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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.

  • Bugs's Mom
    replied
    Originally posted by Alpha Mare View Post
    Have you had an allergy panel done? If he has allergies (that may have started it all) that might need to be addressed to help with inflammation.

    There is a compounded medication I used in the past (with vet Rx) called Dexamine - it is 5% Dex, 95% antihistamine. Maybe see if your vet agrees? It is strong - very helpful for allergic reactions

    the only other suggestion I have is to try an Equivizor fly mask that will cut out a lot of the UV light. It is adjustable and not expensive.

    Two of my mares (mother & daughter) have had eye issues so I sympathize.
    I have not had an allergy panel done but we (vet and I) believe that started it. It would explain the inflammation as well. I will see what the vet says as she was certain he would be PPID positive (glad he isn't). I'll check out the masks, I am developing quite the stockpile of masks already .

    Leave a comment:


  • Alpha Mare
    replied
    Have you had an allergy panel done? If he has allergies (that may have started it all) that might need to be addressed to help with inflammation.

    There is a compounded medication I used in the past (with vet Rx) called Dexamine - it is 5% Dex, 95% antihistamine. Maybe see if your vet agrees? It is strong - very helpful for allergic reactions

    the only other suggestion I have is to try an Equivizor fly mask that will cut out a lot of the UV light. It is adjustable and not expensive.

    Two of my mares (mother & daughter) have had eye issues so I sympathize.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparrowette
    replied
    All I can do is offer Jingles. Hope he clears up very, very soon!

    Leave a comment:


  • Bugs's Mom
    replied
    ACTH level is 11, so not PPID. He is improving, sorry I don't have a picture. I ordered SmartImmune as his feed has zero vitamin C. Also after all of the antibiotics I know he needs some probiotics and probably some prebiotics.

    I am also heavily considering a second opinion BUT he has improved and my wallet needs to recover a bit from the last bill before another one, if it can.

    Thanks guys for the advice and support, any other ideas are very welcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • Postandrails
    replied
    Originally posted by Bugs's Mom View Post

    Do I just google one? Sorry, I know that is a bit of a dumb question but this is far outside of my element but something I am very interested in!
    Unfortunately I'm not in the US, so can't offer much help with this. I think you'll need to ask for recommendations, so perhaps a new post on this forum would be a good start. Most herbalists would work with you via emails of blood test results and photos etc., so you probably don't need someone close enough to physically visit your horse.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bugs's Mom
    replied
    Originally posted by Postandrails View Post
    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.
    Do I just google one? Sorry, I know that is a bit of a dumb question but this is far outside of my element but something I am very interested in!

    just shoot me I will look them up, Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • Bugs's Mom
    replied
    J-Lu I sent you a PM. To answer some of you other questions:
    1. we are using dex to control itching/scratching and inflammation as the antihistamine did nothing for this. He will scratch his face off which is why we are in this mess to begin with. He was scratching his face on a fence post or something and caught his eyelid...
    2. I am the one pushing for testing to identify the underlying issue here as I see no reason for a wound to not heal full after a year. We did debride the original injury in April as he formed a lot of granular tissue but it has not healed since debridement and I followed protocol to a T.
    3. I will see if we can test for CBC and chem screen.

    Originally posted by mckenna310 View Post
    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.
    I am beginning to think you are right. I am considering a second GP consult with a different vet first but vet school may be inevitable at this point.

    Leave a comment:


  • mckenna310
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • mckenna310
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • J-Lu
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • just shoot me
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Postandrails
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bugs's Mom
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Bugs's Mom
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • endlessclimb
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bugs's Mom
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zu Zu
    replied
    Jingles & AO for your gelding ~

    ((hugs)) for your worried heart ~


    Leave a comment:


  • trubandloki
    replied
    Jingles!
    This sounds so scary.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bugs's Mom
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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