Sunday, June 27, 2010

Noble's Fat Eye

Yesterday, when Noble came in from turnout, his left eye was huge - the eyelids were both so swollen that the eye was about baseball-sized, and you could barely see his eye in there. He was miserable and I was a bit worried about his eyelashes - the lids were so swollen that they were almost pointing in. But the eye wasn't tearing, which was very good. I thought that meant that it wasn't a corneal scratch - he'd been out without a mask because it was so hot - but rather a reaction to an insect sting or bite, it looked like on the lower lid. If he'd been tearing, I'd have been on to the vet immediately - corneal scratches are nothing to mess with. A number of boarders offered me various ointments and creams, but they all contained steroids, and one of the rules about eye injuries is never use anything with steroids unless a corneal scratch has been ruled out - you can end up with a serious eye infection that way as steroids suppress the immune system. It didn't look like a scratch to me, so I gave him a 500-lb. oral dose of Banamine to help the inflammation and pain.

I went to the barn this morning prepared to call the vet. I was delighted to see that the eyelids were pretty much back to normal this morning, and the eye itself looked fine. So out he went with his mask on this time. By the way, I'm not recommending that you wait to call the vet if there's an eye injury or suspected eye injury - I'd rather pay the vet than risk damage to an eye, not to mention that eye injuries are usually very painful. I've just seen enough eye problems to think this wasn't a corneal issue.

* * * * * *
Today I had if anything a better ride on Maisie than yesterday. We did a lot of trot work, and then were able to do a brief amount of canter work in both directions. She actually cantered better to the left, which used to be her harder direction. The right didn't feel as good - that left hind still isn't as strong as I'd like - although she was very compliant. I need to sharpen up my cuing on the departures to make them easier for her, although they weren't bad. Then we went out on the trail for a bit, and did a bit of trotting from time to time, including up one nice hill. A nice rinse off, and my good girl was done.

I did ride Dawn today as well, although there was no one else at the barn (I still consider these issues when I'm working with Dawn). She wasn't really "with" me today. She was compliant, but a bit heavy and draggy, both on the lunge and under saddle. We worked on our bending and circles at the walk, and also did a few ground poles - those she wanted to rush. I think in our next session, we'll work more on walk/halt/walk transitions, and also standing still under saddle - we need to work on self-calming and attentiveness. I also need to sharpen up her leading and lunging, which will improve her attentiveness. My younger daughter's back from Peru tomorrow, so she'll take over Dawn for a bit. Then my daughter will be off on another trip and it'll be Dawn and I again.


  1. Eye injuries (and sudden swellings) are very scary.

    I'm on the fence about steroid use. One of my dogs had allergy issues for which steroids were way over-prescribed. I stopped giving them to her after a couple of years but she now has Cushing's which I feel sure is connected.

    Glad Noble's eye is okay. :)

  2. I keep eye ointment with and without steroids on hands. Like you said, eyes are nothing to mess around with. Glad Noble's eyes are much better!

    It sounds like you and Maisie have found your groove since moving back "home."

  3. Love those mystery injuries/ailments--always makes me wish they could talk! "Oh, that? It's nothing. I just got stung by a bee."

    Glad he's doing better!

  4. I had a yearling that had one of those huge eyelid swelling things. The vet said it was flies. He gave me an ointment and it was gone in two days. I'm glad Noble's eyes are better already.

  5. Masks are so worth it when it comes to something like this. Glad to hear that Noble is doing well.

  6. Ugh, eye injuries are awful. My old arabian got a corneal scratch once. It took forever to heal and he was miserable.

    Good thing Noble recovered so quickly.

  7. Glad to hear that Noble is doing better this morning. It was most likely a bug bite like you thought originally. I hate eye injuries. When Dusty had her bout with leptospirosis she almost went into moon blindness. Very scary.

    Your rides with Maisie sound like a real pleasure. Love it when you get such a good feeling from riding don't you? Dawn will come around I'm sure, maybe she was just hot and miserable and didn't feel like putting in the effort.

  8. Glad Noble is better. Poco's right eyelid was swollen earlier this week, but not as bad as Noble's sounded. He had been playing with some other horses at the farm, but I couldn't tell if he got stung, bit, kicked, or if he just got something in it. He kept blinking really hard and rolling his eye. I did cool, wet compresses, then ice (which he looooved), and he even let me wash it out with saline. It seems much better, so I think he may have just gotten some sand in it.

  9. It's not a bad idea to just keep some eye wash on hand, just in case. Eye injuries are always scary, but sometimes, as Noble's case proved, they can clear up quickly. I too suspect the flies or some kind of bug bite.

    Glad he is OK.

    Love the pic on top today.

  10. Gosh Noble is a lucky horse to have someone around who knows what they are doing.Was thrilled to hear you had a fun time with Maisie. She sounds like she is going sweet.

  11. So glad Noble's eye is better!

    And Maisie girl is happily still up to her good girl tricks. Dawn might be hot and tired - it's summer and Dawn is a sleepy girl in all your photos!

  12. Darn insects! Leave our poor horses alone.
    I'm glad Noble's eyes are ok.



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