Thought 4the day: Sometimes in life when we watch a horse come round and change you become complacent. An example i have is last sunday i know not to take my eyes off Puzzle when doing her rug up at the front as shes ticklish and still does pull faces but i did. My daughers were having a little disagreement as kids do lol so i turned and i asked them to stop and as soon as i took my eyes away from... her OUCH!! I got a bite for it right at the top of my arm just under the armpit area. Instant bruise and i did bleed a little. She wasn't being nasty i simply took my eye off the ball. I suppose todays thought is never become complacent horses are magestic and unpredictable yet loveable. Live life to the full just always expect the unexpected and you can never go wrong :o)
Quote 4the day: Live life to the full go for a ride :o)
Fact 4the day: Corneal Ulceration in Horses
Corneal ulcers -- injuries to the transparent outer coating of the eye -- are usually the outcome of some type of trauma to the eye. It may have come about as the result of running into something, violent contact with another horse, a foreign object entering the eye, fungus or bacteria in the surrounding environment, and harsh dust entering the eyes. All of these can be considered traumatic incidents. A less severe type of injury to the cornea, an abrasion, may heal itself, but it can also be deeper than it appears on the surface, or it may become infected and turn into a more severe ulcerated injury.
Once the eye has an abrasion, or ulcer, it can easily become infected, and these infections have the potential to turn a corneal ulcer into a serious health issue, sometimes breaking down the corneal tissue and leading to a defect of the eye that needs more invasive treatment than if it had been given immediate treatment.
Symptoms and Types
•Redness in the eye
•Swelling in the eye
•Tears running down the face
•Closed or nearly closed eyelids
•Inflamed lining of the eye (conjunctivitis)
•Dull corneal surface (i.e., cloud in appearance)
•Blood vessel development through the cornea
Corneal ulcers are often due to eye trauma, whereby foreign objects come into contact with the eye. Other secondary issues include bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical and ophthalmological exam on your horse, taking into account the background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have led to this condition. A fluorescein stain, a non-invasive dye that shows details of the eye under blue light, will be used to examine the eye for abrasions or foreign objects.
Often, an abrasion or infection is easily diagnosed by a veterinarian simply by peering into the eye. An ulcer should be visible to the medically trained eye, as well as the side effects to the condition itself. If it appears that an infection is present, your veterinarian will need to take samples from the cornea by scraping away some of the tissue for laboratory testing. Any discharge or fluid will also be collected for testing. A specific diagnosis is essential, as not all drugs are appropriate for treating an injured eye, and some may in fact do more harm.
Treatment varies based on the severity of the corneal ulcer. In all cases, it is vital that the horse be removed from bright light. This means keeping the horse inside during the time of day when the sun is high and covering the eyes with blinders or shades to protect them from light.
Leaving corneal ulcers untreated can create a potential risk for loss of sight. Loss of sight in a horse can be detrimental to their lifestyle, and although they have other ways of compensating for the loss of sight it is preferable to save the horse's sight as much as possible. For this reason, immediate and effective treatment of even the slightest abrasion is highly important. Your veterinarian, once alerted to the possibility of an eye injury, will treat the injury with the serious attention that is required.
A secondary infection is one of the more common side effects of a corneal ulcer, and this is the main reason for immediate treatment. Based on the laboratory results from the corneal scrapings, an antibiotic or antifungal ointment or drops may be administered to help clear up the infection.
An injection may also be an option, one that more horse owners seem to appreciate as it usually only has to be done once or twice per day versus the five to six administrations of ointment per day needed to clear up an infection.
In more severe cases, surgical treatment may be needed, with unhealthy tissue removed from the lids and eyes, and the area washed thoroughly. This may need to be done several times each day until the eye has healed. In the most severe cases, a corneal transplant may be called for.
Living and Management
Enough time should be given to the horse to allow for full healing of the eye after a corneal ulcer. Care will need to be taken to ensure that further damage is not done to the eye, either the surrounding environment -- such as with dust, flies, etc. -- by contact with other horses or while being exercised.