Eye 'people'

Britestar

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I seen lots of helpful info on here about eyes, which I hoped I not ever need. However, my yearling has developed and ulcer in his eye.

It is been treated, along with the conjunctivitis, but unfortunately, his age is making it difficult to administer the drugs. At the moment, all I'm doing is making a really good job of making him head shy
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Anyway, because of this, the Vet is thinking of putting in an indwelling catheter to make it easier, and making sure all the drugs get to the right place. He is also talking of debriding the ulcer prior to doing this.

Has anyone here had that done, and how did your horse take to it?

Thank you
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Box_Of_Frogs

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Hi Britestar. Your ned sounds as if he is going through the same problem that my Sunny (horse in my sig) had.

Conjunctivitis that can't be successfully treated is a known precursor (a lead in) to more serious eye problems. Putting eye ointments SAFELY into hores' eyes is something I have posted on many, many times! The little tubes that eye ointments usually come in have sharp, pointy ends. Sunny finally lost his 6 month battle to save his eye when the staff at the livery yard poked him in the eye with the very end of the tube that was supposed to be helping him. They didn't tell me they had done this. It almost punctured his eyeball. The safest way to put ointment into a horse's eye is to wipe the eye and the area around it with clean water then apply the ointment to the end of your CLEAN finger. Then squish the nice blunt end of your finger into the horse's eye. Even if he jerks at the wrong moment, your blunt finger won't hurt him.

Of course, an even safer method is to have the catheter stitched into the corner of the eye, down the mane to the withers. You apply the ointment at the withers and the horse doesn't associate the treatment with his owner and the ointment is delivered exactly where it needs to be. I don't think horses with this system in place can be turned out though - your boy would have to be box rested and grazed in hand.

The ulcer isn't necessarily good news. Your horse may have developed something called superficial keratitis. Conjunctivitis followed by ulcers that are difficult/impossible to treat are pretty much the symptoms. My vets talked about debriding the ulcer and about using the membrane on the inside of the eyelid as a transplant to bring blood vessels to the surface of the eye to help it heal. However, they decided not to do this because Sunny's disease was an auto-immune disease, meaning that his own body was attacking his own eye. They thought that these 2 procedures would have failed because of this. My worry would be that the same might happen to your ned. Debriding means slicing away the layer of the cornea that the ulcer sits in. In the final stages of Sunny's battle, ulcers were forming deep inside the cornea and the internal structure of the eye was breaking down too. Have your vets given you a diagnosis?

I'm not trying to frighten you hun but if it was me I'd ask that the horse was referred to a specialist horse hospital. No disrespect to your local vets but they won't have had the experience of a hospital that has dealt with many cases. If you don't get him referred, I'd definitely go for the catheter option because it just might save your ned's eye. The debridement I'm not sure about. That's why you need a specialist vet.

Even if the worst comes to the worst poppet, my Sunny is the safest horse on my yard, loved by all and a fabulous hack and dressage winner, even with just one eye. PM me hun if you want to know anything else or just need a chat or a shoulder to dry on xxxxx
 

KarynK

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Yes I had an ulcer in my old boy debraded a few years ago, He had had one that went after some eye cream the year before, I had been treating this one topically at first, I managed to rig up an old fly face net to keep the light out of it during treatment, but it would not shift. Luckily I was working near a very tallented eye vet so I took the horse to work with me left him at the surgery with the trailer and picked him up after work!

After some additional topical treatment it disapeared and did not return again, sadly I lost him a year ago to the day! Of old age. But the debrading was a big success.
 

Britestar

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Thanks guys.

I was hoping you would reply BoF, as I have read previous replies and always find them informative.

Don't worry, I have been using my finger to apply the cream. This is a less than obliging yearling, who's fav thing is to toss head head from side to side, which adds the danger to my teeth!

Fortunately (for me) there is a Vet from a horse hospital coming to see someone else in the practice on Moday to look at their pony's ongoing eye problem, so he is going to be quizzed very thoroughly about my yearling too,and the best route of treatment.

It was indicated to me that he would be able to go out with his catheter in place, as he is still suckling from mum during the day, and I dont think she would be happy being in cos of him! One of my other ponies had a catheter is his head after dental surgery, and he was out the whole time.

Thanks again for your replies and I'll let you know what happens!
 

Box_Of_Frogs

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Your baby ned is lucky to have such a caring mum B. Ever since Sunny's tragic loss of an eye, I have tried to pass the Ointment-On-The-Finger message on to as many people as possible. If just one horse's eye is saved, then Sunny's loss will at least have a meaning. I would like to start a campaign for the ointment manufacturers to re-design the tubes into something that is safe for ordinary horse owners to use so near their ned's eyes.

Hope your yearling is ok hun, and pass the Finger thing on to as many people as you can xxx
 

Tnavas

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One of our racehorses had something similar and the vet closed the eye with two buttons, sewing through the two eyelids and using the buttons to prevent the stitches pulling through. Made administering ointment easy as the horse couldn't see us, you just gently parted the lid and squeezed the ointment in. Horse recoverd well.
 

Box_Of_Frogs

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Glad your horse recovered well T but whether the lids were sewn together or not, you still have to hold the sharp pointy end of a tube half a millimetre away from the horse's eye. And whether he can see you or not, a horse can jerk its head at any time and sod's law says that eventually the horse WILL jerk just as the tube is a millimetre from the cornea and it WILL go through the gap in the lids! The damage would be the same. Blunt fingers can't hurt a horse's precious eye, whether he jerks or not.
 
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