin.
Initially Ash was too burned in several areas to wear the Hidez more than a day at a time but gradually she could wear it more and more. The back of her front legs had cracked and were very hard to initiate any healing, but gradually much of her legs were covered in skin.
When we could finally leave the Hidez on all the time she finally found freedom. She could stay out in the sun all day and we moved her out of the barn into a large pen where she could run and play. We were also able to reduce the bandages and increase the intervals in between bandage changes.
The Hidez dramatically reduced the cost of care for Ash and increased her daily comfort during this ongoing healing process. I am in love with these suits for equine burn patients.
Elizabeth Woolsey Herbert DVM
Adelaide Plains Equine Clinic
1951 Two Wells Rd
Gawler SA 5118 Australia
61 08 8523 4777
SKYPE 1 707 703 1474