Options for dealing with uveitis - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-18-2019, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Options for dealing with uveitis

Hello, boy I never thought I would be using a horse forum. My interest in horses is relatively recent. I have been volunteering at a horse rescue organization for the past several months. They have a horse there that has uveitis and is blind in that eye, and they believe the best thing to do is to pluck it out. It is very runny and she keeps lying down on that side and getting there in it. I’m thinking maybe a patch to go over it may be a good idea to help keep it clean? They are planning a trip soon to bring her to a horse ophthalmologist to have a look and go from there. It is very difficult to see her have to deal with that week after week. Any help is much appreciated, thanks!
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-18-2019, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by chiaronate View Post
Hello, boy I never thought I would be using a horse forum. My interest in horses is relatively recent. I have been volunteering at a horse rescue organization for the past several months. They have a horse there that has uveitis and is blind in that eye, and they believe the best thing to do is to pluck it out. It is very runny and she keeps lying down on that side and getting there in it. Iím thinking maybe a patch to go over it may be a good idea to help keep it clean? They are planning a trip soon to bring her to a horse ophthalmologist to have a look and go from there. It is very difficult to see her have to deal with that week after week. Any help is much appreciated, thanks!

Horses with chronic uveitis can be very hard to manage and keep the uveitis under control. In some cases, the best course of action is to remove the eye. It just depends on the individual situation.


What kind of "patch" are you talking about? If you are talking about actually patching the eye closed, with like a sticky patch, that generally is a bad idea for horses just because of all the organic matter they come in contact with and the risk of fungal infection. Plus, when you patch the eye closed, now you cannot instill medication without undoing the patch. In most cases, when uveitis flares up, they need round the clock drops/ointments to get the inflammation under control.



But if you mean a "patch" to simply keep the eye protected, plenty of people do something with a fly mask of sorts to help protect the eye from the elements and also shield from the sun.
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-18-2019, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking the type of patch that a person would have, to help keep dirt and other things out. The last thing I want is for it to be removed. I sure hope there is another way, but it looks very uncomfortable for the horse to deal with.
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-18-2019, 03:52 PM
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I would have it removed. The horse will then be free from the constant irritation and pain, which could cause changes in behavior(not in a good way!)
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-18-2019, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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That’s what they think they may have to do. These things seem to happen to horses that have the sweetest dispositions, she is the sweetest horse I have ever met. We will have a better idea after the appointment.
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-18-2019, 04:30 PM
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Removing it will be far more comfortable for the horse. It's hurting her now; once she's healed from the enucleation, that will no longer be the case. Aftercare is intensive for a bit, but most horses recover extremely well.
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-18-2019, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by chiaronate View Post
Thatís what they think they may have to do. These things seem to happen to horses that have the sweetest dispositions, she is the sweetest horse I have ever met. We will have a better idea after the appointment.
I guess you haven't met Wild Card Salty, then!

JK... (kind of)....

You can read the short version of my one eyed horse saga in the "How did you get your horse?" thread. The TLDR version is that we bought a grey horse who was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer in his eye shortly after we bought him last year. We were faced with the decision to have the eye removed or put him down.

My vet, who previously worked at Del Mar race track, reassured me that he would be just fine with one eye, but it was a really hard decision. I was very worried about recovery and how he would adjust, because he's a bit excitable and very athletic.

Honestly, it was not difficult at all. Salty is just fine (eye wise anyway). The recovery was pretty easy, everything healed well, he's not spooky or hard to handle, and I can guarantee you that he doesn't feel sorry for himself or think he's disabled in the least.

Here's a picture if him at a parade training clinic about 5 months after his surgery. If you need advice and support, let me know. It's a hard decision, but I don't regret having his eye removed.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-18-2019, 11:25 PM
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Uveitis can be extremely painful. For the horse having her eye removed will be a relief. Don't give her human emotions, she is in pain now and a way to relieve that pain is the goal.

I DO know it's difficult for us humans, but just try to keep in mind it's a lot more difficult for you then it is for her, she doesn't have any mental attachment the way we do. Most horses do extremely well with this/blindness. Especially since this sounds like it's only one sided.

Better not to remove, but if it's necessary it really is for the best. She will be much happier pain free.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-18-2019, 11:57 PM
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I agree with @Yogiwick . I know Salty feels less pain after having his eye removed. I also think he is more mentally comfortable with no vision on one side, as opposed to having blurry vision.

I personally had a bad episode of iritis, which is uveitis in humans. It was very painful and difficult to deal with.

He really is a-okay, and he's not even a year out from surgery. Did you know that they do the surgery standing? Our vets let us watch the surgery and it was very interesting. We loaded ol' Salt into the trailer about 30 minutes after surgery, and he came home and ate his dinner like nothing happened. One week of Bute and antibiotics, a few dressing changes, a few weeks of stall rest, and he was good to go.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-19-2019, 01:49 AM
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There are two horses at my yard with one and one who I think should get this procedure done to save her the suffering. But her owner is fantastic and so ontop of it and the vet says there's hope yet. But back to one-eyed beasties. One girl jumps hers just fine. Says has to be more aware along fence lines and just look out for her more on that side. Other than that no problemo!
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