Story time... last Friday night I went on a trial ride with some friends. On our trails we have very spiky trees (I can't remember the name but literally these trees are covered in thorns 2-4 inches long). We went through a narrow part of the trail where you sort of have to hold the tree limbs back, and I was behind one of my friends. She let go of a spiky tree limb and it smacked my horse right in the eye.
SO I get back to the barn, it's too late to call the vet then but his eye looks bad so I give him some ban-amine (I think it's called) for the pain and cleaned the eye with an eye wash (didn't want to put any antibiotics in it because I've heard some can make it worse). When I left his eye is about 95% shut and yellowish.
The next day I have someone look at his eye while I'm at work (had to work 6-3 because of his eye it was the longest shift EVER) and she says it looks better. I get to the barn after work and it does look a little better, more open but you can definitively see a puncture wound but no longer yellow. I call the vet and leave a message asking him to come out.
Then on Sunday his eye is looking worse, and the vet has yet to call me back so I call and leave a semi-hysterical message (I get worried with my animals!) and right after he calls me back and is at the barn in 30 minutes (love my vet).
The vet said he is not going to loose his eyesight (which I was SO worried about) and gave me a medicine to put on his eye to help it heal quicker and some more banamine for the pain. $150 later... BUT I should be thankful, since I bought my horse around 4 years ago this is the first unplanned vet visit ever. Seemed like my other horses saw the vet every other week heh.
Yesterday his eye got much better and was open about 50% which made me happy, but he is still VERY sensitive about anyone messing with his eye.
Today his eye is about the same as yesterday which is a bummer, I was hoping it would be healing at a steady rate. He has had the last of his banamine though which is good, because he hates it.
I feel guilty for letting him get hurt, especially somewhere as sensitive as an eye! :-( Anyone else dealt with eye injuries? How long does it normally take them to get 100% better? The vet said he hoped to see improvement within 70 hours (which I suppose we have) but said being completely healed depended on if I got the medicine in his eye or not (while the vet was there my horse was NOT cool with anyone touching his eye).
Here are some pictures from this morning. His eye was a LITTLE more squinted than it was resting because I had just been looking at it and he was a little sensitive.
The gray spot is where the puncture is, mainly right below though. Luckily it's tiny.
His eyes in comparison (good eye & bad eye)
I know that was a novel... but c'mon any one have some experiences with eye injuries?
I've had a couple bumps/ scratches that they caused themselves, but never another rider with a tree branch. Ouch!
Did your vet also recommend keeping him out of direct sunlight & wearing a flymask? Usually that helps with some of the pain and keeps dust & bugs off of the tearing as well as any leakage of the medicine. Those meds are usually greasy unless he gave you drops.
Poor guy, I hope he feels better soon!
I am not a vet, but I am a human eye doctor.
I really cannot see much at all the pictures you posted, so it is really hard to make an assessment. It might look like there is some central cloudiness in the first picture you posted. If he did physically get poked in the eye with the tree branch, it is possible he could have a corneal abrasion. Especially when you are dealing with vegitative matter (like a tree banch), there is the possibility it could lead to a fungal ulcer if it gets infected. Or a bacterial ulcer, if he does indeed have a compromised cornea. Again, I can't tell in your pictures.
The cornea does heal quite quickly on its own, but it depends on the size of the abrasion (anywhere from 24 to 72 hours) . It is never a bad idea to use antibiotic ointment as a prophylaxis treatment. However, you should not use a steroid because if he did get any fungal matter in the eye, a steroid will make it worse. And I actually know some vets that put a contact lens on the eye to act as a bandaid to protect the cornea from the eyelids blinking over the abrasion (like you would in a human). But again, since we have a fungal risk, no contact lens!
If he did get an abrasion and it does not heal and/or forms an ulcer, it could lead to scarring and decreased vision.
So chances are, the meds your vet gave you were antibiotics.
It's only been a couple days, so I wouldn't begin to be extremely worried yet. Do you see a cloudy or hazy spot on his cornea? Or is he just squinting his eye and having discharge?
I had a horse i treated for a eye injury was half way across his eye ball it took months to get it healed. I was putting medicine in it 4 to 5 times a day plus he was kept in the barn during the day. Was only aloud out after dark brought in before the sun came up his eye was pretty badly injured though. He did heal up and lost no sight in that eye vet credits it to my putting medicine in his eye 5 times a day i did this with out fail. His owner was sure hed be blind she was in tears when she saw how well his eye healed.
Right now he has a small paddock attached to the stall that the vet said to keep him in, I asked if I should lock him up but the vet said he would be able to determine if it was bothering him or not. Fly masks unfortunately do not last in my barn... there is a horse right next to mine that always takes it off. Unless anyone knows of a super duty fly mask?
It was VERY cloudy the first day but after that the cloudiness went down majorly.
I think you're right and the vet said he had a corneal abrasion (RIGHT in the middle of the eye poor guy) and he did give me antibiotics for the medicine.
He just looked so sad that first day, I'm not sure why (as it was his eye that got punctured) but both of his eyelids were HUGE, the swelling went down the next day so I suppose it was just a normal reaction.
I told my mom Sunday about the eye (she gets worried about my animals) and she got all worried and said he better not get blind because otherwise we'd have to put him down, and that a horse with one good eye couldn't have a happy life. :-? I told her there's many happy horses who are even completely blind, haha!
Sorry you and your horse are going through this.
My girl T suffered a trauma to her eye, which resulted in uveitis. Standard treatments (it is also recurring) are approximately 2 weeks. So don't panic. Keep doing what your vet instructed you to do.
About the fly mask, I researched and found the Guardian Fly Mask. Super! And has truly aided in helping my girl to be comfortable and helps in preventing some recurring episodes.
Good luck to you.
I looked up Guardian Fly Masks they look nice but oh so expensive! After the vet bill and an upcoming truck purchase I may have to look for a cheaper substitute.
Sorry it took so long to respond, I just got back from a friends. Her horse was showing signs of colic.
The injury T had looked like something had poked her in the eye and it ulcerated. From that , from what I understand, she developed uveitus. We had to do a combination of atropine to open the pupil, and then an antibiotic ointment. The atropine was applied 3 - 4 x's the first day along with the ointment, and then just the ointment 3-4 x's a day for 2 weeks. With this was a regiment of buffered aspirin to aid in the reduction of inflammation.
Since then, we've had a few recurrences per year, with last year having only one. I know the routine, and have a great working relationship with the vet, so treat it myself with phone support from the vet. Building up her immune system became a priority, as she is over 20 and the immune system "weakens". Can only hope that this continues to help in preventing any more recurrences.
The Guardian mask is pricey, but is very well made and has held up for us now for 5 years. She can't rub her eyes with it like a typical mask, so she can't further irritate her eye, especially during a recurrence.
I'm sure your horse will be fine, and good for you for calling your vet asap. Eyes are not something to wait and see imo. My girl has lost sight in her right eye, and now has limited vision in the left due to cataracts. But so far she is adjusting well and is still taken on the trails.
So I'm actually a big fan of catheters for eye injuries because getting those **** meds in there is so hard sometimes (especially when the eye really hurts or is extremely swollen).
We had a pony at the barn who had debris blown into her eye and she rubbed the snot out of it before anyone noticed her eye was swollen shut, the abrasion on her cornea was probably almost the size of a dime and she had some cloudiness.
She had to get LOTS of meds in her eye, including something made from her own blood (I was not exactly paying attention to the vet, I was playing gofer and getting everything everyone needed to make that pony comfortable, so I don't know what it was from her own blood).
Anyways, the point is, no struggle to get the meds in (yes she was not very please when she felt the meds go in, but you always KNEW they got in her eye 100% without poking her eye or fighting with her). It helped with a quick recovery, although she was confined to a stall.
A fly mask would be extremely bneficial, to prevent rubbing as well as possibly getting other irritants in it.
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