Corneal scratch made worse by applying ointments - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-12-2013, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Corneal scratch made worse by applying ointments

My horse managed to scratch his cornea. The vet recommended human polysporin or neosporin for the eyes because there's a shortage of bnp here.
We were to apply ointment 3 times a day, using the tube right up against his eye. My BO did twice a day and I did the noon treatment. I hate the idea of touching the tube against his eye for fear of accidental stab so I use the pad of my clean finger to slip the ointment in on the lower eyelid nowhere near his cornea. To make a long story short 2 more corneal scratches developed on the eye near the corner, poor horse. We ended up using another antibacterial ointment and after many days of bute for the pain and 5 vet visits, I am certain we are finally healing. Question is, isn't it easier to just slip a little bit into the corner of the eye than have the tube so close? My vet was insisting my way could stab him in the eye and his way was the 'correct way'. I just don't want more lesions developing due to sudden head movement and 'oops'.
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-12-2013, 12:52 AM
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I just went through this with my mare. It is safer to use your finger than to use the ointment tube. Just make sure you wash your hands really well before doing so as you do not want to get more bacteria in the eye. I also place my thumb against the horses head so that if he jerks my hand will move with him.

I treat corneal scratches very aggressively starting out- 3-5 times a day starting out. I also use more than just a little dab.

Now unless the injury is severe i don't even call the vet. I just treat it aggressively. If it looks better in the next day or two I know I am on the right track.

The addition scratches could be due to him rubbing the eye. The eye gets very irritated, sore, and sometimes itchy (itchy eyes are usually why corneal injuries happen to begin with). Do you keep a fly mask on him morning and night while he is healing?
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post #3 of 3 Old 04-12-2013, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Vet said when the scratches are horizontal, it is likely the horse did it themselves. The scratches that were 'operator error' were vertical. They showed up really well in the stained eye. Yikes! That's why I don't like to use the tube as an applicator.

Vet also said flymasks can further irritate the eye if the horse is scratching but there is a special type of mask that has plastic cups to prevent the eye from being contacted. He did not want me to use a fly mask for that reason. Thankfully as the eye healed it is less scratchy. I did clean up the right foreleg where he would scratch himself so at least it was super clean too. Five vet visits. Can't wait for my bill!

Last edited by livelovelaughride; 04-12-2013 at 01:56 AM. Reason: text added
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