Spot background, Red injured her eye while I was away on Christmas, 25 days ago Christmas eve to be exact. Swelled like a fruit, ugly looking discharge, unable to open the works, yada yada yada. Unable to get back until 2 days later treatment did start late. Did salin solution flushes and then applied terramycin per vet's orders. Fed her out of a pan on the ground to prevent accidental bumping of her eye on her feed bucket.
So far her eye has improved greatly. The ulcer had covered her entire eye and she also had distinct blood speckled/spots at the site of the injury itself. I watched the ulcer over her eye slowly dissipate turning into an oily looking covering on her eye and continue to recede leaving the main injury site still very much healing.
I checked it today and the site of injury looks great, its already starting to dissipate like the rest of her eye did, the blood spots are no longer there and there is only a very small area of corneal ulcer actually there, and even then not seeming to impede her vision.
So now I guess everyone is wondering the reason to my post since things obviously seem to be going well.
Well, I have not ridden her since she injured herself, I was planning on riding earlier but it had rained all day, but I am still slightly undecided, should I go ahead and hop on and act like its work like normal? As though nothing has changed? Should I wait and see if the rest of the ulcer is gone completely?(taking into consideration it may never be completely gone) Ride but be very cautious on the ride? Like don't take her out on a trail or anything? Stick to the backyard?
This is, obviously, my first time dealing with an issue like this, when Poco had her tendon injuries it was an obvious course of action, dont ride til she shows sound on the longe at walk and trot, and then build up slowly with light riding. Red however is fit as a fiddle leg wise, and now I feel like im going blindly in uncharted territory...
Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today? I am pro-Slaughter
I had a colt that did this and our vet sent us to the eye vet at the University of Fla. This is what they did for the colt and below is an easier way they recommended for a broodie later.
There is a contact lens that is attached to a LONG tiny tube. The vet put the contact on the eye, punched a hole through the eye lid and pulled the tube through the eye lid. Then we braided the forelock and put the long tiny tube through the braid (between his ears) and we then braided his mane and wove the tube through there. This way you can add medicine without getting close to the horses eye. We then pulled a tube of the horse's blood and allowed it to clot. Every 3-4 hours I would put 1 cc of serum through the tube and bathe the eye via the contact lens. You can also add antibiotic if it is liquid via the tube.
It was pretty cool.
Now I have a mare that rubs her eyes badly if she pulls her fly mask off, she then gets abrasions. I simply put Silvadene creme for humans (it is thick and white) in the lower lid with a small syringe. Ask the vet to write you a prescription and pick it up at the pharmacy. This med is not written for using in the eye so your vet may not be aware of it. My local vet was not until the vet described above with the fancy contact lens told me about it at the Univ. of fla. where we took the colt. This med is antibacterial and antifungal and it works great. The eye heals well with this drug.
Simple pull up about 1 cc in a 3 cc syringe, pull the lower lid down and squirt in medication in the little fold of the lid. That's it. I do this twice a day until the eye is healed, usually about a week.
Like others have said, consult your vet about riding. If it were me, I wouldn't ride. When I dealt with a horrible corneal ulcer (that resulted in eneucleation) about the same size as your horse's I was told to watch for colic because of the pain associated with eye injuries.
I would make sure the horse is able to move around and possibly go for a walk ride, but I wouldn't do any real work until it heals.
A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham
think about your own eye. If it looked like that, what would you do? Go for a run? Probably not.
Now, taking her for a nice hand walk or even a ridden gentle walk (if she is a very calm ride), that might be a different story -especially as she is probably stall bound. However, unless she is an absolute saint about the bridle, there is risk in riding her -just getting the bridle on.
I would probably go for the hand walk and a good grooming.
Did your vet give you Atropine to put in the eye to dilate the pupil? If so your horse will be very bothered by the light so make sure you put on a mask.
I would not ride until the ulcer is completely gone. I dealt with an indolent ulcer a few years ago and it looked completely healed an a couple months later the whole cornea sloughed off. It was horrible! My horse finally had surgery and now is fine. Eye ulcers can go from bad to worse soooo fast.
I've had horses with corneal ulcers, one from a virus caused by chickens and another from Uveitis. I have actually had a corneal ulcer, myself, so I can tell you it is excruciating. I'm usually pretty stoic...no screaming or crying during childbirth, didn't throw up when my mare broke my hand and rearranged my fingers into unique shapes, but the corneal ulcer had me on my knees, begging mr. chai to get the doctor on the phone for some heavy duty pain meds. I hope that your vet has given you a prescription for pain meds for your horse.
A corneal ulcer can also cause a change in the field of vision if it scars, so I would definitely have a consultation with a good equine eye specialist before you get your horse back into work. When my TB mare got the corneal ulcer from the chicken virus, my vet, who had a special interest in eyes, did standing surgery on her to remove the scar tissue. It was fascinating, and it healed beautifully.
I second the suggestion of the fly mask, especially if your vet has prescribed Atropine which dilates the pupil. Direct sunlight can be very painful if Atropine is used.