Conjuctivitus

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Conjuctivitus

Post by Sunny Admin on Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:21 pm

Dr. Pike- my horse has conjunctivitis, so I have two questions for you. First and foremost, can I contract this from him? Secondly, is this worthy of a vet call? It's not watery discharge, it's watering paired with white goop that builds up into sticky balls in the corners of one eye by each morning. There is no swelling and it doesn't seem to bother him. He doesn't act like it's itchy. He's had it for several months and I just keep cleaning it up but it seems to be getting worse (more goop than usual) so I think I need to do something. My vet just said to flush it with saline. Uh.......right. Ok, so how do you convince an 1100 lb gelding to let you "flush his eye"? My vet's farm call fee is $60.00. I don't want to spend $60.00 to have him come and tell me in person that it's not a big deal. He acted like I was bothering him when I called about this. What to do?



Helene, Aiken SC
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Re: Conjuctivitus

Post by Dr. Daniel Pike on Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:27 pm

Helene,

First of all, not to worry about contracting the disease from your horse. You should be fine there, so you can leave the protective goggles in the house!! Secondly, ocular discharge in the horse can be caused by multiple disorders. Primary conjunctivitis, corneal disease, uveitis or other inflammatory conditions could cause excessive ocular discharge. The most common cause of the condition you describe would be an allergic conjuncitivits, which is most successfully treated with an opthalmic ointment containing some form of steroid. However, it is critical that the corneal is intact prior to treating an eye with topical steroids.

Helene, some level of fluid is normally produced by the conjunctiva in order to promote corneal health and decrease the level of foreign material on the corneal and conjunctival surfaces. Typically, mild fluctuations in tear production occurs, and the excess drains from the eye to the nostril via the nasolacrimal duct. Extremely dusty conditions or excessively mucoid secretions will often cause these ducts to become stopped up, making it appear as though you have excessive discharge. In this case, you are actually dealing with inadequate drainage.

So, bottom line, when it comes to eyes, there is a wide array of abnormalities that cause similar signs. Therefore, it is usually worth the time of your veterinarian to check out the problem before treatment. Treating an eye with the wrong or inadequate medication can cause far worse problems than you may have started with. As far as flushing the eye with saline, this can be accomplished with a 12 cc syring and using an 18 or 20 gauge needle hub in which the needle has been broken off at the base by twisting it back and forth repetitively. Be careful, though, as excessive pressure may cause the hub to come off the syringe....it would be best to use a luer lock syringe. Good luck!!
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