Any tricks to get eye gel in horse's eye? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-08-2020, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Any tricks to get eye gel in horse's eye?

Good gravy! I am putting Vetericyn Eye gel in my horse's eye to clear up a mild case of conjunctivitis. She is being a bit of a butt. I have tried showing her the treat, trying to get it in before giving the treat. I have also tried to put it in before feeding and then she gets fed after. I have put it on my finger and tried to trick her by petting over her eye and then rubbing my finger on her eye. These all work to a minor degree, but not really. She won't let me pull her lower eyelid and squirt it in. Most of the time I am just guessing it got in there. I have seen the Vetericyn Pink Eye spray, but somehow I doubt she'll let me spray something in her eye!

Help! Whatchya got??

I haven't tried duct tape on the nose. Does that really work?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-08-2020, 11:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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My horse scratched his eye and the vet prescribed some sort of ointment that had to go in there. This is a horse that's trained to put his head down when I put my hand on his poll. Hah! During that week of those eye drops, he turned into a giraffe. I used a step stool, horse cookies, and my reluctant husband. So what I am saying is distract him, get above him, and enlist in some help.

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-08-2020, 11:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Terramycin is prescription in my state, but it may not be everywhere.

Maybe you could put some gel on a soft lint free cloth and wipe it over the eye a bit?
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-08-2020, 11:52 PM
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As unpleasant as it is you could probably use a twitch and get it done. As I remember that is what the vet used years ago when I had a horse that needed eye meds. I've also seen a guy just pinch a horses nose and do the same. Another way would be to cover the horses head with a jacket or blanket covering both eye , then reach underneath and apply the antibiotic.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-09-2020, 08:49 AM
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Horses do not like stuff sprayed in their face, especially eyes and ears.

Anytime I had a eye issue it was never a spray but a ointment needing administered...
Still not easy when you realize how strong a horses eye lid is against our fingers.
I did the best I could by getting that tube in eye corner and depositing the ointment in...
Carefully wiping clean with disinfectant wipe the tube tip if a chance of a touch occurred..
Honestly, do not put that ointment on your dirty fingertip full of it germs or a foreign object that created the problem and you are now intentionally introducing new and more germs for the eye to fight off. yeah, just no.

Realistic and honest...
You need a vet, even though you are pretty sure of what you deal with.
If this was caused by a foreign object, you want to make darn sure that object is not lodged in the eye yet.
Don't be surprised when in a few days your horse is swollen eye shut, potentially in great pain with a eye infection now out of control.
If it is a scratch of the have large problems and are risking forever the keen eyesight horses are gifted with. A corneal scratch is also very painful to the animal just as it is to a human.

There are few things I do not mess with ever...eyes and the sight so easily damaged or lost is not one to mess around with in my thinking.
Please consider calling your vet for their assistance and making sure the OTC spray you are using is truly going to help what ails the horse.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-09-2020, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
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She has seen the vet and had a full eye examination, including checking for a corneal scratch. She just has mild conjunctivitis and my vet believed the gel would be easier (hint, it's not). I should say that I am using latex gloves when I do the finger to eye trick so it's not my dirty hand, and my daughter is helping somewhat by holding the mare, and she is the one petting over the eye before I get my finger there (I watch a YouTube video and some Vet demonstrated this technique - but the horse looked sedated, or at least 100 years old and sleeping). I tried getting the tube in the corner of her eye but sometimes she moves abruptly so I am worried she will bump it. We have had several fires and ash and dust in the air. She has a mask but her eyes were bad before I got her here. However, she is improving a lot, so I think I must be getting some of it in her eye because she no longer has the yellow eye boogers. They are still a bit red, though. My vet said to put it in for 10 days and it's been 6. I definitely don't want to twitch only because I know if I do it wrong it could be very bad, plus I don't have one. I may try the duct tape trick today and see if that is a legit thing.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-09-2020, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Jun 2019
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People here know much more about horses than me, but all I can offer is what works for me.
Every morning when I let her out I use a clean white cotten sheet torn into strips wet with water. Gently rub her eyes to clean. Shy at first but now it's a routine. Then I cover her eyes with my hand and a tiny bit of fly spray Wipe all around. At first hand under the halter, now I don't have to.
No flys around her eyes all day.
Same with eye drops. To me it's getting her used to me fooling with her eyes, a soothing voice and trust. I can tip her head as I pull below eye against cheek with my thumb, couple drops in, then cloth gently on the closed eye.

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-09-2020, 12:22 PM
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I had to do gel in my mares eye in March. It took 2 of us. What worked best was a bucket of feed held by my daughter and putting the gel on the lashes and skin even when the eye was closed and as close to the corner of the eye as possible. My vet told me this was fine as long as some of the medicine got into her eye
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-10-2020, 09:46 AM
Green Broke
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Try clicker training and you need something for pain control.

My horse was diagnosed with conjunctivitis. But the vet was wrong and it was uveitis. The 3 day delay in diagnosis gave him a cataract. Or he gave himself one by rubbing it because it hurt and was itchy.

If there's no corneal ulcer then you need a steroidal eye drop. Either prednisolone ophthalmic or neo-poly dex. The vet only gave me antibiotic ointment which is why it got worse for my horse.

My rules for treating eyes:

If there is an ulcer- treat with antibiotic ointment plus atropine once the first day to dilate the eye. Use banamine for pain. Be aggressive (treat 4-6x daily the first 2 days). 3x daily for a week once the ulcer is no longer visible. you can use atropine daily but the drug usually works on the first dose- provided the eye remains dilated, don't use more.

For any inflamed eye without ulcers, treat with neo-poly-dex same dosage as before. (4-6x daily, then 3 times daily for a week). If it's uveitis, you want to treat an additional 30 days, after the apparent inflammation has subsided. Again, use banamine daily for a week, and atropine to dilate the eye.

You need to manage the pain, otherwise you will have more trouble getting the medication in.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-10-2020, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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As an aside, a horse that won't stop itching or rubbing his eye could eventually lose it. (My vet SIL, had to remove an eye for that reason- it got infected badly). The eye saver mask that is available is useful in those cases to help a horse to leave it alone.

Sadly I had both the left and right eye mask of these things as my old TB had 8 episodes of corneal ulcers. But somewhere during those times he became very docile about putting in ointment in an eye. Its just the continued handling on the eye, but it can't be rushed (as when you have an acute situation and need to get it done).
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