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Eyelid injury ongoing for one year!! UPDATE: is immune support needed?

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  • Eyelid injury ongoing for one year!! UPDATE: is immune support needed?

    The vet is involved and comes back for the I don't even know time tomorrow.

    My horse ripped his lower eyelid almost off a year ago over the itchies, we stitched, repaired those stitches (yep, even through a mask he ripped them out). Went 4 months with good results then proud flesh set it, resected the scar tissue treated with ointment for weeks. Some healing occurred then he developed and abscess and fluid pockets, now it is swollen again while on oral Dex 8mg per day. He has also had steroid injections along with localized antibiotic injects and drainage holes and manual expression of the abscess.

    My issue is it is not healing. I am frustrated, the vet is frustrated and he is frustrated. I am ready to cry yet again and just don't know what to do. We did an ultrasound last time to look for debris and found fluid pockets which she attempted to drain with a needle. Even with all of the steroids he is still developing scar tissue and refuses to heal. He is up to date on all other care. Is on pasture 24/7 and wears a fly mask 24/7. Below is a current image, the original injury and an in between for reference.

    I think I just need hugs, and to vent. If any of you have had similar situations any words of advice would be great. Thank you!
    Current condition Post resection
    Last edited by Bugs's Mom; Aug. 14, 2019, 09:38 AM.
    Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

  • #2
    I don't have any advice, but I'm sorry you are both going through this. It must be so frustrating. I hope others can offer you some good advice.

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    • #3
      ((HUGS)) I’m so sorry it is frustrating going through something like this! I don’t have any advice but I’m sure some of the more experienced members will give you some advice or at least ideas on what else you can try.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bugs's Mom View Post
        The vet is involved and comes back for the I don't even know time tomorrow.

        My horse ripped his lower eyelid almost off a year ago over the itchies, we stitched, repaired those stitches (yep, evwn through a mask he ripped them out). Went 4 months with good results then proud flesh set it, resected the scar tuessue treated with ointment for weeks. Some healing occured then he developed and abscess and fluid pockets, now it is swollen again while on oral Dez 8mg per day. He has also had steriod injections along with localized antibiotic injects and drainage holes and manual expression of the abscess.

        My issue is it is not healing. I am frustrated, the vet is frustrated and he is frustrated. I am ready to cry yet again and just don't know what to do. We did an ultrasound last time to loomfor debris and found fluid pockets which she attempted to drain with a needle. Even with all of the steroids he is still developing scar tissue and refuses to heal. He is up to date on all other care. Is on pasture 24/7 and wears a fly mask 24/7. Below is a current image, the original injury and an in between for reference.

        I think I just need hugs, and to vent. If any of you have had similar situations any words of advice would be great. Thank you!
        So sorry you going through this ordeal. Have you tried involving an equine ophthalmologist? They may have more experience with your horse's clinical symptoms than a GP.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by OneTwoMany View Post

          So sorry you going through this ordeal. Have you tried involving an equine ophthalmologist? They may have more experience with your horse's clinical symptoms than a GP.
          Second this!
          Von Hendrix aka Jimi

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          • #6
            I'm so sorry. That does look uncomfortable for him and worrisome for you. Hope you can find some answers soon.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thank you all! An ophthalmologist from NCSU Vet School was emailed back in April and we followed their protocol but things got worse. We have not consulted again since the resection.

              The vet returns today so hopefully we can try another angle and maybe consult again.
              Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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              • #8
                I have no words of advice for you, except "that sucks" and "I'm sorry". Crossing fingers he turns around for you!
                It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  The infection spread to the area around the base of his ear! Ultrasound confirmed it was cellulitis and infection, no injury. He is on systemic antibiotics, banamine and Dex. The vet is going to recheck Friday, fingers crossed things begin to turn around.

                  thanks for all the hugs and support guys! I hope none of you have to go through this.
                  Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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                  • #10
                    Jingles!
                    This sounds so scary.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jingles & AO for your gelding ~

                      ((hugs)) for your worried heart ~


                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thank you guys! I have really become close to my vet lately which in the long run will be a good thing. I am also becoming very experienced in injury treatment (I hope that stops being a needed skill soon). I am worried but I know he is receiving good care and we are treating it aggressively. He is uncomfortable but still so sweet and willing to be poked and prodded.

                        If any of you ever have similar issues, come to me I can help you find the right mask and teach you some tricks for giving meds etc.
                        Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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                        • #13
                          Is there any way he can be stalled until a good amount of the healing is done? I'd imagine it's hard to keep the flies off him on pasture, and flies = infection and itchies.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                            Is there any way he can be stalled until a good amount of the healing is done? I'd imagine it's hard to keep the flies off him on pasture, and flies = infection and itchies.
                            He does have this mask https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 on and it seems to be working. He does not stall well at all, he weaves, paces and is very unhappy. If I were to stall him his pasture mate would also have to be stalled and I would be solely responsible for cleaning their stalls daily and exercising them both . The vet and I discussed it and we agreed he would be better outside as he is more likely to injure other things if stalled for an extended period of time. Our barn is not very bright and airy and the stalls are quite small, unfortunately (we will be moving late this year early next, once we find a suitable new barn). I wish I could stall him as it would likely help speed up recovery. He does not seem to be very itchy right now with 8mg of dex daily.
                            Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              After spending way too much time today stressing over this I have landed on SmarPak website and am seriously considering the SmartImmune and or the Vitamin C supplements. Has anyone used either of these? Do you think they could help boost the effects of the antibiotics and help his immune system?

                              I know supplements DO NOT replace medication and would never try to do that in this case. I do however know that certain vitamins and minerals can support a healthy horse and improve immune responses. He is currently on Triple Crown Lite and I plan to keep him on that as he has never looked better weight wise (he is also on dexamethasone so lamanitis is a factor). I did notice there is no vitamin C in that feed and after reading the ingredients in SamrtImmune and considering the effects of some of the herbs on humans they seem like a good choice to help him. I know we digest and metabolize very differently than horses but some vitamins are universally needed for mammals. Those of you with more chemistry and nutritional backgrounds than myself please feel free to weigh in. I just want him to be healthy and get over this mess. Thanks!
                              Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Rather than purchasing an immune supplement I would get a consultation from a qualified herbalist based on what has been happening over the past year. A herbalist will take into account drugs your horse is taking as well as which combinations of herbs work together etc. They may recommend immune boosting herbs as well as herbs to help with the specific issues. Obviously you would need to make sure herbalist and vet are both aware of what is going on though.

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                                • #17
                                  If you're on Facebook. Look up ASEA. I've read some really amazing stories on how it's helped tissue heal. I've not used it but I'm seriously considering it for myself and my cat. The horse (knock on wood) is ok at the moment.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Dear Bug's Mom, I'm in NC also! Where are you?

                                    I'm wondering why your vet gave dexamethasone when the eyelid had infection. Why did s/he choose this route? Dexamethasone suppresses the immune system. Do the vets suspect this is occurring through the lymph or what?

                                    Can he handle a drawing bandage over that eye? I mean a chunk of 2 x 2 or 4 x 4 gauze that is wet with saline with povidine against the eyelid, but then dry on the outside and wicks moisture from inflamed tissue from the wet to the dry?

                                    I think (I think) a cbc/ at least (I'd personally add a chem screen) will give you a scientific view into what is going on with your horse and THEN you can plan a herbal supplement of other strategy around your horse's current immune response. The Complete Blood Count will tell you how your horse's immune system is handling what is going on.

                                    GOOD LUCK!!!!! Report back!
                                    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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                                    • #19
                                      I wonder if a consult at a veterinary school is the next step. Progressive, spreading infection from a year-old injury is a bit scary to me.
                                      Von Hendrix aka Jimi

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by J-Lu View Post

                                        I'm wondering why your vet gave dexamethasone when the eyelid had infection. Why did s/he choose this route? Dexamethasone suppresses the immune system. Do the vets suspect this is occurring through the lymph or what?
                                        Steroids at lower doses can be anti-inflammatory but not immunosuppressive
                                        Von Hendrix aka Jimi

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