HELP Blind horse - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 32 Old 07-16-2009, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question HELP Blind horse

We have a horse at our barn who has one blind eye and now all the sudden the other one is going. Vet says doubtful anyway to reverse it. (he is an appy and has had issue with this eyes for a long time) Also he is 34 years old. The other eye just went and he is not very happy. He won't be in the stall, he gets too upset. He is turned out in a pasture he knows well but of course he is adjusting. There are three other horses in there and they don't seem to know he needs help. He is not eating much and is very nervous, understandably. Has anyone ever dealt with this? I know of horses who are blind who do function but he is so old, how can we help him transition?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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post #2 of 32 Old 07-16-2009, 06:48 PM
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I would keep him in a pasture/paddock that he is very familiar with, and I would also keep him with one or at the most two horses that he is very comfortable with.

Most horses that go blind do surprisingly well.

I hope he adjusts and settles down.
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post #3 of 32 Old 07-16-2009, 06:59 PM
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I am so sorry to hear about the poor guy.
The couple of things that come to mind are:
Does he have one horse in particular that he buddies with? Maybe put them together alone while he adjusts.
Is he on any anti-inflammatories in-case there is pain in the eye?
And maybe consider putting him on some Calm-B for his nerves and see if that helps too.
Two products that come to mind are Herbal Respond and Calm-B - can be used together.

It so tough when they get old. ((((Hugs))) your way.


My horses have done so well on dac that I became a rep. Stand behind 'em 110%.
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post #4 of 32 Old 07-16-2009, 08:01 PM
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You could try putting bells on his pasture-buddies, and lining the fences 3-4" to the inside with a highly texturized footing. You can also tie little bells around the fence.

He miight also benefit from a clearly-defined consistant schedule with no day-to-day variation if that's possible.

There's just something about Appys and eye problems...

Anyway, best of luck with him, keep us updated on how he's adjusting!
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post #5 of 32 Old 07-16-2009, 08:40 PM
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Taking in consideration his age I think it would be best to put him down. And for a horse to live in constant fear would be letting him suffer.

=/ It's a tuffy, sorry.
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post #6 of 32 Old 07-16-2009, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equestriun View Post
Taking in consideration his age I think it would be best to put him down. And for a horse to live in constant fear would be letting him suffer.

=/ It's a tuffy, sorry.

I have to agree , its sad but you have to consider the facts.
Once his sight is gone completely He will forever be living in fear. He could be a danger to himself & the other horses and people around him.

And there will be nothing more terrifing for him that if he injures himself be it on a fence, falling on uneven ground, he wont be able to see whats going on. You will be waiting for your vet for him only to tell you he should be put down your horse will be panicking you will be crying and he will go.

It sounds like he has had a long and wonderful life with you.
Its you choice what you do but consider the facts.
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post #7 of 32 Old 07-17-2009, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much everyone! He is not my horse but the barn owner's and she is already preparing herself if he does not adjust well. She has no desire to see him suffer. I have seen other horses that were essentially blind but he is so old I think its really tough for him to adjust. He is very familiar with this paddock. We are trying to figure out a good buddy to be his guide, but so far (its only been 2 days) the other horses don't seem to understand his problem.

I like the idea of bells. He is on banamine by the way.

I know she will do the right thing. Its so sad but yes he has had a wonderful life. Its funny because just this past weekend he took a nice tour of the property while he still had one good eye. Usually when we are at the barn doing stalls etc we let him wander around free and eat grass, (our paddocks are very sandy) Well Sunday he went all around the property, visting other horses in other pastures, etc. It was much farther than he had ventured in a long time. I am kind of glad he got to see his friends and get a nice long walk without fear in before this happened.

Thanks again and will let you know what happens.
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post #8 of 32 Old 07-17-2009, 07:39 AM
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My beautiful Appy mare has been blind from uveitis for 8 years, she is now 28. She went blind in both eyes within weeks of her diagnosis despite aggressive treatment. She adjusted very well almost immediately. She is pasture-kept and has companions. She is nervous with the other horses if she thins they might come after her (food or whatever) but otherwise she is happy and comfortable, fat and affectionate. She has gotten into a few muddles but never injured herself. She also gets the run of the property most of the day now that grass is in.
It all depends on the individual horse. My mare was such a wonderful riding horse in her time that I owed it to her to maintain her, but she was much younger when this happened.
Certainly at 34 no one would fault you for putting him down but you need'nt assume he won't be comfortable and able to enjoy a little more time on the planet, once he adjusts.

*I forgot to add she wears a fly mask all the time during the day, to keep flies out of her eyes and also to keep the sun out, as horses with uveitis are sensitive to light. You can make or buy masks with felt panels to totally block the sun, too.

Last edited by toadflax; 07-17-2009 at 07:41 AM.
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post #9 of 32 Old 07-17-2009, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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thanks so much toadflax. This horse has been a wonderful lesson horse before he retired. We were keeping in stall during day and out at night with flymask. Now he won't stay in stall, gets too upset. Its really so early I think we need to give him a little time to adjust. He is very smart and calm and I don't think he will hurt himself in the pasture. Hopefully he gets his appetite back soon.

Again thanks for letting me know they can deal with it.
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post #10 of 32 Old 07-18-2009, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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the horse had a good day yesterday was able to hang out in his stall and stayed out all night, but this morning he went beserk in his stall and I turned him out and he started trotting around running into tees and fences, it was awful. Put him back in stall and had to stay with him to calm him down. Its so sad, hope he gets over it.
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