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  1. #1
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    Jul. 6, 2004
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    Default Anyone ever bought a horse with...

    ...moon blindness? One that had two 'flare ups' in its history, but hadn't gone completely blind yet?

    These folks I know just bought a horse... and w/in 3 weeks of purchase he had 'something not quite right' about one eye, even seemed to be blind in it, and the vet diagnosed moon blindness that next day (come to find out it was the second one in 2 years but the first one wasn't diagnosed properly).

    The real kicker is that the horse has tested positive for leptospirosis (or however it's spelled). Vets say it can cause the moon blindness but there are recent studies which seem to not find a correlation between lepto and mb (or ERU as is the proper term).

    So........ these folks really don't have the wherewithal to isolate this horse, aren't horsie enough to be able to treat his eye when it does flare up, and really just want to find this horse a good home.

    But..... HOW can you find a good home for a contagious horse that's gonna go blind? ????? sylvia
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  2. #2
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Default

    I don't believe lepto can be spread horse to horse. Are you sure about that? Most horses will test positive for exposure to lepto, they may or may not be symptomatic.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2001
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    Canada
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    Default Why give up on the horse?

    I have a 26 yr old QH gelding that has had "moon blindness" for around 15 years. He occasionally has flare ups which I treat by putting some ointment in his eye for about a week until it settles down again. He is now blind in one eye and almost blind in the other but I still ride him, he's still a great horse to ride... we hack and I just watch out for hazards and warn him with my voice and he adapts.

    Many folk are riding one eyed horses with no problem. I was speaking to me neighbour who breeds TB racehorses and one of their best youngsters right now is blind in one eye and it is not affecting his performance one iota. A Canadian Grand Prix rider, Laurie Bucci, has a Grand Prix horse with one eye that did very well.

    The jury is still out on what causes chronic uveitis, my guy tests positive for Lepto but he also suffered tramau to one eye when he was a 4 yr old which also is a risk factor. From studies that I read a majority of horses test positive for Lepto exposure but only a very small percentage actually have moon blindness.
    Last edited by Kafue; Mar. 30, 2009 at 12:45 PM. Reason: correcting info.



  4. #4
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    Sep. 8, 2007
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    Default

    Well, I don't know anything about Lepto, but the greatest horse I ever had the privilege to sit on was an Appy with moon blindness. He evented at Prelim, got me scores at first level dressage into the 70's, and could jump a 4 foot fence with an ease that seemed unreal. And he did all this in between flare-ups. We used special drops and ointment given to us by an equine opthamologist (which you should look into). It kept his eye going for another three years. Then he had to have that eye removed, and he still went like a champ. I would not necessarily just give up on a great horse because of the moon blindness.



  5. #5
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    Default

    Thanks for all your replies.

    I have owned (and still own one of them) two horses who had lost one eye to an injury. I actually think another of mine has really poor vision, but his eyes are clear... at any rate, what I'm saying is --- this isn't my horse, isn't my decision. If it were, I'd keep the horse and do what needed to be done to make him/her comfortable.

    But... it's not.

    My horse, nor my decision.


    I was just asked to find a good home for him. So, (pause) I have no idea how to do that.

    And, Jasmine. You are a saint. That was a wonderful thing you did. A lot of the stories I've heard ended in euthanasia due to the pain involved. sylvia
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  6. #6
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    Default

    Hey.... one question for the lepto knowledgeable folks.... Can lepto be spread from one horse to another through the urine splashing onto an open wound? On other words... just how easy is it to transfer this organism? And.... how common is this organism in horses anyway? The protozoa that causes EPM... isnt' that fairly widely found in horses? Just takes the right set of circumstances to set in motion the disease whereby the protozoa go from blood stream to nervous system.

    Is it the same for leptospirosis?

    I need to make a list and call my vet. sylvia
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    I don't believe lepto can be spread horse to horse. Are you sure about that? Most horses will test positive for exposure to lepto, they may or may not be symptomatic.

    I'm pretty sure my vet said it is contagious and I've read on the internet that the organism can live up to 60 days in manure and ... hm, 30 or so in urine. Can't live long when dry though.

    Vet seemed to think it's not like the horse can blow its nose and BAM, the whole population is instantly infected. <g> But, he did say it would be best to isolate this horse from others. As for trailering and taking him out in pulbic... I have no idea.

    What makes you say that "most horses will test positive"? Is this something you've read? Is there a link you could post? sylvia
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  8. #8
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    Jun. 11, 2007
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    Minnesota
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    Default

    Pretty sure Lepto is HIGHLY contagious to all mamals. When I worked at a small animal vet clinic we had a Pit Bull puppy come in with what we originally thought was parvo (nearly all sick dogs in Gainesville GA have parvo it seems... pretty sad that basic vet care is lacking in some homes down there). Regardless, turned out it was lepto. Freaked everyone out. Ended up euthanizing the puppy.

    If I recall right, it is transferable thru urine (not sure about saliva). So, I'd think horses could transfer it if they were in the same areas. I wouldn't risk it. I'd get a definite second opinion on the lepto diagnosis, and then if the owners couldn't quarantee it, I'd euthanize. I wouldn't want to risk infecting other horses, let alone people. JMHO.

    Moonblindness isn't a death sentence though. Gus has uveitis... though not totally blind, yet. It's coming, hopefully a few more years out though. I manage his with meds when needed and a fly mask 24/7 when outside.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog
    Photos



  9. #9
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    Apr. 7, 2007
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    Default

    What???? Lepto is a bacteria found in the grass AFAIK. The horse ingests it, and may or may not have any symptoms for years. I've never heard of it being contagious. Conjuncitivitis is the only 'eye' thing I know of that is highly contagious. Lepto causes ERU, which is not contagious. Now then, if you've got 5 horses on the same pasture, then yes it can get into all 5 if all 5 ingest the grass carrying the bacteria.

    Here's from the Merck Vet manual

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in...m/bc/51204.htm

    ETA: Yep, just found something where it says it's contagious through urine and blood. Guess I need to tell my vet that since I just had this discussion with him 2 months ago and he said it wasn't contagious (rolls eyes)



  10. #10
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    Jun. 11, 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jaimebaker View Post
    What???? Lepto is a bacteria found in the grass AFAIK. The horse ingests it, and may or may not have any symptoms for years. I've never heard of it being contagious. Conjuncitivitis is the only 'eye' thing I know of that is highly contagious. Lepto causes ERU, which is not contagious. Now then, if you've got 5 horses on the same pasture, then yes it can get into all 5 if all 5 ingest the grass carrying the bacteria.

    Here's from the Merck Vet manual

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in...m/bc/51204.htm

    ETA: Yep, just found something where it says it's contagious through urine and blood. Guess I need to tell my vet that since I just had this discussion with him 2 months ago and he said it wasn't contagious (rolls eyes)
    Glad to know I wasn't wrong in my thinking... Lepto isn't something you mess with. I think there may be different strains, but... you can never be too sure, especially that some of these diseases are zoonotic.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog
    Photos



  11. #11
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    Apr. 22, 2006
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    Default

    I leased one years ago with a cataract due to uveitis and he put me in the hospital when something spooked him and he jumped on me, knocking me out.
    Can be dangerous when they have a vision problem....



  12. #12
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    Mar. 4, 2008
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    Birmingham, AL
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    Default

    More recently they have NOT been able to find an association between lepto and uveitis. I have horses that were exposed to lepto before I got them and don't have uveitis and at least one of my horses with ERU does not have lepto.

    I think lepto is really more common with cattle and horses get infected from drinking contaminated water sources.

    In appaloosas they believe ERU is caused by an immune system over-reaction when the eye is irritated by sun, wind, dust, insects. And that probably goes for injuries which makes me think that any horse could potentially get uveitis regardless of breed and..of course...many breeds get uveitis.

    I would look at how bad the damage is to the eye. If I was wanting to find a new home for a horse with ERU that has no other use (breeding for example) I wouldn't expect to make money off of it. I would also look for someone who has experience with ERU so they will understand and take care of the horse properly.

    Guardian Masks really cut down on the number of flare ups and therefore slow down vision loss. This is my personal experience. I have 3 horses with ERU.
    Altamont Sport Horses
    Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
    Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
    Birmingham, AL



  13. #13
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    Jul. 6, 2004
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    Default

    Thanks again for all the replies.

    My vet said lepto was contagious... but not 'highly' so. Not like the flu or anything like that. Didn't seem to be worried about trailering together. BUT... I'm worrying about the urine splashing....

    BUTTTTTTT....

    As it is, lepto being as common as it is... maybe it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do w/the ERU. If I had the money I'd do the lepto test on all my horses. Just put my own mind to rest.

    As for selling this horse. The new owner said, "Find him a good home." Nothing about making money. Just a month ago he paid $1000 for this horse for his grand daugther and now he actually mentioned that I could give him away. Seems easy enough. A free horse, right?

    But nothing is really free.

    Thanks again for all the info. sylvia
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  14. #14
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    Apr. 7, 2007
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    Default

    And wouldn't you know it, on tonight's episode of House the guy had lepto and he'd gotten it by contaminated rat urine. Ewwww. I swear, I thought Lepto was just ingested...I didn't have a clue it was contagious.

    From what I was reading, it sounds like it is carried by raccoons, rodents and deer and is passed mostly through urine. So if those animals pee on a food source or water source, it is contagious. So, I guess if I've got a deer that comes through my pasture with lepto, pees on the grass, and the horse eats it, then I've got problems. Sometimes I think owning horses is great reason to curl up in the fetal position.



  15. #15
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    Default

    Sometimes I think owning horses is great reason to curl up in the fetal position.
    Jaime... you hit the nail on the head. LOL

    But you also made sort of a point for me... I mean. Who can REALLY, truly protect their horse from lepto?

    No body... unless you give the vaccine. And it's not approved for use in horses yet, although my vet said to use the bovine variation 'cause there have been many success w/it.
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  16. #16
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    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    Default

    you need to reqad this
    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&sou...klH2xXc3vf5fKA

    understand its highly contagious the horse should be pts
    it can be passed on via urine and water to other horses all he has to do is drink out of the same tub - hes a carrier sorry
    you cant home horses with a highly contagious decease
    if it was just the moon blindness then thats a health issue that can be controlled
    to a degree depending on how bad as i have a horse with it
    but if he had a highly contagious decease then no---- do the right thing and pts the horse



  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fourh mom View Post
    Jaime... you hit the nail on the head. LOL

    But you also made sort of a point for me... I mean. Who can REALLY, truly protect their horse from lepto?

    No body... unless you give the vaccine. And it's not approved for use in horses yet, although my vet said to use the bovine variation 'cause there have been many success w/it.


    At the end of the day I have found I spend more time worrying about my horses than enjoying them...and it saddens me. Ignorance truly IS bliss



  18. #18
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    May. 30, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fourh mom View Post
    And it's not approved for use in horses yet, although my vet said to use the bovine variation 'cause there have been many success w/it.
    And there have also been many reports of severe reaction which is why the bovine vaccine has never been approved for horses.



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