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#31 TracyA

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 02:44 PM

I'm glad to hear both your babies are improving. That must be a relief! Thanks for the update.

Tracy

#32 Claireville Coach

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 10:07 PM

So happy to hear you have a good outcome for both of your babies! What a relief!

Tracey M

[Yay]

#33 Chocomare

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 01:52 PM

What a relief!

Well, now at least you will know what to watch for should uveitis really rear its ugly head! I pray you never see it, of course [Wink]

#34 putsy54

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 11:13 PM

My 18 Year Old QH Mare, Poise, started showing signs of swelling around her left eye and had a yellow mucous coming from it yesterday. I took her to the vet today and he said she has moon blindness. He gave me 2 ointments, Atropine Sulfate and Neobacimyx, to give to her 3 times a day and gave her a shot of banamine. I decided to look on the internet about it and after 2 articles am already really upset. They said that it is recurring and each time comes back with severe pain and more eyeloss. Right now it is only the left eye but I was wondering if it will spread to the right eye. And I was wondering if any one else has a horse with it that is living pain free. This is very hard on me as she is my first horse and in the 5 years that I have had her have learned alot and have 2 beautiful babies out of. I have always said that as long as she has a chance of living painfree I will adapt to what she needs, but I DO NOT want her going through painful episodes just so I can spend more time with her. I want her to be able to live a happy life, but if I absolutely have to will have her humanely euthanized and buried at my parents farm. Sorry for the long note but it's hard to think about it. Any info would be helpful on treatments and such are greatly appreciated. Also can it be spread to other horses?

#35 glass horse

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 11:40 PM

i know how scarry the info is. my guy had eye prob. last year we though was uveitis, but it was found not to be. he developed a corneal ulcer. anyways we took him to an opthamologist and they took scrapings of the ulcer and sent it out for tests. his treatment was every four hours and consisted of atropine(once a day for three days) im sure your vet to be careful with it can cause tummy upset. and the other were every for hours/ ciloxin,sochlor,and good old vaginal creme(for yeast infections). my guys eye did heal up, but i am always going to be worried about it. a couple of things the first vet we had prescribed a steroid which in turn caused the ulcer. so stay away from steroid ointments. i would also sew a patch on his fly masy to keep the sun out. i used a t/shirt it was soft so if he rubbed it wouldnt irritate it more. and i figured he coulnd see out of that eye anyways so it couldnt do any harm keep us posted i know how scarry it is, seems like the more i found the more discouraged i got. hang in there!

#36 TracyA

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 12:02 AM

I feel your pain and panic. My eight year old gelding was diagnosed with uveitis late last October. He is one of the unlucky 20% of horses that develops moonblindness in both eyes. By the time he was diagnosed, Fessor's eyes already showed signs of permanent damage. The opthamologist had me put atropine ointment and neopolydex ointment (steroid & antibiotic) in the eyes twice a day and give him paste Banamine twice a day. We kept up this regimen for a week, then gradually began tapering off the meds. First we reduced to once a day, then every other day, then every few days. This was enough to get Fessor through the flare up and us onto a maintenance routine. After a day of this, Fessor was looking more comfortable and after two days he looked *much* better. It may take you and your doctor awhile to find the combination of medications that keeps your horse comfortable, but it can be done!

I found that Fessor did best on low doses of anti-inflammatory medications. Initially, I had him on a 500lb dose of Banamine once every other day. After awhile, I tried him on powdered aspirin. Now, he's on the powdered aspirin once a day. It seems to help keep his eyes looking more normal. Otherwise, they get a bit swollen outside and the eyeballs protrude so that he looks bug eyed. If I notice swelling, watery eyes, or a tendency to rub the eyes I either increase the aspirin or switch over to a 1000 lb dose of Banamine for a few days.

Fessor has since had a couple more flare ups, and each time his behavior made me believe he had lost some more of his vision. About four months ago, he became essentially blind. Fess appears to have some sense of light and dark, and some sense of shadows but that is all. Frankly Fessor adjusted to his fading vision sooner that I did, and with much more grace. Not only is he still happy and otherwise healthy, I still ride him. We needed some time to adjust and for safety concerns we quit jumping. But I still ride Fessor on a regular basis and he seems to enjoy getting out together. Right now, he's adjusting to life in a pasture with plenty of other horses (including two who are compeletly blind).

I remember how hard it was to stay calm when Fessor was first diagnosed. How could such a sweet, smart, young horse be going blind? It wasn't fair. Yes, I cried and grieved. And then I started asking for positive blind horse stories. In those stories, I found hope. Two websites I found particularly helpful are http://www.blindhorses.org and http://www.smartgroups.com/groups/blindhorses. The blindhorses website is designed for people who just found out a horse in their life is going blind. It has information about the equine eye, eye diseases, management of newly blind horses, and links to inspirational stories. Both stories are encouraging and worth reading! The smartgroups site is essentially an online support group. The smartgroups site has been a bit slow lately in getting posts and responses up, but people will answer in time.

My understanding is that uveitis is an autoimmune disease. One horse will not give it to another. BUT, one of the triggers is some kinds of Leptospirosis bacteria. It might be worth checking for antibody levels. If the pasture has Leptospirosis around, than if another horse is susceptible to the autoimmune disease that may be an issue.

Best of luck with Poise. At the very least, now that you know she has uveitis you can work to slow the progression of the disease. And to quote the smartgroup's motto, "There is life after blindness."

The link to the blog in my signature is an online journal I am keeping of my journey into blindness with Fessor. It may give you a flavor of my experience over the last few months since Fess has started *acting* blind.

One last thing... The October issue of Paint Horse Journal will have an article about blindness in horses and how it is not the end of life or of riding. I am eagerly awaiting the publication to see how the pictures of Fessor and me turned out. I met the author through this website and one thing led to another.

Keep breathing, and you will both be fine. You are not alone.

Tracy

[ 08-31-2006, 12:13 AM: Message edited by: TracyA ]

#37 BB Blue

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 12:16 AM

Also, keep a fly mask on your horse every day. Helps with uv rays and keeps the flies from aggravating the problem.
You might want to check with your vet and see if there is a veterinary opthamologist in your area.
I have a 23yr old that was misdiagnosed at 17 with cataracts, got 2nd opinion, was sent to vet opth. and he had glaucoma. By this time he had lost sight in right eye and only has a little in left.
Good Luck!
BB

#38 TracyA

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 12:41 AM

BB Blue has a good suggestion about consulting an opthamologist. I don't know if there are any equine opthamologists near you. The vet school at Iowa State University has an opthamology department. I haven't been there yet as I am newly arrived in Iowa, but I've heard good things about them. The folks at Iowa State might be able to refer you to someone in your area. Just an idea to consider...

Tracy

#39 CountryMom

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 10:04 AM

A Big DITTO to Tracy's post. That smart group is wonderful. They were our God send when we had an eye accident with our 2 year old that triggered uveitis. Due to the flare up we did loose eye sight in her right eye. So far we have been flare up free, but I do take some precaustions. One, I keep her on MSM instead of the aspirin powder. It is also an anti inflamitory and much easier for me to get locally. Secondly, I have made the choice of only putting a fly mask on during extreme sun, wind or travel. I know others recommend it 24/7 but I couldn't stand the way the rub marks were getting raw for our girl. Just my preference. I also do not worm her with chemical wormers at full dose. I do so in smaller doses for a couple of days. Some on smartgroup have found them to trigger an immune response which results in a flare up. It has worked so far for us. Please keep you horse on banamine during the flare up. Consult your vet, but we have found that giving them injectable kind via the mouth - just squirt it into the mouth without the needle - worked best for us. We learned that at Texas A & M. They have seen it show less problems with stomach issues than using the paste. We had our filly on it for 2 months during the original flare up. We had no stomach issues.

Please do not give up on your horse out of fear of pain. This kind of pain can be controlled. Blindness is not the end either for your horse. As Tracy said, they adjust so much faster than we do! Our filly has since gone on to be broke to ride. She is also so gentle that she will probably be one of our kids horses in the not so distant future.

Please visit the smart group and learn about all the fantastic horses there and their owners. It will give you hope and knowledge.

#40 TracyA

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 06:56 PM

[Smiley Wavey] Hi CountryMom.

I could not have predicted how much I would learn in so short a time from Fessor. The journey with him has been so very rewarding...

Tracy

#41 Chocomare

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 07:28 PM

Another BIG ditto to TracyA's post. I've been there, too, with my late appaloosa mare.

Uveitis flare ups can be controlled. Follow the prescribed course of banamine, atropine and antibiotic salve TO THE LETTER. Keep the horse in where it is dark and/or keep a fly mask on. The atropine dilates the eye, so they are even more light sensitive.

Get the horse on either the daily aspirin or MSM regimen forever. My app was on 25 human aspirin per day (I whizzed 'em in an old electric coffee grinder). I also put in about 10 Berry-Flavored Tums to prevent tummy upset. She loved them...she thought they were candy.

Also, it is believe that allergies can trigger a flare up. So, during the spring and fall, get some Tri-Hist or other antihistamine. Star actually went through spring and fall without a flare up due to this regimen.

Sadly, I was forced to put her down due to a horribly arthritic knee. I miss her like crazy. [Me Cry]

Best of luck.

#42 CountryMom

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 10:56 PM

Hi Tracy,
I think we are in the same boat. I am amazed at my understanding of horse behavior after having our mare Missy go through her eye sight loss. I like to look on the good side and how much she has taught our entire family. I know you understand with Fessor.

See you on the next moonblindness post!! [Not Worthy]

#43 Claireville Coach

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 09:09 AM

First of all, I want to say that you have done the single most important thing for your horse to improve her chances of retaining sight - you got help immediately. Aggressive treatment at the earliest symptoms is her best hope. It's great that you are doing research and asking lots of questions at this early stage too. Well informed is well armed in the war against ERU.

My gelding developed ERU in both eyes after a bout of EHV1 Myeloencephalitis. (The Neurologic form of the Equine Herpes Virus.) ERU can be triggered by many things, but it is essentially an autoimmune disease as another poster mentioned. Whether it will spread to the other eye is anybody's guess, so be watchful. It does end up in both eyes 20% of the time.

I am sure you will have a good long time with your mare where you will be able to keep the disease in check and keep her pain free. Low dose anti-inflammatories have been enough with my Reno, and at one gram per day, the cost of his pain management is very little. (Although he had to be weaned down to that level after aggressive treatment with Bute, Banamine, Atropine and Azium.)

There are good options available to you at this early stage to make it even more manageable. If your vet is not familiar with them, consult an equine ophthalmologist. Particularly, you should look into the Cyclosporin implant. It is a small implant placed in the conjunctival sac around the eye under sedation and local anaesthetic. I believe it releases its medication for up to five years. There have been good results from it, and at this point in your mare's disease, it may be all she needs for now. (Once the initial flare-up has resolved.)

If the worst happens, it is not a death sentence, or even the end of her career. Reno went completely blind within eight months of onset. (His case was as bad as it gets according to my vet.) Three years later, he is happy, healthy and has a very good quality of life being the pasture buddy for weanlings. He has made such a good mental map of his pasture, that when I call him to the fence, he will still TROT over to me, somehow managing to navigate between the many trees without bumping into any of them.

AND,

He still loves to go for a good long trail ride. We are located in a large conservation area, so there is some difficult terrain for him to cope with - hills, rocks, rivers, bridges, dense forest, etc. - and he has no trouble at all. He has become highly attuned to verbal cues, and confidently marches along, even preferring to be in the lead of the other horses. I actually use him to calm green young horses when they are just learning the trails. He doesn't even spook at the many deer who frequently leap across the trails all around us. A fawn actually ran between his legs one day and he didn't even care.

As many of the other posters have mentioned, I have learned so much from this admittedly difficult experience. Although it was heartbreaking, I have been astounded by Reno's resiliency, and his rapid ability to adapt to the darkness. He accepted it without signs of depression or ill-temper, and seems to be happy just to be alive. I never knew the enormous capacity for courage in the equine heart before this happened.

I wish you the best with your mare, and hope you are able to get her ERU under control for a long, long time. Know that there are others out there who have gone through the same pain and anguish you are feeling right now. There is hope, and you and she will cope with whatever comes.

[Huggy]

Tracey

#44 Claireville Coach

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 09:16 AM

TracyA - Who from HC did the article in the Paint Horse Journal? Is it someone from the boards who also has a blind horse? Maybe it's time we formed a posse!

Tracey M.
(People are going to get confused between the two of us on these ERU posts.)

#45 TracyA

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 10:54 AM

Tracey M, Jessica Hein with the Paint Horse Journal saw the article about Fessor on the main horsecity website and sent me a PM asking if she could speak with me about my experience. It all started from the blog I've been keeping in the hc blog area about my experiences since Fessor went mostly blind. I started that blog about a day after he first started *acting* blind, about four months ago. I don't know if Jessica is formally a part of HC, but apparently she at least looks at the articles on the main page.

I'm told the proofs of the article look good. I found a tack store nearby that carries the magazine, so if I need to I'll be able to buy more copies. Thankfully, Jessica *is* sending me a complementary copy. I am also likely to send a copy to my parents, the old barn, and Fessor's former owner.

I've found there are quite a few owners of blind or partially blind horses on HC. I just never noticed until I had a "blindie" of my own. [Smile]

Tracy

#46 putsy54

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 01:25 AM

Thank you to everyone who posted info and support on this. I really appreciate it!!! Well here's an update: I noticed a yellow mucous coming from her son, Jay ( a yearling),left eye and after the scare with Poise knew I wanted to get him in to the vet. I had used a vet that mainly does cows for Poise(I use him for Vaccinations since he is so cheap) as I really couldn't afford to take her to my normal vet that I use for that cuts and wounds and such. But Jay is my fiance's horses and I knew he could afford it. So I called my normal vet Friday morning and he said he wouldn't be able to come see him until this next week but if I brought him down there I could get in that day. So after coaxing him into the trailer( I have only had him in the trailer, never brought him anywhere)we made the 70 mile trip there, and in one piece. He found that Jay had ulcers in both eyes [Frown] and that Jay will need to have catheters put in both eyes 3 times a day for at least a week. He suggested that he stay there as Jay will have to be sedated every time. When he told me how much it would cost I almost started crying right there but told him I'd have to step outside to call my fiance since it was his horse and his decision. I was really scared that he would say no as he was raised on a beef farm and all animals on their farm serve a certain purpose. But when I called him and told him it was going to be $1000-1500 all he asked was what I would do if it was Tia, Jay's 2 yo full sister and of course I said I would do it and thankfully he decided to go ahead [Big Grin] I also talked to the vet about Poise's diagnosis and he said moonblindness is often misdiagnosed so I am probably going to take her to an opthamologist 90 miles away( thank god gas is going down). The swelling and yellow mucous is gone and the cloudiness is leaving so I'm pretty happy about that but I still want a second opinion. The vet thinks it may be from cockleburrs(sorry if I slaughtered the spelling) so I am going to keep flymasks on whenever they are out and I'm going to dig up all the plants I find. I am feeling a little bit of relief from what the vet and all of you have told me. So thank you again, it helps so much to know that others have gone through this too( although I never wish these kinds of experiences on others). But it's time to give Poise her ointments again. Again sorry for the long note.

#47 TracyA

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 09:21 AM

Best of luck with Poise and Jay. They are lucky to have people more interested in the horse than the costs. Hang in there!

Tracy

#48 Claireville Coach

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 07:51 PM

Poor Jay! Boy, when it rains, it pours huh?

Did the first vet stain Poise's eye for ulcers? If not, better stop any steroid ointments until you can get that done. Steroids will make the situation much worse if she has a corneal ulcer.

I hope they both get better soon!

Tracey M

#49 BlueRibbonHunter2002

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 09:43 AM

Definately get to an opthamologist! When my second horse, My, started acting spooky, refusing jumps, running into things, we had our vet out who sent her to Ohio State the next day to be examined. She came back with ERU in both eyes. She was in so much pain, it broke my heart. The atropine made any light unbearable for her -- we got the darkest colored fly mask we could find and kept her in her stall until no one was using the indoor, then we'd turn out all the lights in the barn. Unfortunetly, she had a foal by her side (some people think that a huge stressor can sort of start ERU off; it was her first foal), and watching her panic when Beevy wasn't RIGHT THERE was heartbreaking. We turned to our vets, our friends' vets, etc. for advice.

Eventually, we had her on many natural supplements such as grape seed extract that really helped to ease the pain without the gastro upset. It seemed to slow the process of the ERU as well, and as soon as we found out she was going to go blind, we started teaching voice commands. She knows "gate's open", "walk on", "step", "step UP!", "easy", and others. And you know what? That dang mare will stop dead in her tracks if you holler "Whoa!" from clear across the farm! We try VERY hard not to move things around on her, and if we do, we 'show' them to her the first few times she's around them. She's adjusted quite nicely and follows your voice around. By golly, I swear she counts her steps, too, to get around things that are in her way (we have a huge wood pile next to her doorway to her run-in and I've never seen her even come close to it).

Good luck with everything! You and your horse will be in my thoughts!

#50 Miss_Annie_Oakie

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 07:30 PM

my 24y/o QH mare Queenie has ERU(moon blindness) in both eyes. she is currently living pain free, my vet put her on low doses of asprin and Buteless too keep her eyes from flairing up, the only real flair up i have had with her sence i put her on it was when my other horse died in march, the stress from that made her swell up pritty bad. there have been a couple times where her eyes swelled up and i put her meds in and gave her some banamine and it was gone the next day, but nothing like it used to be.

#51 putsy54

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 10:16 PM

Hi everyone, thanks again for all the advice and encouragement! [Huggy] I talked to the vet today and he said Jay is doing great...coming along right on schedule and that he is a great patient. I asked if I brought Poise with if he would check her out and he said he would do it free of charge!! [Yay] The first vet did not stain her eyes, he never even had me take her out of my trailer just looked in her eye a little and said it was moonblindness so I am very excited to get her into this other vet as he is much more thorough. He did stain Jay's eyes and explains everything that he is doing and why( my one friend loves coming with me down there as she learns so much). Poise's eye is still cloudy but she doesn't seem to be having any sensitivity to light and she is taking the eye ointments great and she is not on any steroids.
I hope all is well with all your horses and thank you again for the support! [Big Grin]

#52 BB Blue

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 10:21 PM

[Yay] [Yay] for Jay!! I am so glad he is getting better.
Please give us an update on Poise when you take her in.
[Smiley Wavey] BB

#53 CountryMom

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 10:16 AM

It amazes me how many of us have blind or half blind horses on here. Maybe we should have our own section on this board to compare topics that are related to handicaped horses?!? I mean, I have learned so much from our experience with Missy and her Uveitis. I have had many calls from area folks that have had a horse have an eye injury and ask questions on how to cope. Maybe we could help each other out and new comers to boot! I love the blind horse group on smart groups, but they are hard to find via internet. We could be another support group right here on Good Old Horse City.

How do we do that???

#54 Arii*Elise

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 10:20 AM

my mare has uveitis, and she is blind in her right eye now, but she has been in no pain so far.

#55 Claireville Coach

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 12:06 AM

That's great news about Jay! I hope you can get Poise in there soon - keep us posted on her progress!

[Yay]

CountryMom - I'm all for your idea, but wouldn't have the slightest idea how to get it started. I tend to respond to all these ERU posts and look through the health boards all the time. Having CVM available has been a great help too. Feel free to PM me if you have any ideas for a Blind Horses Board. TracyA might be interested too, and I know Wild Rose has a blind horse.

Tracey M

#56 TracyA

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:16 AM

Yes, I'd join in a "challenged horses" group. [Smile]

Tracy

#57 CountryMom

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 10:53 AM

Ok, guys. I tried to send a PM to the moderator, but was informed the mail box was full. I really do not know how to get this going, but I see a major need for this. I know that many of us who have gone through this can be fantastic support for those in need now. Shoot, I would had even thought about putting our young one down if it had not been for the blind horse group on smartgroups. However, they were not easy to find. Horse City is and can be a great way to reach people who do not easily find forums.

I all I can say is SOMEBODY LET US KNOW HOW TO DO THIS!!!!!

#58 LubbockJumper

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 11:50 AM

Hi guys! Seems like there's been a lot of "buzz" lately about blind horses.

I'm the Paint Horse Journal writer who wrote the blind horse article for our October issue. I've learned a lot about blind horses in researching this article and interviewing owners, like our own TracyA. She and Fessor have an amazing partnership that, I think, we successfully captured on film to illustrate the article.

The basic message of the article is that blindness is not necessarily the end of a horse's quality of life. Remember, many cope quite well with full or partial blindness, if given enough time and care.

Good luck with your horse and keep a positive outlook.

#59 TracyA

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 07:13 PM

[Smiley Wavey] I'm looking forward to seeing how the pictures came out. [Big Grin] I enjoyed our morning together.

Tracy

#60 CountryMom

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 10:37 PM

I have never bought a Paint Horse Journal, but am looking forward to this next months! It is so good to get those kind of articles out there. You are right. Many do think it is the end of the horse's life. Ah, what they don't know!