Friday, October 24, 2008

Corneal Ulcer

While showing a horse to someone on Sunday afternoon, I noticed that several of the horses eyes were watering. One of them had quite a bit a pus in his eyes so I meandered down into the herd for a closer look. His eyes were fine but I started looking at other eyes and was shocked to find Naylor, our two year old, AQHA, solid bay gelding with a painful, runny and milky eye.

This looked very serious and we tried to get him in to see the Veterinarian on Monday but he wasn't available. On Tuesday morning we tried again to get him in to see our Vet and failed. So we called the new Vet who just opened a practice very close to where we live, she is just a young girl starting out and when we had called her once before her prices were too steep for us but we were desperate this time. She said that she could see him at 2:00.

She did a very thorough exam of his eye and diagnosed him with a corneal ulcer caused by an injury of some type, which she wanted to treat very aggressively. Very aggressively means that we have to keep him out of the sun or keep a fly mask on him and give him a shot every day plus put three different ointments in his eye twice per day and two of those ointments 4 to 6 times per day.

It wouldn't have been so hard if we could have put him in a stall and kept him here at the house but he had never been stalled and he wasn't having any part of it. He nearly tore the barn down. Naylor is a very quiet and gentle boy, my DH just got on him and rode off the very first time he was ridden but he didn't like being confined at all.

Since my Husband was going to be working all week, I didn't want to have to deal with him getting himself in trouble or hurt in the stall, so we stuck a fly mask on him and turned him back out with his herd. His herd doesn't want anything to do with him and treats him like he has cooties or worse.

They are savage, vicious and down right nasty to him. They bite him, kick him and chase him. He is totally confused and so pitiful, these were his best friends. We take the mask off of him at night and they are all happy to see him. Then the next day it's the same old battle.

This has been difficult for us, having to walk so far to get him in the dark and bring him back to the house. We have to twitch him to get him to hold his head still to put all that stuff in his eye. Tonight it was raining and cold, we drove to the top pasture and my DH had to walk out into the herd to find him, which isn't easy in the dark, he went right past him to another bay horse. Then he had to bring him back to me and the Blazer headlights to do the dirty deed.

What is shocking about the whole thing is that he never tries to get away from us when we come after him with a halter and lead rope. Sometimes he even sees us coming and walks to meet us. I don't understand why except that he loves to be petted and loved on, he doesn't exactly like having his eye messed with or getting a shot though. We have tried giving him some grain as a reward for his good behavior but he won't eat it, he just wants to get back to the herd after the loving and petting is over.

The Vet called to check on him yesterday evening and I didn't get her called back until this evening. I told her that we weren't seeing much improvement except that he doesn't act like it is hurting as much. She said that we wouldn't see much yet but that he should start keeping it open more, even if it does continue to water and look white. She said that it might even take a couple of months before all of the milkiness goes away.

I have to say that she impressed me, she is a very empathetic Doctor, her eye watered the whole time that she worked on Naylor's watery eye, plus she didn't charge us too much and that earns her a lot of points.
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