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Forte
Oct. 25, 2011, 09:44 AM
Does anyone have a good technique for getting ointment into a horse's eye? I have a fairly cooperative weanling with drippy eyes who needs BNPH ointment put in daily. I haven't figured out a good way to do this. I've been washing my hands, then putting a dab on my index finger and sticking it into the corner of her eye, but I don't think that much of it is actually getting into her eye.

LauraKY
Oct. 25, 2011, 09:51 AM
The easiest way is to use a very small syringe...squirt the eye med into the syringe and pull the lower eyelid out/down to form a pocket. Works with a very cooperative horse. If you have a very steady hand (and same cooperative horse), you can squirt directly from tube into pocket.

For an uncooperative 17.1 hh horse (yes, I have experience), tricks are in order. I use a glove, never on my finger. That works a time or two. I can usually put a fly mask on him and sneak the gloved finger under. Still try to make a pocket by pulling out/down the lower lid.

Real Rush
Oct. 25, 2011, 10:10 AM
I used to own a horse that required eye meds 2X a day year round because of recurrent uveitis (moon blindness). Thank God he was a saint (most of the time) about me doing this. The method I worked out is this: (and I'm right-handed, so switch it up if you're a Southpaw :))

I would hold my left arm up and bent with my elbow crooked out-- not sure why it worked better this way; I think it's cause I could follow the movement better without losing my finger placement if they moved their head. Then would use my index finger on left hand to pry upper lid open, and thumb to hold lower lid down. With meds in right hand, would apply. Could also grab the halter with remaining fingers of right hand to help "steady" their head right before application if they fidget. Don't actually touch the eyeball, which would cause them to flinch; just the skin of the lids. Even with ointment, I've found this always works for me, just "draw a line" of ointment across the lower lid as you're holding it down with your thumb. I would then allow the horse to close his eye and gently help massage the meds in.

You can also practice prying and holding open your own eyelid in a mirror so you can get the hang of it and get a visual impression of what you're trying to achieve. And don't be afraid to pry your horse's open! I know you want to be careful, but it's reactionary for them to shut their eyes when you go to touch them, so don't be timid about prying those puppies open. ;) Hope this helps!

Leather
Oct. 25, 2011, 11:24 AM
From a seminar I attended:

http://www.clearylakevets.com/Seminar%20Handouts/PDF%20files/administering.eye.pdf

Retropony
Oct. 25, 2011, 12:06 PM
Once the tube is opened it is not going to remain sterile anyway. That is why in hospitals the tubes are used once in a newborn's eyes and tossed. As a vet tech in a clinic for several years, we used the pad of our pointer finger. Much safer than the tube itself. Clean hands are good! if it was a situation that needed to remain sterile we installed a lavage so we could inject sterile solution through a tube and deliver it directly to the eye.

Bogie
Oct. 25, 2011, 12:09 PM
Some ideas:
http://equineink.com/2011/08/01/how-to-put-medication-in-your-horses-eye/

MeghanDACVA
Oct. 25, 2011, 12:43 PM
Put the tip of the tube in the corner (medial canthus) of the eye. They will shut their eye. Squeeze liberally.

fivehorses
Oct. 25, 2011, 09:28 PM
Ok, I just put in opthamologic ointment...the kind in a tube.
I put a little bit on a sterile glove finger, put the majority in the corner of the eye, and then spread the rest over the eyelashes, which will get into the eye.

I find the method that realrush is what I use to do, but found too many times the horse might jerk, and the tube and the horse might land in the wrong spot.

Anyhow, that is what I do for the opthamologic greasey ointment.

I try to keep the tube sterile by not contacting it with anything other than the sterile glove.

sid
Oct. 26, 2011, 07:54 AM
If you press gently just under the lower lid, the edge of the lid will flip out somewhat-- then just deposit the ointment in that "pocket".

jaimebaker
Oct. 26, 2011, 12:20 PM
Holy crap, you people are actually suggesting putting a syringe or the tube of eye ointment in the corner of an eye? One jerk of the head and you're gonna have big problems in the form of a scratch or worse.

What I do is, of course, clean the hell out of my hands, get a wet wash cloth to wipe the eye with and take wash cloth and tube of ointment out to the horse. You touch the tip of the tube to anything and you risk contamination. So to avoid that I squirt some on my finger but NEVER ALLOW THE TIP TO TOUCH MY FINGER. Just stop squeezing the tube and the medicine will stop coming out then you can just pull it away from the finger until it breaks free (the ointment that is). Then I take my other arm, go under the cheeks and around the front of the head so I can slightly lift the upper lid. Then I use the middle finger on the hand with the medicine on it (on the index finger) to slightly pull the lower lid down. I insert the medicine into the corner of the eye, then I roll the eyelids in on themselves (you don't have to do this, and don't unless you washed the eye area first to remove debris). This will spread the medicine (blinking will too).

But I never, ever, ever put a tube or syringe near a horses eye. You're just asking for trouble and contaminated eye ointment after that.

I've, unfortunately, had a LOT of experience over the years with putting eye meds in horses eyes. Have even perfected putting drops in the eye which I used to think was dang near impossible:)

sid
Oct. 26, 2011, 02:43 PM
I can't imagine that someone would "point" a syringe or tube toward the eye. Since I go inside the lower lid, I keep the tip of the ointment tube upwards and it just drops into the pocket. I keep let my pinky finger rest on the head for stability -- if the horse was to jiggle, they would AWAY from the tube.

Like you, I too, close the lids inward and gently rub to ensure it covers the whole surface of the eye.

ptownevt
Oct. 26, 2011, 04:26 PM
A vet showed me how to do it relatively easily. Put the ointment on your pointer finger. With your other arm around the horse's head (hand on front of nose), quickly flip the lower lid down with the middle finger or pointer finger and wipe the ointment on the inside of the lower lid as it flips back up. I don't know if I described it well enough, but it's really easy. That is until they learn what you're up to. It is still easier to stroke over their eye with a hand a few times then just slip in the ointment than holding them still as you squeeze the ointment out of a tube into the eye.

Using the tube itself makes me very nervous. I'm scared of the horse jerking their head and stabbing themselves in the eye with the tube nozzle.

sid
Oct. 26, 2011, 04:29 PM
ptownvet - yes, I was taught by my vet and an equine opthamolgist the same way. But they showed me how to use straight from the tube (without contaminating the tube) by bracing my hand so there is no chance with a jerk it could poke the eye.

Actually, of all the horse care "technique" threads, I think this is probably the hardest to describe without a video...:lol:

AKB
Oct. 26, 2011, 06:11 PM
Sometimes it is impossible to get the eye ointment in. Then, you should call the vet and see if the medication is important enough to justify putting in the lavage system. My (veterinarian) daughter has a sweet, usually cooperative horse who refused to let her put ointment in his eye when he had a tiny ulcer. She sedated him every 3-4 hours around the clock for 1 1/2 days until his corneal ulcer healed and he decided to let her put eye ointment in. The other option would have been a lavage system.

merrygoround
Oct. 26, 2011, 07:37 PM
A vet showed me how to do it relatively easily. Put the ointment on your pointer finger. With your other arm around the horse's head (hand on front of nose), quickly flip the lower lid down with the middle finger or pointer finger and wipe the ointment on the inside of the lower lid as it flips back up. I don't know if I described it well enough, but it's really easy. That is until they learn what you're up to. It is still easier to stroke over their eye with a hand a few times then just slip in the ointment than holding them still as you squeeze the ointment out of a tube into the eye.

Using the tube itself makes me very nervous. I'm scared of the horse jerking their head and stabbing themselves in the eye with the tube nozzle.


This!! And a small bit of carrot when you are done, has them anticipating getting done and getting that carrot. ;)

Huntertwo
Oct. 26, 2011, 07:50 PM
I took a very small thin syringe (minus needle of course), held it parallel to my mare's eye and ever so slightly lifted her lid and squeezed the syringe.

Afterward I massage the closed eye to disperse the ointment.

ptownevt
Oct. 26, 2011, 10:03 PM
My vet said not to massage the eye. He said the ointment will disperse by itself through blinking.

Huntertwo
Oct. 27, 2011, 07:13 PM
My vet said not to massage the eye. He said the ointment will disperse by itself through blinking.

I kind of worded that wrong. I gently rub the closed eye lid for a few seconds.

Carol O
Oct. 27, 2011, 07:50 PM
Does anyone have a good technique for getting ointment into a horse's eye? I have a fairly cooperative weanling with drippy eyes who needs BNPH ointment put in daily. I haven't figured out a good way to do this. I've been washing my hands, then putting a dab on my index finger and sticking it into the corner of her eye, but I don't think that much of it is actually getting into her eye.

I have used this method, with the addition on putting a little downward pressure on the lower lid, and putting the ointment on the exposed inner (bulbar) aspect of the lower lid. This worked with a sassy pony who did NOT want her eye messed with. I understand that putting m the stuff on my finger actually contaminates it, but there was no way I could have put the tube of ointment close without getting nothing, or half the contents anywhere even close. It worked well, and the eye healed in short order.

I also used a sugar reward after treatment each time. It really worked well.

Good luck!

goeslikestink
Oct. 27, 2011, 08:01 PM
A vet showed me how to do it relatively easily. Put the ointment on your pointer finger. With your other arm around the horse's head (hand on front of nose), quickly flip the lower lid down with the middle finger or pointer finger and wipe the ointment on the inside of the lower lid as it flips back up. I don't know if I described it well enough, but it's really easy. That is until they learn what you're up to. It is still easier to stroke over their eye with a hand a few times then just slip in the ointment than holding them still as you squeeze the ointment out of a tube into the eye.

Using the tube itself makes me very nervous. I'm scared of the horse jerking their head and stabbing themselves in the eye with the tube nozzle.

yes you did as i do this to i can insert cream or drops this way have 22yrs expreince with it as ossy had moonblindness since a foal in time he used to just let open his eye or he would gve me his head funny boy he was such a gentleman

merrygoround
Oct. 27, 2011, 08:07 PM
My vet said not to massage the eye. He said the ointment will disperse by itself through blinking.


Yes!!!

Save his eye and your energy! It disperses well as soon as the lid closes. That lid fits kinda tight.;)