Best Laid Plans
November 05, 2012
A few weeks ago, as my vacation approached, the more excited I grew. Time off from the old dreaded alarm clock, no schedules, no time constraints, I just couldn't wait. Well, you know what they say about best laid plans.
When one of my horses came up with a closed and tearing eye, I thought, well, I'm going to need to put antibiotics in that. On closer inspection, her eye had a spot that looked like a big hole in it. I had a veterinarian out to examine the eye; he told me that because of the drought conditions we are experiencing this year, they have seen a lot of this. It is called a corneal ulcer. It seems horses have been putting their faces in unusual places trying to find that elusive blade of grass. Horses can’t resist any green they can find. Just as so many people are already doing this year, I had to start supplementing their diet with hay earlier than usual. But horses being horses, when their bellies are full of hay, they go back to foraging for that very elusive blade of green grass. My horse, being the over achiever and the one to always find a way to hurt herself, didn't just mildly poke something in her eye; she really damaged her eye. Back to my leisure vacation, hah! Instead of no alarm clock, my alarm is going off multiple times a night so I can take myself out to the barn to medicate her eye every 3 to 4 hours. I have been having a little déjà vu of the 3 a.m. feedings when my daughter was a baby. Of course, then I only had to put on my robe and walk down the hall, not get dressed and head out to the barn.
I had to spend my vacation on a strict schedule of these meds at these particular times; I actually had to make myself a spreadsheet to keep up with which one at what times. I have had little sleep and little time to do anything else. My mare is not real happy with me right now. She's getting tired of being bothered every few hours for me to put medication in her eye.
I have had a few very positive things come out of this experience. A few years ago, I lost my veterinarian that I had been using since I was a little girl. Dr. McCrea was the best and I still miss him dearly. It has been hard for me to find a new veterinarian. When you have spent your whole life with the same vet, it's hard to find another that fits you and what you are used to. I think I have finally found that veterinarian during this time. He has been great. My horse Nike and I have been more than dollar signs and numbers to him, and he has really cared about her eye and her care. Nike and I have grown also. Nike has always been a herd horse and has hated being stalled alone to the point of going a little crazy. She has overcome this fear and is adjusting well to spending a little alone time. I have never liked to go out to the barn at night. When not given a choice, it is amazing what we can do.
Well, back to the corneal ulcer. As the vet gave me this diagnosis, he wrote some things down for me to research. Since I work in a research center, the Library, I was able to find some great information from some reliable sources. A great resource I like to use in these types of situations is listed in our Online Resources under Web Resources. If you follow the link from Recreation and Sports to Pets, you will find a link to Merck Veterinarian Manual. There is a wealth of information to be found here for all your different pets. As for Nike’s eye—time will tell. She will adjust no matter what her future and continue to live a full life as my friend here on our farm.