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Corneal ulcers

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  • Corneal ulcers

    I would like to hear anyone's experience with corneal ulcers. My mare recently got one and we have her on the following: bute, neopolybac, atropine, autologous serum and cipro. It's difficult to medicate, but ages getting better so I'm assuming she's starting to feel better? She is stalled 24/7 with a fly mask on and an "eye patch" made of duct tape on the fly mask over the eye.

  • #2
    Look for my recent thread called "Indolent Corneal Ulcer" I have been dealing with one in my horse since June 26. I am not yet ready to call it healed but it looks a lot better!

    My advice is switch to banamine for pain control when needed. It is a lot better for eye issues...I have used both and noticed a big difference when I switched. If you get a bottle of injectable and feed it orally (I mix with applesauce) it isn't too expensive either. I put my guy out at night with a fly mask. I also bought an "eye saver mask" for his stall which has a hard cup over the injured eye. That is the way to go if they are rubbing the eye a lot.

    I also added Adequan drops about 2 weeks ago and that really seemed to help.

    Are you medicating with 1cc syringes? That has worked better for me than using my finger. Also, did you do a culture?


    • Original Poster

      Oh my gosh! That is a long time to be medicating an eye, I hope I can survive this! I am using syringes, we have not done a culture, but I was just told to use monestat in the eye to prevent fungal infection..? It is a pretty big ulcer, the second day the entire eye got cloudy, but now it's just the ulcerated area. Did your horse get any subconjunctival hemorrhaging?


      • Original Poster

        Oh, and I have banamine, I switched to but because the vet said that's a last ditch effort?? But, do you think it helped a lot more?


        • #5
          The vet can give you an ophthalmolic ointment for fungal infections. My guy was on that for a while until we could rule out a fungal infection. I have heard of using Monistat but as sensitive as the eye is, I would be wary of doing that. My guy has never had any hemorraging with his, but his was really big, right in the middle of the eye.

          Banamine is MUCH better in my opinion. My vet started him out on Bute, but I noticed a big difference in his pain when we switched to Banamine. He was on Banamine for over 3 months...the dose really depended on the pain level. He did fine with it even though it was a long time to keep him on it.

          How long has your horse had the ulcer? Do you have an ophthalmologist in your area? You may want to consult one if it doesn't heal up in a reasonable time. There are other things that can be done (debriding, grid keratectomy, etc.) if it is not healing as it should.


          • Original Poster

            She's had it for almost a week. I have noticed its getting smaller? It just freaks me out cause I've never had an eye injury with a horse. UF is about an 1 1/2 hours from me, so if it doesn't improve she will be taking a ride to visit the ophthalmologist there. I notice it improving, just slowly. I guess I shouldn't be expecting it to heal overnight.


            • #7
              If you're going to visit the opthalmologist in any case, ask him or her about contact lenses for horses. No joke - they exist and they're being used for quite a few different conditions, including some eye injuries including certain corneal ulcers. The lenses are rather like the ones humans use that last for a month or so and are then replaced; I know only one horse owner who has used them and I believe she said that her horse's lenses stayed in place for two or three weeks before he needed new ones put in at the next vet visit, and that the lenses really helped a lot with his healing. It's not brand-new technology but it's new enough that a lot of vets haven't heard about it, and I expect that - like any relatively new treatment option - it's probably costly. But an equine opthalmologist would know about this, and should at least be able to tell you whether it might be suitable for your particular horse's condition. In other words - forgive the pun - this might be something worth looking into.
              Home page: www.jessicajahiel.com
              Horse-Sense newsletter: www.horse-sense.org


              • #8
                A week isn't so long. The cells in they eye have to grow over the ulcerated part and that takes time.

                However, bute is not effective for eye pain. Banamine is. And eye injuries are quite painful so you would do your horse a HUGE favor by using banamine instead.


                • Original Poster

                  I have her banamine orally when I first discovered it while waiting for the vet. What's a good daily dose? Do you give it twice daily or once daily? I was a small animal vet tech, so I could also give it IV.


                  • #10
                    Last spring my mare had what they called a non healing ulcer. The way it was explained to me was the eye was growing tissue over the ulcer and the meds couldn't get to the ulcer so it wasn't healing. It had to be debrided and as she was getting four meds in her eye five times a day it was decided it was best to put a tube in to save us all aggrivation .

                    She was in the hosp. for a week and when she came home she got her meds four times a day, banamine was given every other day.
                    She wore one of the masks with the dark, hard plastic over the injured eye. The tube for her meds was braided into her mane. With this set up she was able to be turned out although I was warned to not turn her out with any other horse.

                    It was a wonderful day when she was announced cured and all the meds could be stopped. I actually did a happy dance right in the hospital.

                    I wish you good luck and quick healing with your horse.
                    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jhorne89 View Post
                      I have her banamine orally when I first discovered it while waiting for the vet. What's a good daily dose? Do you give it twice daily or once daily? I was a small animal vet tech, so I could also give it IV.
                      If it is healing slowly, just keep doing what you are doing! But if you notice it getting bigger or her being more painful, then it might be time to take her to the specialist. Most ulcers will respond to the normal course of treatment within 2 weeks. There are "special cases" horses (like mine!) that have trouble healing the ulcer and that is when you need to try more than the usual stuff.

                      Banamine doses - it really depended on how he looked. He is a big guy (probably 1400 lbs) so per the vet's instructions I would do 7 cc twice a day and then try to taper it down as he was feeling better. If he was really having a bad day though I would give him 10-12 cc in the AM only. That seemed to work better for him for the really painful times. Normal dose is 1ml/100 lbs. I believe. Is she still pretty painful?