Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Diagnosis of equine recurrent uveitis

Apache went to the vet Friday afternoon. The vet he saw used to work at the  Equine Ophthalmology Clinic here in Idaho. He said it's definitely ERU. He's lost most of the sight in his left eye, and he could see the beginnings of damage in his right eye. This is really disappointing news. I knew what the answer was going to be before we even went to the appointment, but I still hoped. 

I remember this summer Apache's eye clouded over. I saw three little white spots in his eye. I thought maybe he had rubbed it from irritation from the heavy fly problem we had this last year. I had gotten some 2 oz Animal Ophthalmic Gel and treated his eye twice a day for a week and a half till the cloudiness and the irritation went away. All summer long he squinted and had weepy eyes. Looking back, these are all symptoms of ERU. All along he's had hazy, not crystal clear eyes. 

The vet isn't 100% sure if it's just the fluid/gel inside the pupil that the lens rests in that is the problem, or if it's the lens itself in the left eye. If it's just the gel, then there is some hope for him to regain some of the sight back. In the right eye, he's sure it's just the fluid in the back of the eye. Either way, the fluid will eventually crystallize  and the lens will cloud over completely in both eyes. 

This was a great website with some reasons for ERU, and support for the owner.

Right now we're putting a steroid ointment in his eyes twice a day for a week. Let me tell you that trying to argue and wrestle with a 900 pound horse when it's 10 degrees outside first thing in the morning is not a pleasant experience. I have to have my gloves off, he doesn't want to stand still, he doesn't want me mucking about with his eyes, and all he has on his mind is FOOD. I have done some research and it looks like I'm going to be adding a low dose aspirin to his feed once a day. It helps keep the inflammation down, and looks like it may also help in preventing flare ups. 

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