Met my gelding this morning at our usual feeding time and noticed he had this yellow gunk in the bottom corner of each eye. We have awful flies right now and I've been masking him regularly. I wiped both eyes with a warm soft cloth and just inquiring if this could be allergy related or should I get super concerned and run for the vet? This is the first I have seen this condition on him. He's behaving his usual alertness. Thanks for any advice.
Most likely just flies and allergoes. Get a flymask on him and tjat should take care of it.
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Wash his eyes out with warm salt water. Just use a syringe w/o needle and flush out eyes. Don't sqeeze to hard, the pressure will hurt. It will help with pink eye and other eye issues.
Thanks all for the advice and I will flush gently as mentioned but keep observing the next few mornings for anything continual in his peepers. Fly mask is on again for sure!
I encounter this issue a lot with my one mare, especially during the hot summer months and when the flies are bad.
Last year it was so terrible I did end up calling the vet out. Her right eye especially would swell and have so much of that mucous-like discharge. I tried to keep the fly mask on her during the days but sometimes she would rub them off. Her eyes were just so irritated. The vet ended up "flushing" her nasal cavity which can at times become clogged and impact the tear duct (he checked for this prior to performing the "flush"). He also said that I was to flush the eye area with sterilized water at first signs and treat with Terramycin ointment - an antibiotic - for bacteria carried by the flies. Whatever he did, it seemed to work and she hasn't had that bad of a case since.
I am constantly keeping a fly mask on my girls when the flies are bad and when my one mare does begin to show signs of inflammation or irritation about the eye(s), I immediately put her in a less-fly-free zone and flush with the water. If it looks like it needs it, I sometimes add a dab of the ointment just to be safe. She isn't happy about it, but it usually clears up quickly and overnight.
Hopefully this helps and gives you some guidance!
Nickers had some great advice. I actually had to call the vet yesterday for my mare's eye, who wears a fly mask 24/7 except in her stall where she has a fan. She's been getting a little gungy and swollen in both eyes about once every week or 2 because of the heat and flies. I've just been using a cool damp towel and it's cleared up in a few hours. However yesterday when I went out to feed in the afternoon, she was so gungy it had dripped all the way down her face to her nostrils, and she was blinking rapidly. She had a lot of gunk in her eye and it looked like she'd been rubbing it. When the vet arrived she said this has been a very common problem this year because the mild winter didn't kill the flies. She took one look and said it was good we had called because a lot of horses have been getting ulcers on their eyes because of bacteria carried by flies, and that my mare didn't have any but would have developed one soon after. She flushed it out and gave us antibacterial ointment to put in for the next few days, and then as needed if it comes back. By later last night it was almost entirely cleared up. The vet also said that she recommends NOT using a fly mask (which she said is normally the opposite of what she suggests) because the heat is so bad they sweat too much and it's actually causing more harm than good. So if it's hot and humid where you live, you might want to try that.
If they are just a little swollen and gunky, I wouldn't worry too much and just keep using a damp towel to help clear it up. If there's a lot of drainage though and not quite as much swelling, I'd definitely call the vet to make sure there isn't an ulcer/infection as it can cause vision problems and is pretty serious.
Thanks again for the great advice! Much appreciated. This morning no gunk and weather has cooled off so maybe it was just a one off, but of course I'll keep on top of it 'in the event of'. Flies and mozzies not as bad today so he'll be feeling much better while he's grazing. Glad to feel myself we don't have a major catastrophe on our hands, new mom and all :-)
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