Inside the Bandage

Last night I changed Foster’s bandage for the first time since he left the hospital, and marked another first in my horseperson belt of experiences. Getting the old bandage off was an absolute act of God, since my bandage scissors did didley-squat to get through all those layers. I resorted to using regular scissors, and still struggled, and will be getting myself a razor blade for the next time- now I understand why the surgeon used that approach. Silly me.

For others out there who are likewise uninitiated in the post-surgical wrapping of a fetlock, here is how you bandage a Fosterpants.

old bandage

Break a sweat getting old bandage off. Thank horse for neither mutilating you as you wage war on his appendage, and for standing like a statue as you search for angles that will allow you to cut into the bandage while not further injuring said horse or falling on your backside like a twit.

Post surgery fetlock

Admire one heavily shaved Frankenfoster foot.


Add small pile of gauze sponges over each surgical site. Try not to think about those surgical sites.

post surgery wrap

Wrap the ankle in cast padding to secure the gauze in place. Wonder if you have used enough cast padding. Check video of surgeon’s wrap, twice, to be sure.


Take thick sheet cotton and wrap the leg from knee to hoof, a la standing-wrap style. Worry over the fact that cotton does not roll onto the leg smoothly.


Add vet wrap, keeping everything nice and snug underneath. Have internal debate about “snug” versus “too-tight”. Finally remember that the surgeon said it’s tough to go too tight on vet wrap.


Roll on elastikon from top of bandage to bottom, attaching to the heel bulb for security. Loathe the fact that you use a whole roll each time, and these suckers cost almost $10 each. What are they made of, dreams and stardust?


End with a freshly bandaged, albeit somewhat lumpy looking Fosterpants.


Then try not to think about doing it all over again in another 2-3 days.