Equine Eye Vets Veterinary Eye Care for Horses
Most of the cases we see are examined on an outpatient basis. Wherever possible we would rather have the horse at home in its own surroundings with familiar people to take care of it. However unlike dog or cat patients where we rarely hospitalize cases (most dogs and cats are much happier at home) we do sometimes recommend hospitalization of equine cases for intensive medication or monitoring.
Horses are much more difficult to effectively medicate than small animals - they can move the head all over the place, close the eyelids like a vice and eventually get very head-shy and irritiated with owners trying to apply eye medications. Since it is not possible to tilt the head in a particular directio to apply drops these often end up on the horses head or floor with little in the eye itself. This can be very frustrating!
For this reason we will often inplant a subpalpebral lavage in the eyelid to enable liquid medication to be applied to the eye throught he lavage directly into the conjunctival sac. The lavage tubing is attached to the halter or run to the withers. In this way medications can be given with reasonable certainty with less risk of injury to horse or person giving the medicaitons. In some cases we will attaach a pump to the lavage to provide continuous infusion of medication to the eye. The lavage and pump need to be carefully monitored to ensure that they function properly.
The other advantage of hospitalization is that the ophthalmolgists are available monitor the progress of the eye disease. This is especially important in the days immedately after surgical procedures on the eye itself. For more minor procedures we would rather send the horse home as soon as possible.