Q Ten months ago I fetched my 26-year old mare in from the field
and was horrified to see that her right eye had turned bright blue.
diagnosed keratitis and gave me some cream. The condition did not
improve and nine visits from the vet plus lots of creams, eye-drops
and drugs later, she was referred to a specialist. He suspected
herpes and gave me more ointments and drops which still did not
make any difference. On her second visit to the specialist, uveitis
was diagnosed and I was advised she was not in any pain and the
eye was not causing any problems. The only option was an operation
but her age made this quite risky. The specialist gave me some cream
to use but it caused irritation so I stopped using it. What could
the problem be?
the history you have provided, it certainly sounds as if the eye
in question has been exposed to an infection with a virus and it
is unfortunate that none of the treatments have helped.
are very difficult to treat and it is unusual that it happened in
just one eye. Normally, if such a problem occurs in just one eye,
a vet would suspect either a foreign body, some form of trauma or
a specific infection.
Now that the
condition has been present for a long time, there is bound to be
a lot of permanent damage to the eye and I think the suggested diagnosis
of uveitis is quite likely. This is a more general infection and/or
soreness inside the eye rather than just on the outside (keratitis).
I doubt whether
any veterinary medication would help a great deal from now on and
you need to keep your horse as healthy as possible to prevent flare-ups
in the future. An important part of keeping her healthy and also
tackling viral problems is to strengthen the immune system as much as possible.
It may be
that a weakness in the immune system caused the problem in the first
place. You can strengthen the immune system by keeping her well fed,
contented and free from stress. A good-quality mineral supplement will also help, as will
the herb echinacea.
Keep some eye-wash
and antibiotic cream from your vet at hand in case the eye gets
damaged - it is vulnerable now she cannot see so well with it. Taking
good care of the eye and keeping her immune system healthy will
all help to prevent any further problems.
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