Eye weeping, scratch?

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Eye weeping, scratch?

This is a discussion on Eye weeping, scratch? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    09-08-2013, 08:45 PM
Eye weeping, scratch?

Hi guys.
This evening when I went to get my mare out of the field I noticed that her right eye was weeping more than usual. When in the cross ties I noticed she was kinda squinting it. I pulled down her eyelid and noticed a small scratch on the eye. Almost like a chunk was missing - it was slightly blue/white and cloudy around it. Approximately 0.5cm circle. I worked her in side reins tonight and she seemed fine, no disruption of vision so far. And her normal self. Any suggestions? I'm worried!!
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    09-08-2013, 09:42 PM
You need to take your horse to the vet.

If there is cloudy/white around the scratch, then there is an infilatrate around the corneal abrasion, or it is possibly already an ulcer. Your horse needs dilating drops, anti-biotic drops, and steroid drops. And to be kept out of sunlight.

Don't mess around with this if you don't want your horse to lose the eye. Ulcers can be very dangerous.

Call your vet.

Corporal likes this.
    09-08-2013, 09:56 PM
I've been told that they usually heal within 7 days and the cloudiness is normal for right now. And if it hasn't subsided by then to seek more drastic measures. It's tiny tiny the scratch, so here's to hoping it will heal on it's own.
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    09-09-2013, 12:13 AM
Luckily for me I worked at a small animal vet and managed to get a hold of one of the vets. He's not supposed to work on large animals.. But He suggested neosporin/polysporin or BNP and sterile saline flushes BID. Starting tomorrow morning. Any other suggestions? The closest large animal vet has to come from two hours away.
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    09-09-2013, 12:23 AM
No, cloudiness is not normal. Cloudiness means that an inflammatory reaction is happening in response to the abrasion. Inflammation in the cornea, and inside the eye, is what leads to vision-threatening complications.

Not to mention that an open sore on the cornea (the abrasion) is very susceptable to an infection. You absolutely need to have some sort of antibiotic on it. But the antibiotic will do nothing for the inflammation, which is what you need the steroid for, and which is also what you need the cycloplegic (dilating) agent for.

Saline flushes aren't going to do a whole heck of a lot, unless the eye develops an infection and the pus needs to be cleaned out.

Why starting tomorrow morning? Why wouldn't you start right now? Certainly waiting a week before doing anything would be an absolute recipe for letting your horse lose its eye.

It's your horse's eye. Your decision.

But I would have already called the vet, or hauled my horse in. My vet lives a good 45 minutes from me, but I wouldn't hesitate to haul to her if she was 2+ hours. Distance is not an excuse to deny your horse medical services, or not to at least CALL the large animal vet to see what you should do.
    09-09-2013, 12:54 AM
What Beau said,eye injuries are not type that you take the wait & see approach,they can go bad fast.A simple eye irritation the polysporin may help but if indeed there is a scratch or abrasion with cloudiness setting in that is MORE than simple irritation!!. I just nursed a dog last week with a corneal abrasion,vet said they heal better than horse. I also have had a horse several years ago nearly lost her eye,so have had experience with eye injuries they are nothing to take lightly
beau159 likes this.
    09-09-2013, 08:39 AM
Steroids I was told by my vet make corneal abrasions much worse and inhibit the healing process. It was midnight, I can't quite afford the cash to have a vet come from 2 hours away on a Sunday night for 2am. It's resolved now, and treatment started.
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    09-09-2013, 10:25 AM
You asked for suggestions, but pooh-poohed all of them. Why did you even bother asking? Vet calls are part and parcel of animal ownership, and if you really work for a vet you already know that. Hope the mare doesn't lose her vision in that eye.
Wallaby, Gremmy, NdAppy and 3 others like this.
    09-09-2013, 10:26 AM
Yes, steroids will inhibit the healing process, but they are 100% necessary to control inflammation when there has been some sort of trauma to the eye. The abrasion will still heal even with the steroid being applied. If it's just an abrasion, the steroid can be applied right away when starting the antibiotic. If it is already an ulcer, you might want to do only antibiotic therapy (with a huge loading dose, round the clock) for the first 24 to 48 hours and then add the steroid. This is why a vet should look at the eye, instead of us just guessing. Sure, you can see a certain chunk missing, but instilling fluorescein dye (like the picture above) will show the true extent of the abrasion.

Resolved? No it's not. Just because you're starting an antibiotic treatment does not mean you are out of the woods. What did your horse get scratched on? You have no idea. It might have been vegetative matter, and your horse could be at risk for a fungal infection. If that happens, you do NOT want to put a steroid on it (one exception for steroid use) and antibiotics will do nothing to treat the fungal infection. Fungal infections are typically much more difficult to control than bacterial.

You are taking this way too lightly for the possible complications that could occur.

I know that life happens and things happen, but this is precisely why you should always have emergency cash for your horse (and for yourself) when emergencies health issues happen where it is in your horse's best interest to be seen by an equine vet.

To possibly convey the seriousness of the situation to you, when I have a patient that has an abrasion, I am definitely following up with them every day or every couple days, depending on the size and severity. An ulcer? I am seeing them in my office every single day until there is epithelium over the ulcer, and then every couple days until we see progress. Sure, more serious when we are dealing with a human than a horse, but the corneal layers are similar in both species and the risk is still great.
    09-09-2013, 10:32 AM
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Why did you even bother asking?
I'm wondering the same thing, since everything I've said is just being brushed off like its no big deal.

It's also very concerning to me that the OP continues to quote INCORRECT advice from his/her vet source that will put this horse's eye in harm's way.
HowClever likes this.

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