Eye problem--at wit's end

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Marsha Cassada

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I've had this mare for a little over a year. Her eye condition has been chronic, sometimes terrible sometimes not too bad. I've trailered her 6 hours to an animal eye doctor, who told me her eyelids were scarred and diagnosed "OU-conjuctivitis". The Dr prescribed "hyperosmotic for swelling".

My vet has determined that the tear duct is NOT blocked. He has given me neoplybac ointment.

Contacted the former owner who told me they used Prednisol on her.

Some days she is pretty good, with just mild discharge. Some days she is terrible. Her fly mask will be soaking wet with discharge. I keep her face clean, use Systane or OpconA when it's not bad. If there is pus I use the eye ointment. If it's swollen I use the prednisol and sometimes banamine.

The last couple of weeks have been terrible. I am at my wit's end what to do for her. I don't mind the daily care or buying the medicenes. But nothing seems to be working. My vet doesn't have any more ideas. It seems to be a mystery.

I am wondering if I could suggest to him that she be on a round of antibiotic?

I was not that impressed with the eye professional and won't subject my horse to that trailer ride again (anyone in the OKC area and considering an eye professional please PM me).

I'm not going to trailer her to a bunch of different vets to be poked and tubed. I believe that the scarring of the eyelid must rub on the eyeball and cause the problem. But why is it terrible sometimes and not others?

If this is an allergic episode, why doesn't the steroid help?

She is the sweetest, gentlest horse; I feel so bad I can't seem to make her comfortable. The eye photo was taken this morning. The body picture of her was taken two weeks ago.
 
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drmatthewtaylor

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OU=Both eyes (OS-left eye,OD-right eye)

Conjunctivitis only describes inflammation of the conjunctiva, it does not imply cause (the most likely cause is allergy)

Hyperosmotic is a 'strong' salt solution or ointment that draws excess water (edema or swelling) out of the cornea

Call the Ophthamologist again and have the Dr. clarify the previous appointment (the Dr. can't give you any new information without another exam). You and the Ophthamologist didn't communicate very well. After clarifying things ask the Ophthamologist to send a referral letter to your Vet so the circle is complete and so your Vet has an idea what to do now. ***What might need done is to travel the distance again and see the Ophthamologist again. Not what you want to do, but still might be needed.***

Dr. Taylor
 

stormy

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Going to sound strange but I had a rescue mare with chronic eye issues, looked like she had cherry eye, treated and treated and even ended up having to get her eye sewn shut with a shunt to treat......finally went back to my old theory everything wrong on a minis head has to do with teeth.....proved to be true, she had a cracked tooth which we pulled and her eye cleared up almost at once...this was after nearly a year of treating the eye....
 

Marsha Cassada

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I started out using Vetericin and moved on to stronger solutions.

I've had her teeth done by an equine dentist. She had terrible points, the dentist was appalled. She's had another since that first one and I understand her mouth is fine now. She is 21 years old; may never have had her teeth done before in her life. I was REALLY hoping that would help the eye problem.

The dr mentioned "chemotic" on the diagnosis and I just looked that up on the internet. FLM was recommended for that--do not know what that is but I will ask today. I have another appt this afternoon with my regular vet.

No, the eye doctor did not communicate well. She took my $150, no receipt, no written instructions. I had to call her back and ask her to fax the diagnosis to my vet. Otherwise we wouldn't have even known, technically, what she saw. Being inexperienced with specialists, I didnt' know exactly what to expect and assumed she would mail me a receipt with diagnosis.

We are not exactly overloaded with animal eye specialists in my part of the world.

Perhaps if this mare's eye allergy/teeth had been dealt with early she wouldn't have the scarred eyelid.
 

Marsha Cassada

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So glad I got into the vet. She has a corneal ulcer. He made a serum from her blood for me to put in the eye, plus antibiotic and bute. She goes back on Friday to be looked at again.

I have no experience with a corneal ulcer. For me, it's a case of something chronic dulling me to not recognize something unusual and serious. Wish us luck with this.
 

amysue

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Im glad that you figured it out. Ulcers are a lot of work to treat. I had a colt with ulcers in each eye that took months to go away. He did not respond the best to severins ulcer mix but the anogulous syrum (spelling?) Did the trick. Once his ulcers healed, all of his eye tearing and discharge went away. Good luck with yours, I hope she feels better soon.
 

Marsha Cassada

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She was able to open the eye today and the ulcer is very clearly seen. The eye is discolored; the vet explained it but I can't pass it on very well. He said it was normal under the circumstances. He said it looked as though it were wider, but not deep. We are continuing the treatment with the serum, antibiotic ointment, and bute, and he wants her back next Wednesday.

She will likely have a scar, even with the best healing, but he hopes to save her sight in that eye.

She seemed to be feeling pretty good today, so that was good! She cantered around the pasture, whinnying for her pasture mate, who was out in the cart. Poop was really soft the first day, which scared me because of the bute, but it is normal now.

Two days ago I was bawling, but I'm feeling better today about her.
 

amysue

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Out of curiosity. ..are you just using syrum or sevrins too? Just wondering because I remember atrophine being one of the medications inmy colt's regimen and that dialiates the pupil making the horse sensitive to light. I had to keep my poor lil guy in the dark until he was better. So glad your girl feels better.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Out of curiosity. ..are you just using syrum or sevrins too? Just wondering because I remember atrophine being one of the medications inmy colt's regimen and that dialiates the pupil making the horse sensitive to light. I had to keep my poor lil guy in the dark until he was better. So glad your girl feels better.
No atrophine. When my other horse got the wheat beard in his eye, the vet gave me atrophine. It was in the winter and overcast, thank goodness. This vet did not prescribe it. I don't know what sevrins are. I am using the serum made from her blood.

I am trying to do exactly what he says to do.

The eye is open now, but that sickly gray color is hard to bear. When that color begins to go away, I will feel a lot better.
 

amysue

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If she can open her eye then she feels a little better. Hang in there.
 

shorthorsemom

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Awww Marsha, hang in there. Eye problems are so difficult to deal with, physically and emotionally. I assume you are using fly mask 24/7 for protection, but thought I would chime that in just in case you were taking off at night. You should also use probiotics with the bute so you can avoid leaky gut syndrome during treatment. You might want to give some electrolites too to keep hydration at maximum to help with healing.
 
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Marsha Cassada

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My next appt is Wednesday. She is no better. Eye hot and swollen, running, and pus discharge. I'm going to call today and see about taking her in. He said they would be available all weekend. I don't understand why she is not improving.

Yes, she's wearing the fly mask 24/7. I wash it and put on a clean one twice a day. I will ask him about probiotics. Her poop is good, so I'm thinking she is doing okay with drinking; she's always been a good drinker.
 

shorthorsemom

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Thinking of you Marsha and hoping to hear some good news. best wishes.
 

Marsha Cassada

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It did not end well. I took her in and her eye had ruptured. The only thing he could do was remove the eye. Since she was 21 and had chronic problems with both eyes, I decided to end it. If the other eye had been trouble-free, I might have decided differently.

I was feeling so good about her overall. She was sleek and shiny, growing a lovely tail and mane, healthy hooves. She liked to work in light harness. Sweet and gentle. One of those rare horses that children can safely enjoy.

I learn from every horse I've had. This time I learned to recognize red flags in eye issues. I hope I never need that knowledge again, but if I do I'll be ready.

I feel my vet did everything possible. If I had sought his help sooner, would it have turned out differently? We always second guess ourselves.

This Forum is about learning. I hope everyone who reads about my horse will take eye issues very seriously. And remember that chronic problems can sometimes escalate quickly into a crisis. And that it is okay to forgive yourself for mistakes.
 

shorthorsemom

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Awwwww Marsha. I had a bad feeling about her eye but was hoping for a miracle. You took great care of her and I would have done the same thing you did were she my mare. hugs.

Even with treatment from the beginning, you can still lose control of an eye issue and the ulcers can develop very quickly and eye issues can escalate even with diligent treatment and prompt vet exam and you did all that for her, so don't beat yourself up and bless you for bringing this to the forum as a warning to others about eye ulcers.

I dread eye issues as much as founder.

That was a sweet tribute you wrote for her, thank you for sharing, it made me cry.
 

Margo_C-T

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I am so sorry this ended this way. You did all you could in a very serious situation, and I would have made the same decision under the circumstances.

Margo
 

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