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Antibiotic ointments and eye issues

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  • Antibiotic ointments and eye issues

    Not my horse

    Are there contraindications for the use of antibiotic ointments (that don't contain steroids) in eyes?

    In other words, if you said your horse's eye was cloudy, and having no idea what the eye problem was, someone emphatically stated that using something like Triple B wouldn't cause any problems, would you agree or would you be
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

  • #2
    I would want to at least put a call into the vet. Ya never know when a horse will have a reaction to something!
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      LOL, well, that goes without saying that a reaction could occur even if it's an appropriate medication

      But I was just curious - I know that you shouldn't just stick something with any steroids in the eye without knowing what's going on, as you can cause serious damage. But just an antibiotic ointment?
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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      • #4
        What I do with my own horses and what I recommend to others are two different things when it comes to eyes! I've had two horses with uveitis... nuff said. But if someone wants me to look at their horse's eye and tell them if it's ok to do XYZ, I always say "call the vet, describe the problem, and do what they tell you." Eye stuff can get REALLY ugly, really fast, and is really painful for the horse. Things that look relatively benign to the naked eye can be a whole lot worse than they seem.

        When it's my own horse, I stain it before putting any ointment in, because once the ointment is in, you can't really stain it very well. Another reason to call the vet before sticking ointment in it randomly!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Interesting about the staining issue with ointments. How long would you have to wait after using an ointment before you could stain?
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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          • #6
            No I would not be alarmed at all and would actually recommend it. I'm not a vet so let's just get that out of the way. But if I have an eye problem the first thing I do is apply TA ointment. Some warrant banamine, some don't (I don't give banamine with conjunctivitis which I am very familiar with unfortunately). If the eye doesn't look better in about 4 hours, the vet comes out. Every case of conjunctivitis I've dealt with and even scratches and lacerations to the eye I have always had vets prescribe TA ointment as part of the regimen. As long as you aren't using old tubes or possibly contaminated ones I don't see any issue with it. Now then, I don't use it just willy nilly. I have a mare that gets conjunctivitis every year and last year it took me over a month to get it cleared and we had to go with steroids. My thinking is she was building up a resistance to the TA ointment. However, I had used Gentamycin ointment as well and she wasn't responding so I'm not real sure on the 'building up resistance' part or if they even can with something like an ointment (I would assume so).

            As far as the staining before the ointment goes in, eye ointment only really stays in for about 45 minutes according to my vets. So in my case, it doesn't really matter as the ointment will be pretty much on it's way out before the vet arrives. However, if I've got something really nasty and ugly I just get the vet out and I don't do a thing until they get there. I don't want to mask anything or cause any issues that would prevent a vet from finding out the problem.

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            • #7
              One problem with this hypothetical situation is the source of the antibiotic ointment. Once a tube of eye ointment has been opened, it should be thrown out when the course of treatment is done. Even antibiotic ointments - heck, even surgical scrub - can become contaminated and grow bacteria that are naturally not susceptible to that antibiotic or have developed resistance. Ergo, you shouldn't have eye ointment around to put in the horse's eye unless there's an ongoing issue you're dealing with.
              The plural of anecdote is not data.
              Eventing Yahoo In Training

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GatoGordo View Post
                Ergo, you shouldn't have eye ointment around to put in the horse's eye unless there's an ongoing issue you're dealing with.
                I keep many tubes of TA ointment on hand. I generally buy 2-3 at a time to have it on hand just for that reason. If I'm dealing with more than one issue at a time I keep separate tubes for separate horses as well. So if folks do like me, then yes, they should have unopened tubes on hand.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JB View Post
                  Not my horse

                  In other words, if you said your horse's eye was cloudy, and having no idea what the eye problem was, someone emphatically stated that using something like Triple B wouldn't cause any problems, would you agree or would you be
                  I think I would agree and also . I don't believe the TA opthalmic ointment could hurt anything (non-steroid as stated) but very likely wouldn't help and meanwhile, something is going on that I would want checked out immediately.

                  So I'd be surprised by someone not treating a cloudy eye of unknown origin as urgent.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jaimebaker View Post
                    I keep many tubes of TA ointment on hand. I generally buy 2-3 at a time to have it on hand just for that reason. If I'm dealing with more than one issue at a time I keep separate tubes for separate horses as well. So if folks do like me, then yes, they should have unopened tubes on hand.
                    It's excellent that you're so meticulous! When I was working for an ambulatory practice I almost never saw someone ask for or receive extra tubes; it was more common to go see a horse with an eye problem and have the owner ask if they could use the half-full, dirty-looking tube that was sitting in the barn from a year before. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have phrased my previous post quite so emphatically.
                    The plural of anecdote is not data.
                    Eventing Yahoo In Training

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh no, I totally know where you're coming from and it is EXCELLENT information that you posted! And hearing how high the prices have gone up with the shortage, I can understand why folks would push a $50 tube of eye ointment as far as they could They still run $13.50 through my vet so I picked up some a couple of weeks ago because I knew we were about to start cutting hay fields. Every year, at least one of my horses get conjunctivitis when stuff gets stirred up from being cut. That and I used to have one that had uveitis problems so I learned to stock up.

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