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huntseat7 01-16-2009 11:05 PM

Blind horse PLEASE HELP!
 
Hi i posted awail back about a pony who is going blind because of moon blindness. But things aren't looking good.

He has had more flair ups then expected on meds but only really helping the pain at this point. We are talking still with the vet and she says there really isn't anything medically we can do right now.

The last week the sturdy lesson pony has changed drastically. He has gotten really skittish and had trouble finding his hay the one day. Up until now he really hasn't been that effected by it behavior wise. You would talk to him and let him know what to do and he was fine with life.

Anyone have any tips to help him get used to life with out his sight? We think once he goes totally blind he will settle back down a little but he is losing it fast i think its freaking him. And yes putting him down has crossed our minds but he is just such a special horse it will be last resort if he is unable to go about life. But sadly I don't own him he is owned by the barn so it is there call, we just want as many ideas as we can find.

thanks, sorry its long.

Appyt 01-17-2009 12:12 AM

I hope they are giving him meds for pain and inflammation both. MSM is a good inflammatory for daily use. I give my 30 yr old blind appy MSM daily. It takes time for them to adjust. Just keep being supportive and show him where things are. Give him voice cues. IE tap the feed pan, wiggle the water in the bucket, shake the hay. Try to keep things in the same place so he doesn't get confused. No doubt he is skittish due to the shadows. Also with the flare up comes great sensitivity to light. You might try blindfolding and see if that helps any. He needs safety/security. Blind horses can be just as productive as sighted ones, you just have to be their eyes. Trust is a big plus.

Loosewolf 01-17-2009 02:29 AM

I can offer a few thoughts that MAY be of some use...

I have a good deal of experience with blindness, some animal, some human,
and a few things seem in common
Having to Adjust to a new and FRIGHTENING situation, especially when you (your Horse) uses sight as a major component to his survival abilities, can add to the stress.. In the case of people, after the Initial shock, then subsequent adjustment period, you (the person) would have to rearrange certain furniture (or stuff around the barn) so as to ease the transition to where trouble and ease of movement are now most Important. Moving things to easier and logical spots (can be trial and error, note where he is most used to finding these things, and make access easier)
You then will need to do a good deal of detective work, to see what you can imagine will be a bump or trouble area, clear it out of the way, and then while you are handling him, you also make it easier on yourself to help navigate him through areas that may become frightening. I believe part of the problem is the transition, and I known in most cases, and with tons of patience (you cannot allow yourself to get upset, or he will feed off of it) it can work.
It is very possible to carry it through..I would never say this is easy..It can take a good long time for him to make a hopefully full transition to this "new" environment, as it may seem like a new, and scary new environment to maneuver though. Try to Imagine as best you can, what it is like for him to be in this position, and as camly as you could possibly be, help to lead him SLOWLY through this process..
You might try some different thinking too, such as near to his stall, a radio softy playing classical music (anything not loud or stressing) and if he seems to not mind that, he may associate the music playing with security, and the exact postion of his stall...trying things out of the box, using some common sense, may work out to be beneficial..His ears will become enhanced soon, as that is natures way, and if you can work carefully with this enhanced sense, it should be of benefit...
I don't claim to know all about this subject, however patience to no end
often brings on the desired results

I wish you Gods Blessings with this,
and I definately feel for you here Lw

luvs2ride1979 01-17-2009 11:52 AM

Keep him in a smaller pen, away from busy areas. Use electric fence along the bondaries. Blind horses can "hear" or sense the electric before they get to the fence. Keep hay and water in the same spot always. Put a quiet/calm/passive friend in with him and attach a cow bell to his halter. If they get along well enough, the friend will be his "guide horse" for feeding time and what not.

When approaching the fence, talk to him so he knows where you are.

Walkamile 01-17-2009 07:23 PM

Hi, this is my first post since joining. Your situation is very dear to my heart as my mare went blind in her right eye this year due to truama related uveitus. Once the pain was addressed and taken care of and all the ointments to aid in dialating the eye, I came upon a mask called the guardian mask that was short of a miracle. Their web sight will explain so much better than I can, but T wears the mask pretty much all day to not only protect the eye from further injury, like hay poking her in the eye, but also 90% of harmful uv light. She has adjusted so well that you would never know that she has no sight in the right eye, and the left eye is compromised by macualar degeneration. The mask allows her to be out but not suffer from the light. She gets many inquiries about her nifty mask on our trail rides and people are always dumbfounde that she is almost sightless. Trust will be paramount in helping your horse through this adjustment period, and consistancy will be very important. As was already suggested, food, water ect... must be placed in the same location. Good luck and Bless you for wanting to help him.

apachiedragon 01-17-2009 08:08 PM

You said he was a lesson horse. MAKE SURE the students working with him understand he is very unstable right now, and let them know to move slowly and talk to him A LOT. We had one go through this very thing, and while she was fine with us, anyone else that came near was "a threat" because she wasn't sure what they were going to do and she couldn't watch them.

AllyKatSki1 01-17-2009 08:26 PM

I am so sorry about your pony having moonblindness, Me and my horse have been dealing with this for like 3 months (Vet not knowing what it was), But i guess we are lucky cause it is clearing up now, ANYWAYS I'm so sorry that you and your horse have to go through this, I can't really offer any help as i have never delt with a horse thats going blind. But my thoughts are with you....

huntseat7 01-17-2009 09:20 PM

thanks guys! i'll deff pass the suggestion on. And we have him on med and eye drops for the pain and he never goes out of his still with a fly mask for protection.

He has been removed from the lesson program and only my aunt and uncle and I are really working with him. But my aunt no longer owns him she gave him to the barn about a year ago for lessons, so its the barn's call on what happens. But my uncle did ground work today and he did awesome and have started to teach him voice commands. He seemed more relaxed after having worked and doing a job.

Walkamile 01-17-2009 09:51 PM

huntseat7, glad to hear he has a flymask on. I learnt the hard way that not all fly masks protect from uv rays though. If the flymask is a light color, it will actually magnify the effects of the uv rays to their already challenged eyes.

Appyt 01-17-2009 10:00 PM

Well hopefully the barn owners will allow you all to work him thru this transistion. Best of luck..


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