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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2005
    Posts
    348

    Default Couldn't save his eye:( ?? about recovery please help

    The Dr.'s and staff at Tufts, myself and my family as well as the barn manager at my wonderful barn could do no more to save Bruin's eye from a horrible insidious fungal infection. After an emergency trip up to Tufts yesterday, the decision was made. Bruin had endured 10 weeks of medical treatment, a corneal transplant and a conjunctival flap and at his recheck on November 2nd it looked like we had all done it. His eye looked amazing and it looked like it was going to be healed and his vision saved. But last week, on Thursday, it looked like he had rubbed his eye and irritated it. I kept watch and sent pictures to his Dr. and we upped his meds to see if we could reduce the inflammation. On Sunday, he opened his eye more but it just didn't look right. So the fungus has won again I am so sad for all involved. What a rollercoaster..... He is coming home today and I pray this nightmare is behind us and he will be happy and comfortable.
    Any words of encouragement will be appreciated
    Last edited by Jacqui; Nov. 17, 2011 at 06:54 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2004
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,469

    Default

    It sounds as though you tried everything. I hope his recovery goes smoothly.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2005
    Location
    Sweet, sweet Virginia!
    Posts
    1,674

    Default

    Jingles
    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,161

    Default

    I've known several one-eyed horses and they all did just fine. One was even a fairly competitive jumper!

    I had a one-eyed rabbit, myself. We spent weeks fighting the infection in his eye, and when it started causing him a significant amount of pain, I said "enough" and we took it out. He was a happier rabbit from day one (if a little groggy from the pain meds!) and was bouncing around like normal within a week. Animals don't really miss their sight the way a human would...they just adjust.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2010
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    881

    Default

    I know two horses right now that only have one eye (one eye each...not one eye between them), and they're both doing great! One is a pack-a-long sweetheart for her owner. The other is helping his owner go up the levels in eventing. They adjust very well!

    Jingles and hugs to you and Bruin...



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Location
    Evansville, Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,081

    Default

    You have my sympathy.

    I went through a similiar experience last year with my youngest mare, only the fungus was so agressive that it ate through the conjunctival flap in a day

    The good news is that as soon as the eye was out, my mare went right back to being her happy cheerful self, and the loss doesn't seem to bother her in the least.

    *Jingles* for a quick and uneventful recovery and adjustment!
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2001
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,255

    Default

    I'm so sorry. Eye stuff is the absolute worst. I hope your horse will be comfortable now. You certainly went all out to try to save his eye.

    Jingles to both of you.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2004
    Location
    Left coast, left wing, left field
    Posts
    6,017

    Default

    Good luck with Bruin's recovery!! You have gone through the hard part, believe me. I went through... well I can't remember but it was at least 2-3 months... of using antibiotics on my mare's eye infection before we tried an antifungal. Still a bit miffed at how trial-and-error the whole thing was but never looked further into it -- so I don't know if it would have/should have been possible to ID it as a fungus earlier. Water under the bridge (unless it happens to someone else!).

    I had the appointment for enucleation made, when finally, FINALLY the meds took hold and started clearing up the infection. I could tell immediately -- my poor mare had been so uncomfortable... She has a white perma-cloud across that eye but seems to have a small amount of vision around the edges. Had she been a riding horse I probably would have gone for the enucleation anyway since a little bit of vision can be a dangerous thing! But she is a broodmare and pet, and does just fine. I am sure Bruin will too!!
    Last edited by JoZ; Nov. 16, 2011 at 06:48 PM.
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,009

    Default

    Rats! I was hoping that after all you two went thru, that his eye would be saved. You did all that you could do to save it.

    My first horse was blind in one eye when we bought him. He was a great horse for a child. Only times we had any issues were (1) once when my foot hit the barrel while we were barrel racing, and (2) once when my father's llewellyn setter woke up suddenly and ran out of the garage barking while we were cantering by. Sideways jump and down i went both times. Otherwise, my horse barrel raced, jumped, went on long trail rides everyday with cars and dogs and people around, and was in a drill team.

    I hope the eye socket heals up well and all the infection is taken care of with the meds. Fungal infections are awful. I had a cat who survived the systemic fungal infection cryptococcus, but she lost an eye. She was in the UGA experimental testing of ketaconozole way back then.

    Once your horse is pain free, he will adapt to the use of one eye.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,630

    Default

    I'm so sorry. My daughter played polo on a horse blind in one eye. He couldn't be used for a sanctioned game, but he was awesome.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    147

    Default One-eyed and blind horses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacqui View Post
    He is coming home today and I pray this nightmare is behind us and he will be happy and comfortable.
    Any words of encouragement will be appreciated
    You've done everything right and sometimes sh*t happens. My old mare lost the vision in her eye a year ago, even after great efforts by several good vets at a very fine clinic. She was very unhappy as long as she was in pain; once the pain was gone she - so to speak - never looked back. She's still in charge of the "herd" and she still enjoys cantering around the field, grazing on her own, etc. She's made it clear that as far as she's concerned, no pain = no problem.

    I do have to remind others - AND myself, sometimes - to talk to her when I'm on her left (blind) side, keep telling her where I am and what I'm doing (cleaning stall, grooming, etc.) and when I'm leading her I need to remember to allow plenty of room because she'll sometimes get much too close to a door or post on her left side.

    Apart from that, though, she's a very happy girl and nobody watching her cruise around the field and tell the others where they can go would ever guess that her left eye is useless.

    As for career, my mare is a mostly-retired broodmare, but many years ago one of my dressage instructors rode - and showed, very successfully - a sweet Appy that was completely blind. She took him to shows away from home, walked him across parking lots... he learned cues for "step up, there's a curb" and "step down, there's a curb," and again, nobody would EVER have guessed that he was blind.

    I hope that your horse will have a swift recovery and a happy, comfortable life.
    Home page: www.jessicajahiel.com
    Horse-Sense newsletter: www.horse-sense.org



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2008
    Posts
    434

    Default

    Sending big jingles, sweetheart. Echoing Pasde2's wishes for a swift recovery and a happy, comfortable life. Keep us posted, won't you?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2010
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    Posts
    2,804

    Default

    Aww, prayers and jingles for a good recovery. Eye stuff is the worst. Here's hoping he will heal and do just fine.
    www.Somermistfarm.com
    Hunter Ponies & Quality GSDs
    www.UnleashedK9.net



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2006
    Posts
    2,888

    Default

    Eyes are so fragile, you did your best, you have to know that...I had field trial pony years ago that developed cancer in an eye and it had to be removed. He recovered well and adjusted well..Field trials are bustling with activity, gun shots, horses all over, dogs everywhere, game jumping out in front of you etc..I was initially concerned, but he made a believer out of me..He was fine..Jingles for a smooth recovery from the surgery and forward from there.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2005
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,209

    Default

    I had an older Appaloosa that had an eye removed due to complications of uveitis. He was fine with it--we was in his thirties at the time so he was already retired, but I do think he would have been fine to ride if he hadn't been. In fact, he was less spooky AFTER the eye was removed because he was then blind (before he could only see shadows). About three years later we had to remove the other eye because of an indolent ulcer and fungal infection--we treated him at home every hour on the hour for six weeks (luckily he was good about leaving his catheter in!) and still couldn't save the eye.

    He lived happliy in his own paddock with a double stall attached until the ripe old age of 36. He knew where everything was--the doors, the fences, his buckets, everything. He could even tell when what time of day it was--he would always scream for his meals when he could hear the tractor coming but he could care less when it came to clean his stall! They can and do adjust to life without sight. Best of luck to you and Bruin.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2005
    Posts
    348

    Default

    Thank you everyone!
    The most nerve racking part of the day was the trailer ride home! Not because Bruin was bad or upset, he was happily munching hay from his haynet, but the hospital sent him home, with the shipper, without his mask!!! He had surgery on Monday afternoon and was trailering naked today LOL!
    He has not trailered without a mask for 6 years. He had surgery on the other eye 6 years ago.
    The shipper was so nervous he went slow and kept watching Bruin in the video screen. Not once did he even come close to banging his eye He got on and off the trailer like nothing was different, walk into the barn and into his stall, dropped into the new shavings, ROLLED on his left side and proceed to drink and eat his hay and then take a nap. Unbelievable, what a smart boy...



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    98

    Default

    Jingles for a quick recovery!

    Glad that he seems to be settling in well at home



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2000
    Location
    Berlin, CT
    Posts
    4,013

    Default

    OH no!!! Those damn fungal infections are a nightmare. I know how you feel, was in your shoes just a few months ago.

    I have to say it is amazing how quickly Lizzy adjusted to the loss of the eye. Pardon the pun but she barely batted an eyelash at losing the eye.

    I on the other hand....... I what iffed myself to death and blamed myself for not doing enough even though I knew I had pretty much done all I could. It's taken a few months but I'm finally starting to let things go and adjust and accept that my girl lost her eye.
    "You are under arrest for operating your mouth under the influence of
    ignorance!" Officer Beck



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2005
    Posts
    348

    Default

    I went to the barn today and took off his mask and his surgery site was more swollen and warm. I called the surgeon and she said that this was ok but to watch for any excessive swelling and discharge. Is it normal for it to swell a little more? He had the surgery late Monday afternoon so we are 3 days out.
    He was happy and eating and didn't seem sore. He let me hold a cold cloth on it lightly. I have read so much about rejection of the implant I am scaring myself



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2010
    Posts
    199

    Default

    I don't know about the new swelling, but I just want to send jingles and hugs. It's a very stressful thing to go through, but I know a lot of one eyed horses that are just fine.



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