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Eye injury, cataracts, corneal ulcers, blindness in horses??

Discussion in 'Diseases & Injuries - Horses, Mules, and Donkeys' started by dianneS, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. Nov 6, 2009
    dianneS

    dianneS Overrun with beasties

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    I have a mare that I've had for a year now, her previous owner informed me of the "cataract" on her right eye. She is pretty much blind on that side. :cool: She's an older OTTB. I've mentioned it to my vet and he's looked at it but not had much to say about it.

    I've always assumed that it was a cataract. For the past few days she's had some weeping in that eye. It was clear and watery, up until today. Now its a yellow discharge! Its only in her bad eye. Her good eye has always had a cloudy "spot" too, but its not bad at all.

    I've been trying to research cataracts and I'm coming to the conclusion that its not a cataract at all! It seems to be out closer to the surface, not behind the iris on the lens, but more on the cornea.

    Now I'm wondering if she had an eye infection or injury that was perhaps left untreated in the past, causing her blindness in the right eye?? Not a cataract at all! I'm scared that this could spread to her good eye.

    My vet didn't seem to have much knowledge of eye issues. He never said it wasn't a cataract, but didn't say it was either! I just wish that I could find better information right now, to help me out until I find an equine eye specialist, but I'm not having much luck!
  2. Nov 6, 2009
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Alpaca Master

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    What about a corneal ulcer? Can you put antibiotic eye meds in the horse's eye until you find an eye specialist? Maybe some type of eye anti-inflammatory?

    What state are you in? Maybe someone would know a good eye vet if we know the state. If you were in Ohio, I would suggest Ohio State University. There is also Dr. Geiger of Horizon Equine Veterinary Services in Ashland, OH.
  3. Nov 6, 2009
    dianneS

    dianneS Overrun with beasties

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    I thought of a corneal ulcer, but now I'm not sure?? I wish I could find good photos of both cataracts and corneal ulcers.

    I'm just not sure of how superficial a corneal ulcer is? Her spot appears closer to the surface but not ON the surface of the cornea.

    Its really hard to tell if I'm dealing with a cataract or not, because her iris is very opaque and it looks like a marble! then she has this white cloudy spot right where her pupil should be, but it looks like it is just under the surface, rather than behind the iris on the lens!

    Its just really hard to tell! I will try an antibiotic until I find a specialist. She's not in any pain, and has no swelling, so I'm just not sure what is going on! :barnie
  4. Nov 6, 2009
    dianneS

    dianneS Overrun with beasties

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    These photos make it look like a cataract, but in person, the white cloudy portion appears to be just below the surface, rather than back behind the iris on the lens.

    I just wish I had some pictures to compare it too. I've researched cataracts and from what I can tell, I think they would look slightly different than this. Perhaps I'm wrong though. Maybe it is a really bad cataract?? :hu

    But why is she having weeping and yellow discharge all of a sudden? The only thing I can think is perhaps she injured it, since she can't see out of that eye?? :idunno

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  5. Nov 6, 2009
    dianneS

    dianneS Overrun with beasties

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    Whew!!! I just found some cataract photos that look just like her eye! Definitely not a corneal ulcer either. What a relief! :woot

    Now to figure out why the weeping and the discharge?? :hu

    I'm still willing to bet that she got something in it, or bumped it or scratched it, since she can't see on that side...

    More research :caf and I'll have to start treatment and see what happens! I'll still try to track down an eye specialist, I'd like to know how her good eye is doing.
  6. Nov 6, 2009
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Alpaca Master

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    Blocked tear duct? Hay poke? Unfortunately, so many things it could be.
  7. Nov 7, 2009
    big brown horse

    big brown horse Overrun with beasties

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    Do you have a fly mask on her?
  8. Nov 7, 2009
    freemotion

    freemotion Self Sufficient Queen

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    Looks like conjunctivitis....of course, I am not a vet and I am going by a picture on a forum! I've treated many mares back from the stud farm with conjunctivitis with an antibiotic eye cream. Pain in the neck to put into some gals' eyes, but works great. I always checked in with my GREAT vets (a couple of decades ago when liability wasn't such a huge issue :rolleyes: ) via telephone, but kept a variety of meds on hand....the vets were 60 miles away and horses always get sick/hurt at night on the weekend.... :p
  9. Nov 8, 2009
    dianneS

    dianneS Overrun with beasties

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    She had something in it. I flushed it out really well, and its fine now. I'll probably put some antibiotic ointment in it just in case she scratched it, but so far its been fine with just a good flushing with saline! It was just hard to get her to stand still for all that!

    Her little pasture buddy has been luring her down into the woods a lot lately since the leaves are off the trees and the brush and weeds are dying back. She probably walked into some dead rose bushes or something, since she can't see on that side.
  10. Nov 8, 2009
    freemotion

    freemotion Self Sufficient Queen

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    A good flymask might be protective for her, even when there are no flies.

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