An Eye Doc a Day Keeps the Blindness at Bay (we hope)

Ah Desire, my problem child. My first sensitive skinned girth galler, first baffling lameness issues, first travels for lameness exams, first EPM test, first hock injections, first retired endurance horse, and now first uveitis/vision issues. 

 First of all, I found and read this article and everything I read there regarding uveitis, causes, symptoms, treatment, etc, was confirmed by my vet today. I can’t vouch for it beyond that but at the very least it is a basic education on what the heck I’m talking about if you don’t already know:


What began with the occasional, light tearing of Desire’s right eye (one day nasty, next day fine, etc) returned looking less friendly a few weeks later, with squinting of her right eye on the weepy days. I had notions of allergies early on and keep her in a fly mask most of the time anyway, since she’s a grey. With the Thanksgiving holiday and travel on my part, and emergencies on her end, my vet and I finally connected to check out Desire’s eye today. I already had a vet appointment at that point but I had seen 2 days previously that she was suddenly that morning holding the eye closed with a trickle of clear fluid. Later that day when I pulled her to trim her feet I put a cold compress on it for a while which clearly gave her some relief,  but I could tell her vision was impaired on that side because when I stopped touching her leg and hoof while trimming she would instantly panic and  try to find me on that right side. I’m not going to lie, it was heart breaking to see her both uncomfortable and extra fearful. She is already a tense, high strung horse and the impairment to her vision was clearly making her even less okay with things. My vet mentioned “Moon Blindness” or recurring uveitis on the phone earlier in the week and having educated myself on it, I saw how much it potentially fit her case and felt terrible that I hadn’t addressed it sooner. I was worried about potential long term scarring to Desire’s eye if it was recurring uveitis, let alone the toll impaired vision or eventual blindness could take on her quality of life long term.

 Still, all we can do is learn and improve and do better next time. So here we were today, vet, owner, and uncomfortable miss Desire. My vet sedated her, blocked the nerve that allows them to close their eye nearly against all odds, and did a stain. No scratches were visible or revealed by the stain and the good news as far as the uveitis is that she *doesn’t* have a lot of scar tissue built up on the eye yet. PHEW. She is going to get a steroid cream in her eye 2 x a day for 5 days as well as one dose of banamine for 3 days, and if at 5 days things haven’t improved the vet will return. If she does fully improve, we may have gotten lucky and had a one time uveitis episode. If she’s better but not all the way better, the steroid cream will continue another few days. There is a chance, of course, that she will get better but in a week or two or three it will flare up again and she will turn out to have that nasty recurring uveitis, or “Moon Blindness” which becomes a management issue for life. Time will tell!

In other news, I went to eye doctor today too, for the first time in years. I was out of contacts and my glasses from 2005, still perched on my nose at this moment, are held together with zip ties and super glue, I shit you not. Luckily my eyes weren’t a whole lot worse and my corneas got a “Niicee” which is surely a good thing. Also glad I made my old glasses survive so long, since this is the first pair I have ever bought myself (last pair that I am wearing now was end of high school era, thanks Mom) and I’m fairly certain frames weren’t $70 back in the day! Also, from an amused nerdy economic standpoint (I ❤ Marketplace!), Desire’s eye exam and drugs cost the same as my eye exam and new glasses. Interesting.

Ahh Desire, my teacher. My first horse purchased out of state, first horse shipped, first pregnant mare, first foaling experience, first weaning experience, first reconditioning a broodmare, first 50 mile endurance ride, first multi day endurance ride, first humbling lameness pull, first triumphant top 10 and BC showing..



good job mama

getting back into it

Cuyama XP, our first 50s, March 2012, photo credit Lynne Glazer
Getting fit 
ponying Sheza summer 2012
Hat Creek Hustle 2 day, summer 2012
Enjoying being pasture queen, summer 2013
All this in three years. So much heart in this girl, may I ever be worthy and do right by her.

4 thoughts on “An Eye Doc a Day Keeps the Blindness at Bay (we hope)

  1. I'm glad Desire is mending, she is so lovely. I tend to wait on vet things too, so glad it wasn't at crisis stage. She has taught you so much, I feel the same about Major, I always just hope I'm doing right by them, as they really don't have a say in the matter.

    As for the glasses:: zenni optical. They are an online company, glasses are cheap and awesome, so cheap you can try different kinds, get sunglasses, etc. I wear glasses all the time, not contacts, and I just can't do 200+ for frames plus more for nice lenses.

    I have to spend my money on more important things, like the horse!

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