EYE Caramba! What should I do until the vet comes? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-13-2009, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Location: California
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EYE Caramba! What should I do until the vet comes?

So this weekend has been hellishly busy. Friday night was my daughter's birthday sleepover (sleep being a relative term), Saturday was a day-long prep for our 4-H entry in the lighted trucker's parade, and all today was dealing with goats, trimming feet, weighing babies, moving critters, etc. My husband fed horses yesterday since we were working on the float so I haven't had my own two eyes on the horses since Friday afternoon just before dark. Well, this afternoon, racing to feed before heading to the 4-H Christmas party, I was horrified to see the POA with her left eye swollen HUGE and shut, pus and exudate POURING out of it! I flipped. Threw hay to the horses, ran back to the truck, grabbed paper towels and ran back to her. Her eye was a wreck. I grabbed her muzzle to get a closer look. Sticking out from under the swollen lid was a thin black stick. I was able to back her into a corner, sweet girl could have run me over if she wanted, and pulled out a three inch blackberry bramble. It felt like it grabbed as I pulled it out. EWWWWWWWWW! My first thought was to grab some opthalmic ointment but then I THINK I read somewhere that if the cornea is scratched this can be a bad thing to do? So I'm calling the vet first thing in the morning to come out tomorrow night and check her out. Any advice on what to do in the meantime? After I pulled out the stick her eye seemed immediately better; she actually opened it. I felt soooooooo badly for her...my husband wouldn't have even looked for something like this...she might have had it since Sat morning. Guilt, guilt, guilt!
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-14-2009, 12:38 AM
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I'm sorry, but I have no idea. If you have a barn, I would throw her into a stall and keep everything she could scratch her face on, away. If it's infected, it's likely to get itchy and she's going to try to scratch herself.

I wouldn't mind hearing what happens when the vet comes out. Hope nothing serious is diagnosed with her.

Good luck!

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post #3 of 11 Old 12-14-2009, 12:42 AM
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I would say definitely flush her eye out, keep it clean, and throw a fly mask on her until the vet can come out to take a look.
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-14-2009, 12:51 AM
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If the eye is ruptured and the inside of the eye is coming out they can put it back in and sew up the hole. If it was a sharp thorn it might not have torn anything up and it will be fine. I have had two horses need thier eyes worked on. One had a scratched lens and the other had a rupture in the eye and had to have it sown up. Both horses had to have the eye lid sown shut while it healed and both horses could see fine after the eye was healed.

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post #5 of 11 Old 12-14-2009, 01:05 AM
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eye issues are extremely time sensitive. If you want to save her eye (it sounds pretty severe actually, pus pouring out of it) and if you can afford it, I know things are rough for most people right now, it is worth it to pay the emergency fee and get a vet out tonight. I am assuming you have an on call vet in the area, if not definitely fly mask and stall her if possible. It is extremely painful for her too, so the sooner she's looked at the better. Good luck to you and your girl, eye injuries are so scary but sometimes look far worse than they are, hoping for the best for you two!
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-14-2009, 04:43 PM
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^^ In my expereince, when there is an eye injury you get the vet out ASAP. Even if you think it might just be a bug bite on the lid. Id feel aweful if one of my horse lost their sight because I waited to treat it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-14-2009, 08:47 PM
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I have a one-eyed horse because he ruptured the cornea. Once it's ruptured, you have a very small time frame or they cannot save the sight, only sew it up cosmetically. It's expensive, and I couldn't afford the surgery at that time for my horse. So I would defintitly call the vet on that one. My horse didn't have a stick visible, just some pink tears and squinty eye. I called ASAP, but it was too late to save the eye.
However, that is NOT the end of the world. He is very happy seeing with only one eye, and most people don't realize he's blind on one side.

But, in your case, I would flush with a saline solution if you can, maybe use the opthamalic ointment, but don't apply if the vet is on the way so you don't gob it up to where the vet can't get an acurate assessment of damage. Hope your vet can get there quick. Even if he can't save they eye, time is of the essence to avoid a painful infection.
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-15-2009, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Well, we talked to the vet and because the eye LOOKED intact, they came out today instead of last night. Her entire eye looked cloudy but the majority of the injury was to the upper eye lid. Pretty torn from the thorns and a large abrasion to the cornea but the eye was not perforated. She flushed her eye from the inside out, running a catheter up the tear duct and put her on heavy duty antibiotic eye ointment three times a day. She'll check her in a few days to make sure there is no infection worsening/ulcerating the cornea. So far, so good. She said all the exudate and "pus" was the eye protecting itself...not true pus but "eye boogers"...and boy I've never seen so much in my life. By the time the vet got out here, her eye swelling was far less horrible; from a giant softball down to a lime. Anyhow, three times a day for the next two weeks. Merry Christmas to my credit card company!
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-15-2009, 01:11 AM
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Let us know how it goes...

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post #10 of 11 Old 12-15-2009, 09:37 AM
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I am very glad to hear the damage isn't as bad as feared. Keep us updated and healing vibes your way.

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