Urgent horses going blind!

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Urgent horses going blind!

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    09-01-2013, 10:28 PM
Exclamation Urgent horses going blind!

Ok I have a friend who lives on a farm with around 30 or so horses. All are outside 24/7. There is a band of broodmares and their stallion and then a group of younger stallions that were intended to be gelded when they were old enough to train, but obviously time got away from their owner, because now most of the studs are from 8-15 give or take a few years. They are all in the same pasture, which is huge. I know it's not the ideal situation so I don't want anyone chewing my butt about it, because they're not my horses.

Anyways, a couple weeks ago, I was out there riding with my friend who lives there, and ALL the horses seemed fine. There are a couple older mares who were blind in one eye, but all seemed happy. I went out yesterday, and their owner had around 10 of them penned up by the barn. My friend told me it was because he was taking them to the sales ring Monday (tomorrow), anyways. I asked her if I could go see which ones were in there and she said I wasn't going to like what I saw. So we went to see them, and two of my favorite mares there, were in there. My friend told me it was because they were blind. One is 19 so I can understand that, the other is 8. The 8 year old mare has her eyes shut, is completely blind, and has pus or mucus running down her face from both eyes. Now both of these mares are the ones we were riding 2 weeks before.

Anyways, I was clearly upset and you could tell the blindness had just set it. The 8 year old mare was still very scared about her loss of vision, and you could clearly see it in her face. I looked more around the pen, and there again were more of the brood mares, all of which were blind, but whom were fine a couple weeks ago, besides one who had one blind eye for a few years. There were also a few of the studs in there, but no blindness in them. Then we walked out to the pasture to check the rest of the horses, and almost every single horse, besides the herd stud, and a colt that was born this spring, were blind. All of these horses I had just seen a couple weeks ago and were all fine. More than one we had out riding.

Now what I don't get is, WHAT could cause this, and what causes it to blind them so rapidly? I tried to call the vet over and over but each one I talk to wants nothing to do with it because there are so many that are blind. I have been researching on the internet, but haven't found anything that is this contagious, or so rapidly progressive. Any ideas????
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    09-01-2013, 10:33 PM
The only thing besides an infection that jumps into my mind is Jimson Weed. I know it will cause blindness in humans, don't know if it would in horses or if it even grows up there.
    09-01-2013, 11:07 PM
Ummm...yeah, my idea is to call a vet out.

This is an emergency situation and no vet is going to turn their nose up at it unless these people have a bad rep with vets and the vets don't want to work with them.

30 Horses do not just go blind. There is obviously some type of contagious infection. With the eyes shut, gooey and dripping.

This is sickening.
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    09-01-2013, 11:18 PM
I know it's sickening, but what can I really do about it? They're not my horses. If they were mine, this wouldn't of happened. I would have caught everything right away. They could possibly have a bad rep with the area vets, but I wouldn't know, I only moved to this area last summer...I'm not sure what his rep is around the area. It bothers me though because I was quite attached to those mares. I've known each one of them for a little over a year now, and it breaks my heart every day.
    09-01-2013, 11:20 PM
If you have your own horses, absolutely do not make contact with your horses until yo have showered/washed up very well and changed clothes. (Including boots)

The last thing you want is to bring this home to your horses. Whatever it is.
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    09-01-2013, 11:23 PM
I normally avoid my two after contact or I see them before I go to that farm. Everything I have researched has come up as moon blindness. It fits their symptoms but I don't think it would affect 80 perfect of a herd at once..
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    09-01-2013, 11:28 PM
It sounds more like conjunctivitis. They probably have an infection. Taking them to the sale sick is a sure way to get almost nothing for them as well as to ruin the ranch's reputation in the community. These horses need to be treated, not thrown away.
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    09-01-2013, 11:30 PM
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Until they know if it is something contagious or not, they certainly shouldn't be taking them to a sale to possibly infect more animals. That's really irresponsible of them. I think I'd have to make an anonymous call to the sale yard and let them know they may have some contagious horses coming in.
    09-01-2013, 11:31 PM
I know that but I don't think their owner wants to spend the money. I did talk to my friend about 20 minutes and she told me that he let the broodmares back into their pasture and took all of the older studs and geldings out to take to the sale. Only one stud seems to be blind and I'm not to sure what he is going to do with that one.
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    09-01-2013, 11:33 PM
The state inspector at the sale might flag the horses as diseased, go inspect the ranch, and quarantine the place.

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