I’ve known for awhile that polo wraps can be used for so much more than protecting a horses legs from bumps. When I was a kid, my fellow barn brats and I would wrap them around our own legs if we forgot our half chaps to protect our skin from pinches and rubs. I’ve used a polo as a makeshift tail wrap to stop my horse from rubbing his tail braid out at shows. I’ll even admit to using a polo as a dog leash (it was one time at a horse show; now I keep a leash in my bag at all times!).
My Draper Polos spend most of their time doing what they were made for – protecting my horse’s legs from bumps when he jumps and helping him feel comfortable. Lately, however, I’ve been using them both on myself (a friend “borrowed” my Body Wrap and I needed a Celliant® for my ankle – see the Relief For the Achy Rider blog for a full explanation) and on one of my dogs.
My dog Blueberry, a 9 year old dachshund, came in from the yard almost a week ago with a large neck and head laceration. The origin of the wound is a mystery, though getting stuck in some sharp underbrush chasing a ball seems a likely culprit. The wounds were deep and required approximately 15 stitches to close (on a 17 lb dog, that’s a lot of stitches!). Because of the location of the neck wound, she had to have a drain put in to ensure the wound would heal infection free. After three days the drain was removed and we got the ok to start exercising Blueberry lightly, provided we could keep the incision clean.
After trying a few different ways of keeping the wound covered, I grabbed one of the freshly laundered Draper polos off the back of the couch and started wrapping. I used a technique similar to wrapping a human ankle, criss-crossing the wrap across her shoulders so that it wrapped around her belly as well as her neck. This seemed to keep the wrap stable and made it so the wrap wasn’t too thick and restricting around her neck. Below is the final result.
While at first she was less than thrilled, Blueberry realized that the polo was soft enough for her to move comfortably and, if she humored me and wore the wrap, she could come walk around at the barn with me instead of being house-bound. The polo looked secure, Blue seemed to be cooperating, so off to the barn we went.
Blueberry did her normal day at the barn with no problem – the polo needed to be adjusted once after she rolled in some hay. It was around 70 degrees and she didn’t appear to be too hot or uncomfortable. The equine vet that came for a farm call that day even thought that it was a clever and efficient idea!
When we got in the car to go home, I removed the wrap to check the wound and everything looked great- no dirt or irritation. In addition to keeping the wound clean, the stitches looked less swollen thanks to the Celliant in the wrap. Polo wrapping the dog was a success!
Becky is the Draper Therapies product manager. She shows in the jumper ring on her horse Calando and is mother to three dogs – Blueberry (a dachshund), Bella (a pug), and Joe Black (a mutt). Though a skeptic at first, Becky is a firm believer in Celliant® and uses it any way she can on herself and on her animals.