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Clogged tear ducts, allergies, weepy eyes......anyone else?

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  • Clogged tear ducts, allergies, weepy eyes......anyone else?

    So, the vet came out today to float my new pony's teeth, vaccinate, and I also had him look at her eyes, which are constantly weepy. He said there is no sign of the dreaded "U" word, and that it was probably allergies, and not to worry about it. I had him go ahead and flush her tear ducts, just to rule that out, and while he did get some gunk out of one, the other one, he said had scarred over, and he was unable to get the catheter inside (the nose opening). He said to just not worry about it, but besides getting her a fly mask, is there anything else I can do? Any natural supplements? I asked about TriHist, and he said again, to just let her be....only I hate seeing her runny eyes all the time. I did DD her with Ivermectian but I'm not sure if it helped, since her runny eyes seem to come and go.
    Last edited by Freebird!; Feb. 6, 2013, 10:21 PM. Reason: to fix typos
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  • #2
    If the tear duct is blocked there isn't much you can do--the tears have to go somewhere! Perhaps there is a specialist somewhere who could do a better job trying to open the tear duct if the horse was at a clinic and could be sedated, etc? My son was born with one blocked tear duct and they had us massage the area vigorously several times a day. (where the duct drains into the nose--the inside corner of the eye) It did help some, but ultimately they did the probe thing--5 seconds later, problem gone forever! Maybe massage the area as the horse tolerates daily for a week or two? Probably can't hurt if you're not too rough, but I'd get an "OK" from the vet first.
    Click here before you buy.

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    • #3
      My young horse came with a blocked tear duct. The vet threaded a tube up his nose (let me tell you, he LOVED THAT) and flushed it. It took to flushings but it did the trick and he was not teary/weepy after that.
      ~Veronica
      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        She had that done yesterday, but, as I said in the first post, he was unable to move the catheter far enough into the right side, due to scarring.
        The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Freebird! View Post
          She had that done yesterday, but, as I said in the first post, he was unable to move the catheter far enough into the right side, due to scarring.
          They go up through the nose? Or down through the eye?
          Click here before you buy.

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          • #6
            My mare has permanently blocked tear ducts in both eyes. We tried flushing, no results. My vet thinks it might be congenital. A fly mask helps in the summer. Otherwise, I just wipe her eyes with a damp rag as needed. Warm water removes the gunk better than cold water.

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            • #7
              My old man has the exact same problem. There really isn't much you can do, during allergy season Tri-Hist definitely helps, but not a cure all. I put Vaseline just under his eyes where the tears go to help prevent the gunkiness and it seems to help quite a bit. Ill clean the area like mentioned above with a soft cloth and warm water and then put on the cream.
              Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
              Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
              Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
              Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                They go up through the nose? Or down through the eye?
                Up through the nose...So, I am probably using the wrong terminology, but I'm not sure what the little canal is called in the nose..??
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                • #9
                  No, it's still the tear duct--origin is at the corner of the eye and it dumps into the nasal cavity. I was just surprised they don't go in from "up top" like they do in babies.
                  Click here before you buy.

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                  • #10
                    Yes! My mare had constantly weepy eyes, and I had her tear ducts flushed out last year. As others have said, they think this is just the most fun EVER! While the teariness did go away after that, the results were not lasting. My vet said that she likely has allergies that caused her ducts to get blocked up again. I don't think that the experience was *painful* per say, but it seemed like a poor trade off, at least in her case.
                    Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.

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                    • #11
                      My mare has the same issue. I have had her tear ducts flushed twice, but the tearing and crustiness came back within a week. My Vet did suggest using warm, wet cloth soaks, to help break up the crusty stuff. I keep a fly mask on her when turned out, because the flies are attracted to the goop and will make it worse than usual.
                      When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

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                      • #12
                        Ugh, I have a horse that, twice a year, gets bad, itchy eyes. If we aren't on top of it he will rub them and end up with an ulcer.

                        My vet has us putting eye drops in twice a day. Refresh or Systane are the ones we use I think. Fly mask on all the time.

                        They also suggested Platinum Performance Allergy for him.

                        It usually happens in the late spring and fall so we are gearing up to really manage it so we don't have another ulcer this year.

                        The drops seem to really help keep the eyes flushed and not weeping.
                        Kanoe Godby
                        www.dyrkgodby.com
                        See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                          They go up through the nose? Or down through the eye?

                          Mine went up through the nose. And the passage was very small, which is why it took some finesse and multiple tries. So maybe try again another time and see if the vet has better luck?! Mine couldn't really get a good flush the first time either.
                          ~Veronica
                          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                          http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                          • #14
                            I had a mare that had crushed that portion of her face (my Desert Secret mare, Freebird--didn't you have a filly by him, too?) and she was just always weepy. There was just nothing to be done because as Deltawave points out, the tears have to go somewhere. I would just use a soft curry or brush to get the crusties off her face.

                            Now, Blush has the same issue and has for quite some time, and I haven't had her flushed recenty. I've had her flushed in the past, and it seems to last for a little while and then blocks again. It doesn't seem to bother her, so I've just left it alone.

                            DW, I've never seen a vet go in on the eye side. Always up the nose.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              The vet tried multiple times, different catheters, angles, had me hold the nostril, etc. He finally said that the duct had been sealed shut, possibly from inflammation that caused it to scar over.
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                              • #16
                                My mare had horribly goopey eyes for months. I took her off soy completely (she was only getting a small amount in her ration balancer) and poof! no more eye goopies. Mares are more suspectable than gelding to soy effects because of estrogen or something? You could give it a try. It only took a few days to a week for my mare's eyes to clear up. Good luck!

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                                • #17
                                  I know it's widely touted (without much more than anecdotal support) that soy causes eye goop, but in the case of a horse with documented obstruction of the tear ducts I fail to see how dietary manipulation could possibly make a difference.

                                  Mares are more suspectable than gelding to soy effects because of estrogen or something?
                                  A small amount of a ration balancer is not enough soy to cause a significant estrogen "effect". (allergy is a different thing altogether--maybe that's what you're referring to?) Estrogen affects geldings as well as mares. And what does estrogen have to do with tear production?
                                  Click here before you buy.

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                                  • #18
                                    Up the nose = into the Lacrimal duct
                                    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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                                    • #19
                                      I don't know deltawave. All I know is when I took my mare off soy - her eye goopies went away (I will admit I did not read the whole original post. It's quite hard to do so and pretend to be typing work stuff at the same time...) lol.

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                                      • #20
                                        YES! My big guy - and I - had our first blocked tear duct this last summer! Omg! Let me tell you! I was in a panic because I noticed a cloudy ulcer on his eye, I worried and researched and called the vet out! Well, we were having a busy day when i got the vet out, my vet specializes in acupuncture and she was treating my other horse's sore withers, while my farrier was working on the big guys feet ( the one with the eye problem ) and my husband and 6 year old were down at the barn watching all the activity. Next thing I know, my big guy has blown up, and he has bold gushing from his bad eye, I'm in goal panic mode cuz he is my heart horse and I think his eye just exploded! I'm kicking out the hubby and the kid and hollering to the vet to forget about the other horse she's working on, omg! I was a mess! Turns out, his eye didn't explode (even with all the blood) he was rubbing it and poked his eye then panicked and smacked his eye even harder splitting open his eyelid..... Jeez! That was NOT the kind of day I had been hoping for.... Well, we finally got his eye stitched ( I can't remember how many stitches, but I think 8-10) and then cleared his clogged tear duct. And boy was it clogged! We almost didn't have enough saline! I will be treating his duct from now on as preventative mntenanc! http://instagr.am/p/VcTPbnC0ME/ this is a pic after the stitches

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