When I was taking care of horses yesterday afternoon, I noticed that Red's right eye seemed a little irritated, it wasn't open quite as wide as the other eye, and the eyelid was a bit puffy. But no squinting or tears, which was good. I put in some eye antibiotic (without steroids - very important in the case of a corneal injury to avoid steroids) - he was very cooperative which meant he agreed medication was a good idea - he's very smart about this.
After I rode Dawn this morning, I walked out into the pasture to say hello to the boys and check on Red's eye. It didn't really look any better, although not worse either. In the bright light, I could see a fairly sizable abrasion on the surface of his cornea over the iris. The margins looked clean and there was no cloudiness, which means it probably isn't infected. He was very cooperative for me to put in medication.
I called the vet to get them to come today - I generally do for eye issues if I can see anything on the surface of the eye, or if the horse is squinting or tearing, or if a minor irritation isn't showing substantial improvement within 12 hours of starting treatment with antibiotic ointment. Red's squint was minor, and there was no tearing, which meant he wasn't in much pain, but he met the other two criteria so I called the vet. Eye injuries are nothing to mess with, and my supply of eye medication is also a bit low. Red had a corneal injury to the other eye back in 2011 that took almost three months to resolve, with medication required several times a day, because he developed an abscess that really didn't want to heal - what's called, in veterinary terms, an "indolent ulcer". I'm hoping to avoid that this time.
The vet came, stained his eye and confirmed that there was an abrasion. The good news is that it's very shallow, so it should heal quickly - probably within a week - and without complications. I have a new supply of triple antibiotic for his eye, and will be putting it in at least three times a day. Red was a very cooperative patient - he's smart and knows when someone is helping him, and he also knows our vet, who has an excellent way with the horses.
And, finally, some riding again! I rode all three horses - Dawn in the morning, Red while waiting for the vet to arrive, and Pie before and then again after the vet visit. All three horses couldn't have been better, despite having had three days off (Dawn) and an entire week off (Red and Pie). I just got on and rode and they rode just the way they always do - what a delight!
I'm hoping for three rides again tomorrow . . .