Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We've been treating a case of cellulitis in one of the horses recently. Cellulitis can be quick and easy to treat or a drawn out process that involves a lot of medication and effort. This has been the latter type of case. In addition to treating with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories the vet wanted us to cold hose the leg for 20 minutes twice a day, and to sweat the leg overnight for a few nights. For the sweat he told me to use a 50/50 mixture of DMSO and furacin.

Cold hosing - check, no problem. Sweat with DMSO and furacin - check, no problem. I keep a very well stocked barn with just about anything and everything one would need for addressing any type of problem that might arise. Most of the time all of my supplies sit around unused for long periods of time, to the point where I begin to wonder A) why I have all of it in the first place and B) maybe I should pitch some of the stuff I never seem to need to clear out some storage space.

Out came the DMSO, furacin and plastic wrap, along with a standing wrap. Each evening for a few nights I would set the sweat up after it had dried from round 2 of cold hosing. Despite being thorough with my plastic wrap of course some of the DMSO/furacin mix managed to get on the edges of the standing wraps I was using. Once I was done with sweating the leg I tossed the wraps and bandages into the washing machine.

Big mistake. I come back in the house that afternoon and I am almost knocked over by a very strong and unpleasant smell as soon as I walk in the door. I stand there for a minute trying to determine what the heck this awful smell is and where it might be coming from, while my brain is going "I know this smell, I've smelled this recently." Then it hits me, I am getting an overwhelming aroma of DMSO.

Anyone who has handled DMSO before knows the stuff smells awful and the odor is so hard to get rid of. Well I've been living with it in my house. It has been several days since I made the mistake of putting the DMSO wraps in the washing machine and it is finally starting to fade. In case you are wondering, no, Jason is NOT happy about this. He did mention something about possibly getting a washing machine for the barn to prevent future mishaps like this, so maybe this DMSO cloud we are living with in our house does have a silver lining. Right at the moment as I sit at my desk typing it doesn't feel (smell) that way!

If anyone has any wonderful suggestions for clearing the smell of DMSO out of the house we're open to trying pretty much anything. I can assure you that things that might cover up the scent such as candles don't work, it has been tried! Thankfully it has started subsiding in the last couple of days so maybe we will be DMSO smell free in a few more days. One can only hope.

B-Rad grooming Alex

MyLight and Harmony

Cuff Links grazing (we sort of lost him in the grass!)

It really was Cuffie hiding in the grass


Asterik enjoying a vigorous neck scratching

Cinnamon and Norman eating breakfast together

Teddy, Clay, Lucky and Slinky



Winston and Faune walking through the pasture


Anonymous said...

Is there something you could run through the washer that would take the smell away - not baking soda as I doubt that'd be good for a washer, but something else like that? Or some detergent/pre-treatment stuff that deals with stained/odorous clothes? Ugh!

RuckusButt said...

I don't have any good advice other than move your washer & dryer to the/a barn and get a new pair for the house. There are some really good sets to be had and you don't need to get the crazy top of the line to be super happy with them.

I bought a new pair about 10 months ago and had myself convinced I needed the top of the line...eventually I realized I really didn't need 12 different settings, I would never use them! Heavy duty, normal, permanent press, delicate, hand wash...with lots of other options for degree of soiling, rinse speed, extra rinse etc. What more do you need?

Java's Mom said...

Uh, no, I don't know how to get rid of that smell, it is awful. It will eventually subside... a long time (when boarding) ago during the witer, there was a horse on some crazy dmso treatment (he unfortunately was in bad shape), and it would knock you over when you entered the barn. The smell went away after about a week... Well... hopefully you did not get it on your hands too... maybe you are smelling and tasting it? It's like a rotten broccoli smell, right? I have to laugh, the things we do for the horses! I hope you and the horse are back to normal soon. No wonder you and Jason are taking a road trip to look at tractors... anything to get away from the smell!

Sylvia said...

I bought a used dryer once. It stunk SO bad of cigarettes. Nothing I did would get rid of it. My mom suggested vanilla. As in, what you bake with :) Moisten a cotton ball, or liberally soak one if you wish, and wipe down the whole inside of the washer and dryer drum. It worked for my dryer! I've also heard that setting out bowls of vinegar 'soak' up odors. Oh,and you could try baking soda/vinegar/bleach combo in the washer too, with hot water. Good luck.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

I've heard the vinegar thing as well sylvia and I may try it.

I wish the problem was that the smell was in the washer/dryer. It is long gone out of there, but it permeated the house. HOWEVER, I am pleased to report that after several days it is finally going away. It is very faint today - yay!

I think Jason and I have officially decided to buy a washer for the barn so that this never has the opportunity to happen again!

Valentino said...

Glad the smell is fading in your house finally.

No suggestions for the washer but if you get any on your hands in the future - try rinsing them under running water while holding a stainless steel knife blade.

Something with electrical charges (ions?) happens that releases the smelly molecules... works great with garlic, onions etc.