Adopting a moonblind horse

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Adopting a moonblind horse

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    12-31-2012, 01:33 PM
Adopting a moonblind horse

I am looking at taking in a moonblind 2 yr old filly. Has anybody had any experience with this? I've looked for other threads on here about it, but I can't seem to dig em out. Treatments? Cautions? Anything would be appreciated, thanks :)
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    12-31-2012, 03:50 PM
Green Broke
Wallaby owns Lacey & she became moonblind. Maybe she'll see your thread or you can PM her.
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    12-31-2012, 04:46 PM
Super Moderator
So I had this whole long reply typed up and then it went 'poof!'...

First, do a search for ERU, Equine Recurrent Uveitis. Mooblindness is an outdated term so I avoid using it. ERU is the clinical term so I use that in my posts. :)

Second, ERU is a VERY expensive and painful disease. I realized that in daily pain-time supplements alone, I spend over $40/month in the summer and at least $25/month in the winter.
Some ERU horses eventually need their eyes removed due to pain/their type of ERU and that seems to run around $800+/eye. With this filly being so young, it seems like the likelihood of her eventually needing one or both eyes removed is pretty high (the older the horse is when diagnosed, the better "prognosis" they have).

I think there should be a mind blowing amount of info that you'll find when you search for ERU but feel free to PM me if you have more questions!
I don't think an ERU horse is right for MOST people but I certainly plan on having another during my life.

Here are a few of my favorite links:

Equine Recurrent Uveitis: Information for the Horse Owner

Blind Horse Care, Training, and Riding

Merck Veterinary Manual

Equine Recurrent Uveitis - Animal Eye Care

Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU) - Appaloosa coat patterns, coat colour genetics and practical information for breeders of spotted horses - The Appaloosa Project

Also, you will see asprin or bute mentioned in those articles. Personally, I've had luck with a combo. I use bute for "real" attacks (ie, eye is squinty/swollen/tearing/etc), MSM at the "eyeball level" (32,000mg, double the arthritis dose) for daily management - it reduces inflammation and inflammation is our enemy, and a mixture of Devil's Claw+Yucca for days when she seems ouchy or her eyes look slightly swollen but it's not an attack-attack. During the summer, she gets the DC+Y daily because, even with a 90%UV blocking flymask, she's in a lot of pain due to the brightness of the sun.
The aspirin that will be mentioned, I've found to work nearly identically with MSM. However, I can get MSM cheaper and in greater quantities (Lacey goes through 16oz of MSM in about 2 weeks) so I go with that.
    03-26-2013, 12:28 PM
Awaking the dead here, but the filly is back on the table.

What is MSM? I've heard tumeric is good, and I will be putting her on a immuno booster. The vet mentioned cyclosporin, and I will be getting a UV mask.

Is there anything else I can do?
    03-26-2013, 12:58 PM
Super Moderator
I'm not sure what it's made of, if that's what you're asking, but it's generally thought of as a joint supplement. Basically, how it works as a joint supplement is by decreasing the inflammation common to arthritis. In our case, with ERU horses, inflammation is the most damaging factor of ERU so MSM helps calm that down. Sort of like taking an Advil on a day you know you're going to do some serious yardwork - it helps decrease your body's inflammation response during the yardwork and you feel less sore the next day.

It's the same idea, the MSM makes the eyes a bit less over-sensitive to light (by lessening the inflammation response) on a day to day basis and that calms the eyes down quite a bit (episodes basically happen in clusters, one in any given time period means that the horse is at serious risk of having another episode -or more- within the next 6 months). It's sort of like a wound - if you pick at the scab (ERU is the wound, scab = eyes, picking at it = sunlight) constantly, the wound is going to start bleeding and take longer to heal. If you leave the wound alone, you might still get a scar but the wound will heal. ERU will never heal but it's a mater of actively "bleeding" or going sort of "dormant".

I've found that MSM, over a longer period, does a LOT to make ERU go dormant. *touches wood* My girl hasn't had an episode since December. We're still in the 6 month "danger zone" but I've found (I just started her on MSM last June) that the longer she's been on MSM, the more comfortable she seems and the better her eyes are.
It used to be that any sunny day = definite pain response, right now she's uncomfortable in the sun without a mask but she doesn't get mopey or "not herself" and I can definitely attribute that to the MSM!

I'm not super familiar with cyclosporin (that's the implant, right?). If it's what I'm thinking it is, my girl isn't a candidate at all for it. But, if it's what I'm thinking it is, I've read articles where horses have found serious relief using that method!

Anything else you can do? My only advice is to start your vet fund now and get it fat. Or be rich. In any case, you better not be attached to your money very much because ERU horses basically eat $$ like it's hay, more than normal horses.
Seriously though, I can't describe to you enough how expensive ERU is as a disease.
Of course, it can be less expensive if you don't do it right but that means the horse is enduring pain. And personally, pain is not right for anything I'm responsible for.

I'll have to look into tumeric! I haven't heard that one.
    03-26-2013, 01:56 PM
Cyclosporin is a gel anti-inflammatory and pain killer. Its applied directly to the eye in cases of discomfort. We had it for my shi-tzu who had a tear duct issue before she passed.

What we've talked about so far, is keeping the cyclosporin on hand in case of break outs, I have B&L pellets (yucca and devils claw along with a couple other things, I use it on Annie after a hard workout) which I may switch to MSM, that she'd get daily. A uv mask (freaking florida) and an immuno-booster of some sort that shed get daily.

Good plan?

The tumeric I may try too, I've heard it helps prevent more than anything. She has a $100 a month med budget, which she's hitting 60 right now, so we've got wiggle room. And otherwise, thanks be to god for thoughtful grandparents :) grants and stocks are a beautiful thing.
    03-26-2013, 01:57 PM
And thank you so much wallaby, I may be leanin on ya a little the next month if you don't mind, I have a lot to learn!!!!
    03-26-2013, 02:13 PM

Here she is :)
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    03-26-2013, 03:17 PM
Surgery to remove one or both eyes is probably in her future, given her young age. Someone said $800 an eye, but I just had my gelding's left eye removed for $250. It has been my experience that "country" vets in rural areas are much more reasonable, cost wise. Course, he did not have a fancy surgical suite.....we laid Smokey down in the pasture next to the clinic & the Vet sat on a bucket to operate, lol. Did a nice job, healed right up, even though the white stitches against that black face made him look awfully "Frankenpony" till we removed them. Good luck!
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    03-26-2013, 03:20 PM
Thanks! Im probably going to end up having at least her one eye removed, (80% gone from what I understand,) but she has one that isnt as bad, and im hoping he can keep it for at least a few years.....

I got quotes from 950 (vet college) to 500 (field doc) per eye.

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