My Horse Has A Swollen/Sore Eye - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-17-2019, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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My Horse Has A Swollen/Sore Eye

Hello all
I went out to the paddock this morning only to find my mare with a swollen closed eye. She can half open it for about 3-6 seconds but then closes it again. I feel bad but I dont know how to help her. I cant get the vet out as he is away. I really wanted to ride her today as It is nice and sunny after being rainy for the past 2 weeks.

What can I do to help her eye?

All advice appreciated

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post #2 of 11 Old 05-17-2019, 09:43 PM
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Nothing, don't touch it, find another vet. Eye injuries are nothing to mess with, in fact you can make them worse.

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post #3 of 11 Old 05-17-2019, 09:51 PM
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At this point you must find a vet...this is very serious.

Do not ride the horse or cause her any more stresses...
If she was mine she would be stalled in a barn out of sunlight to protect that eye from damages bright light could do...eye swollen or not.
Do not force the horse to open it nor do you touch it...
Your horse is protecting her eye as best she knows and is able till you can get her vet care which is emergent in need.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-18-2019, 01:13 AM
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Find another vet. She needs to be seen as soon as possible--- like, today. Not Monday.

Keep her in a safe place, preferably darkened. A fly mask to protect her eye from irritants and insects is good if she is accustomed to one. Don't mess around and 'wait and see' with eye issues. They are assumed emergencies until proven otherwise. A minor issue and a major one can look identical.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-18-2019, 01:34 AM
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Triple antibiotic ointment can be applied to the eye - make sure it is just the regular Neosporin stuff and not the one with added pain relief. Give that every 4 hours around the clock for a week in case this is a corneal ulcer. Eye injuries are an emergency and you really need the vet.

Keep a fly mask on and give banamine for pain relief.

If this is uveitis and not an ulcer, you need a steroidal eye drop. But if you apply steroids to an ulcer you will lose the eye. Steroids are nothing to mess around with. Those are prescription drugs.

Eye injuries can go bad quickly. A friend of mine is a vet. Her horse lost one eye prior to her getting it. The other eye got a scratch, she took it to work with her, and despite the best care available, the eye got a fungal infection and she had to put the horse down.

Another friend had a horse scratch its eye. After a week at the vet, the horse still lost its eye. She had well over $5000 in vet bills.

I would get it looked at by a vet ASAP. If you are lucky it is a small corneal ulcer or conjunctivitis which should heal in about 7-10 days with the right treatment. Eye injuries are ALWAYS an emergency because what do you do with a blind horse? If the eye melts, you would need to put the horse down or surgically remove the eye. You can't leave a destroyed eye on the horse because besides being painful it will get infected.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-18-2019, 07:07 AM
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Your best course of action is to get a vet out.

Could be a scratch, could be an ulcer, could conjunctivitis or uveitis...she could also have sometime in the eye or on the underside of the lid that needs removing. I hadn't seen it happen often but it did happen quite a bit here last year because of the weird weather patterns - heavier winds during a time one type of plant was shedding seed and the tiny seed cases were light and had prongs meant several horses in our area were getting them caught under the eyelid. Any time the vets got called they'd flip the lid and more often than not they'd find one of those.

If the vey cannot come ASAP then if you have a non chemical rinse (saline rinse specifically for the eye) you can flush and apply an antibiotic only - I prefer drops to cream. Ask the vet when you call what to do until he can get out to you. As others have said keep your horse in a darkened space and/or put a mask on to help keep anything else from irritating it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-18-2019, 07:29 AM
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mystical....none of us are vets.
No vet would diagnose that or any serious affliction by not one picture and not a lot of information given.
Eye sight is a very serious issue to deal with...
One that needs hands-on examination cause so much can be different and present the same.

Call a vet, get a vet out and get the horse seen ASAP.

That is the best advice anyone can give you..
We can all be armchair vets and we could guess right or guess wrong...
You don't have the luxury of a missed guess with eyesight...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-18-2019, 08:26 AM
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The eye is near the BRAIN. The eye is near the breathing tubes. So much can go wrong just because of where it is - nevermind the eyesight. In fact, that's often the least of my worries concerning eye infections. Of course you want to save the eye but any infection left too long "up there" is asking for disaster. I cringe watching people rinse eyes out with tap water and dirty fingers. Not saying its easy in the horse world but really.. don't mess with it unless you've been given hands on instruction by someone qualified who's seen it. It could be nothing. It could be something.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-18-2019, 09:30 AM
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Never take a chance with an eye injury. Get a vet to look at it.

Even my vets, who expect us to do our own vaccinations, suturing, and manage basic colics, say that.
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boots is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 05-18-2019, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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So it is the next day and she is looking much better. Her eye is almost fully open and doesn't look very sore anymore. I forgot to mention before but she kept rubbing her sore eye on the fence. She is not doing the anymore and the swelling has almost gone.

Thanks for everyone's advice so far
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