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Swollen Eye

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  • Swollen Eye

    My horse's right eye seems to have swelled up over night. He was fine when I fed him yesterday evening (at 5 pm), but when I went out this morning (8ish), it was swollen.

    This same thing happened a few months ago, but he had tiny bumps all over his face and chest so I figured he had rolled in an ant hill and had a reaction. The swelling went away after about 2 days and he was fine after that. This time, though, I can't find any evidence of any kind of bite or sting. There is a small scratch above his eye but I'm fairly certain that he's had it for about a week.

    The eye isn't swollen shut - he can open it if he wants to - but he seems to prefer holding it closed for the most part. It doesn't seem to be watering excessively, and I wasn't able to see anything obvious stuck in it.

    Any ideas of what this could be? I have called my vet and she's on the way down.. I would just like some kind of idea about what might be going on.


    Last edited by hauntedoblivion; Nov. 6, 2010, 07:53 PM. Reason: called the vet..

  • #2
    my vote is schmutz while rolling. get a wash cloth and run it under a cold tap, and see if he'll let you cup his eye with the cool towel. then after a few minutes see if he'll let you roll the lid up and take a peek at his eyeball. if there is no evidence of scratches (would look like a milky spot, or bluish oil slick, or deep red blob like a slug), i'd see what tomorrow brings for his eye. If you can get sterile saline into his eye with a blunt LS syringe that would be awesome. that can't hurt. you may find he just got it full of grit that irritated the surrounding tissues.
    don't apply any goo to it unless you have a vet out. guessing on eye goo can have some catastrophic results.
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


    • #3
      I'd have the vet check it out....could be a corneal scratch which would heal in a couple days, could be something like a little hook from a burr (these things are just wicked on horse eyes!), could be uveitis....treatments would vary so knowing which one it is is the best thing so you can get appropriate treatment. Was an ER nurse for a long time and eyes are the one thing we never ever messed with guessing....had them checked by an eye doc immediately.
      Colored Cowhorse Ranch
      Northern NV


      • #4
        Horses are basically eyes and guts on legs. Any time one of those three things is wrong, call the vet.

        I'd guess he probably bumped it and scratched it. Really painful but best to get the vet out before it becomes a bigger problem.

        My mare just decided to turn her beautiful face into scar face and slash herself above the eye. Nothing to stitch, just really unsightly.

        Hope your pony feels better soon!


        • #5
          I would have the vet out. I don't mess around with eyes, ever. Had a friend lose a horse to severe uveitis that went undiagnosed until it was way too late. Hope it is something easily treatable that clears right up!!


          • #6
            Calling the vet was a good thing.
            Eye problems can go south fast.
            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


            • Original Poster

              Ok, so the vet came out, and the diagnosis is: Ulcer. She said he probably just hit it on something. She gave me some eye medication and some bute and said he should be fine in a few days. Good news, I guess (well, not to my wallet!). Better safe than sorry though..

              Thanks for the replies everyone!


              • #8
                Definitely good news! Glad he will be better soon.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hauntedoblivion View Post
                  Ok, so the vet came out, and the diagnosis is: Ulcer. She said he probably just hit it on something. She gave me some eye medication and some bute and said he should be fine in a few days. Good news, I guess (well, not to my wallet!). Better safe than sorry though..

                  Thanks for the replies everyone!

                  Keep a close eye on it and call the vet if it worsens at all. My mare had a corneal ulcer from hell that actually started melting - she spent four days in the hospital w/ multiple eye meds around the clock (every hour first day, then every two hours, etc.). When I picked her up, I had to continue the meds via the SPL system four times a day for close to two months. She did lose some vision and has a huge cloudy spot on her eye but we were lucky - she almost lost her eye all from a simple ulcer (and I had the vet out as soon as I saw her swollen eye).

                  Hope it turns out okay for your guy .
                  "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England