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True Innocents Equine Rescue
Be kind to the animals for they are the True Innocents!
Mailing Address: 17130 Van Buren Blvd., #45, Riverside, CA, 92504
Phone: 951-943-0627


There was a pony with horribly infected eyes at an auction yesterday. Pepper, his new name, is now at TIER in a makeshift pen. A call is in to the vet, we have put some ocular ointment w/cordizone in his eyes. Left eye is much worse than the right

Initially, the plan was for the vet to flush Peppers blocked tear duct. This had to be done at the vets because Pepper is so horribly fearful of anything around his eyes. This is probably due to the pain/fear he experienced when someone put salt in his eyes thinking it would clear up the infection! I have a difficult time cleaning his eyes, even though its done on a regular basis. When someone he is not familiar with attempts to come near his face/eyes he almost loses his mind with fear.



Thank you to Kristy who came over to give Pepper a ride to the vet's for his evaluation and surgery. Pepper was actually fairly well behaved for being such a little Dennis the Menance Fireball! HA! He did give us a bit of trouble about loading up in the trailer, but eventually he climbed aboard after Kristy let him know there was Orchard Hay in the feeder inside.

I had thought we would drop Pepper off and the vet would evaluate, etc. when he had time. Apparently we got there just as other clients were leaving which gave the vet a window of opportunity to do some diagnostics while we waited.

X-rays (several) and scoping of both sinus cavities was done. It was found that the cancer in Pepper's eye had migrated into his left sinus cavity. He had a tumor in his sinus cavity that would continue to grow. This would eventually cause difficulty with breathing (he was not breathing well under the tranquilizer as it was) and also eventually cause pressure to his sinus causing him to have a constant headache.

Although I suspected this was the case, I held out hope for a different diagnosis. Something treatable, something fixable, something miraculous. Pepper has been with us since 2001. 10 years. 10 years of laughing at his antics, of watching his beautiful movement as he trotted around the arena telling everyone how big and bad a stud muffin he was. 10 years of loving him and being manipulated by him. Pepper is the only horse/pony that has knocked me on my behind (so far) and left me in the dirt laughing.

With profound sorrow and tears the decision was made to provide Pepper the Final Gift.

We felt it best to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge before the growth got worse. Pepper joined Dancin Shecky and all the others on the other side of Heaven's Gate on 2/4/2011.

Huge thanks to all who came forward to help with Pepper's fund. The funds were utilized for euthanasia and his removal.

Thanks to Kristy for being there with me and staying. Doing the right thing for the right reasons is not always easy.

Pepper!! I really, really loved you. Thanks for teaching me, manipulating me, making me laugh and being my feisty friend.

1/30/2011 - Pepper's Surgery Fund Update

Great news!  One of our volunteers has offered to trailer Pepper to the vet this coming Friday, February 4, 2011 at no charge! 

This means that we no longer will need 100.00 for transport!  So, funds needed for Pepper's x-rays, surgery, stay at the vet facility for a few days and aftercare medications has been reduced to 550.00.

Thanks to:

Bobbie F., Gayle K. , Debbie R. , Colleen K. , Catherine S.  and Janice G.

for their recent contributions to help with the costs for Pepper's Eye Surgery which brings the amount raised to 315.00.  Only 235.00 needed to cover all remaining costs. 

(My apologies for not updating sooner.  I've been battling a cold/respiratory thing for a week and just haven't felt "up to snuff")  Thank you all!


The cancer in Pepper's eye has increased growth.  He has had 2 surgeries over the years and we were hopeful that this would keep the cancer at bay.  Over the last few months we have been applying an ointment prescribed by the vet to retard the growth of the cancer.  It was working well, reduced the growth, response was good.  Until the last month the cancer seemed to remain at a small level with no changes.  Within the last month it has begun to increase in size again.

Our vet wants to do x-rays of the eye/sinus cavity area to see if there is invading growth that isn't apparent to the naked eye.  If there is no growth, he will remove the eye.  Cost will be about 650.00 for x-rays & surgery.  Vet said other than the eye issue, Pepper is looking good, not displaying any signs of pain (he's a fuzzy butterball right now!) and kept us hopping when we tried to catch him.  Vet always laughs at Pepper acting so squirrelly!  Every day I clean his eye and administer ointment.  Every OTHER day Pepper acts like a squirrel!  Runs around saying "Catch me if you can!"  Silly boy!

X-Rays & Surgery: 650.00
Transport to the vet and back after surgery: 100.00
Aftercare medications:  75.00

The surgery should be done soon while the flies are not buzzing around due to the cool weather we are now having.

We have 200.00 set aside for Pepper, but need to raise 625.00 to cover all costs and not have to use funds earmarked for feed, farrier.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Unfortunately, the cancer in Pepper's lower eyelid seems to have returned. Although the cancer in the eye has remained the same after his 2 surgeries, it appears to have migrated. Currently, it is being held at bay (thanks to our wonderful vet!).

Pepper is full of life and thinks he is the biggest/strongest horse on the place! The vet indicates that he is not in pain and he does not demonstrate any behavior that would indicate that he is hurting. He bosses everyone around and squeals his superiority everytime he is turned out with others.


Pepper accompanied Sue Ann on her journey to the vet's for her surgery.

Initially, the plan was for the vet to flush Pepper's blocked tear duct. This had to be done at the vet's because Pepper is so horribly fearful of anything around his eyes. This is probably due to the pain/fear he experienced when someone put salt in his eyes. I have a difficult time cleaning his eyes, even though it's done on a regular basis. When someone he is not familiar with attempts to come near his face/eyes he almost loses his mind with fear.

Anyway, the vet found that the cancer had grown to the point that it closed the tear duct. He removed the cancerous tissue in the left eye and also some in the right. Pepper had previously had surgery on his right eye and that one was doing well, but there was still some cancerous tissue left. We sincerely hope that all the tissue has been removed this time.

The vet said he will prescribe an anti-cancer ointment for future use. Pepper's left eye will be "weepy" and we will be making sure it is cleaned on a regular basis. When funds allow, we will probably purchase a new Guardian Mask for him as his old one is getting rather frayed.

The vet will be keeping Pepper a few days in order to monitor the healing and to do post op care.

Many heartfelt thanks to everyone for their prayers and contributions towards helping Pepper.


January 7, 2005 will be the day that Pepper meets with an Ophthalmologist and our regular vet for specified treatment of his eyes. This has been a very long road. Pepper arrived at TIER with inflamed eyelids that oozed a discharge. The previous owners had put salt in his eyes to combat conjunctivitis!! We and our vet were horrified when we found out that information. Pepper had surgery on his right eye to remove a growth and this was quite successful with no reoccurrence of the growth. The right eye is a different story.

The right eye inflammation infringed on the tear duct and our regular vet declined an attempt at surgery because he felt he was not specialized in this area. Therefore, the right eye has been treated with topical antibiotic ointments which, at times, contained steroids. Steroidal ointment was not used regularly as we were afraid of damage to the eye itself because of long time use. The eyelid responded favorably.

All funds/donations have been used for feed, vet and farrier. We have been setting aside monies for Pepper's surgery, and searched for an Ophthalmologist in our area. Ophthalmology is a specialized field and the majority of the doctors we found basically worked on dogs/cats at their clinics. The clinics are not set up for horses and Pepper is a bit of a handful to try to work on in a parking complex at one of the clinics. Finally, an ophthalmologist from "Eye Care for Animals" has agreed to meet at our veterinarian&rsquos office where Pepper can be sedated for the procedure (in a stall rather than a parking lot).

Recently, a donation was made by DOUG towards Pepper's needs for specialized treatment. Thank you DOUG! Although Doug's generous gift will help tremendously toward getting Pepper the treatment he needs, we are still in need of funds. It is "estimated" that the ophthalmologist&rsquos travel charges and examination will run approximately 450. There will also be costs for transport to & from the vet's office, rental of the surgical area and further costs of treatment for medication and procedures. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

We will take as many photos as possible and post the results of the examination/treatment to our website in order to share the information. Please send healing thoughts/prayers for Pepper's successful recovery. We are hoping that this will be a simple solution to a long term issue and that Chemotherapy won't be needed.


Pepper is doing VERY well! Just ask Slim! HA! Pepper thinks he is a little stud muffin, and we tend to agree! He is soo cute. He now expects every visitor to fawn over him..although he is a bit standoffish at first. That is, unless you have carrots!

The eye that had the surgery is looking good! Pepper still has to wear a Guardian mask as the membrane directly beneath his eyelids (pink) tends to inflame if it is windy. He still requires optical ointment to keep the inflammation down, but we do not have to apply the ointment as often as when he first arrived. The possibility of laser surgery to this area is being considered for Pepper's future comfort.


Well, the vet was certainly busy with TIER horses/ponies yesterday! After several days of agressive treatment on Pepper's eyes, he had surgery. Pepper came to us in August with a massive eye infection. Under the guidance of our veterinarian, he was receiving medication twice a day and a Guardian Mask was used (Pearl was very jealous and he got a new one and hers is old! HA!).

The left eye responded very well. The left eye was another matter. The lower lid on his left eye had been torn and it appeared to have an ulceration. The "ulceration would appear to decrease in size, start to scab over and then Pepper would rub it!!!!!! This would cause his eye to bleed! We would have to begin treatment with the different antibiotic ointments all over.......3 different times! It was then decided that once it got to the point of starting to scab over again (and starting to itch) that we would then send him to the vet for agressive treatment and possibly surgery. This was done last week and Pepper had surgery on 11/9/01.

Pepper had a tumor. The surgery was very long and intensive. Our vet did not want to cause damage to the tear duct if at all possible. The tumor was deeply embedded, long and narrow. We are hoping that the vet got clean margins (removed all the tumor without leaving any unhealthy tissue behind). If the tumor should reappear, we will then go to injections to kill it. The skin/tissue around the eye is thin and somewhat stretched which doesn't give you much to work with when you are removing part of it. But the vet is hopeful that all will be well. Pepper should be home shortly and we will be doing the aftercare at TIER as it is less costly.

Yeah Pepper! You came through surgery like the champ you are!


We have been medicating Pepper's eyes daily since his arrival. No easy task I might add. HA! Originally, we had to halter him and tie him short to even get near his eyes as he was terrified whenever you approached his eyes or the top of his head. We took our time with him in order to let him know that we had no intention of harming him (even though I am sure his eyes were quite painful) and as a result, I can now medicate his eyes without the use of a halter. It still takes about 20-45 minutes (depending on what mood he is in! HA!) His right eye looks fairly normal with no inflammation or oozing. The left eye has gone down considerably, but as it was most damaged, it continues to form a discharge and when he gets debris in it (see below) the lower lid gets inflamed.

We put a Guardian Mask on him (which made Pearl jealous as he got the newer Guardian Mask!) so that he would have UV protection and because the "eye cups" stand away from the eyes and won't rub. He has managed to get the mask off several times (with the help of Panache, Jake, Jordie (who made it a point to remove Pepper's mask whenever he was turned out close to him) and of course, by himself. On a few of those occassions, once his mask was removed he would rub his left eye and open the wound again. Twice, when he rubbed it, the lower lid bled. Sigh. His left lower eyelid is doing fairly well now and surgery is scheduled for Friday, 11/02/01. Jerry, of Sunset Equine Transport will be picking him up Friday morning and I will follow them. TIER's current funds are quite low as we have recently had large expenses for a truckload of hay, farrier (20 per horse), 3 tons of pellets, manure removal every 2 weeks, etc. All remaining funds are earmarked for feed, vet, farrier and winterizing (if possible). Therefore, since Pepper needs to have this surgery before he rubs his eye again (the little booger!) I will personally pay for transport, the surgery and any other costs for boarding at the vet clinic. Please send healing thoughts to Pepper so thathe won't have to wear his "goggles" anymore and can be the best he can be!
He is a sweetheart!!!


Vet says he does have conjunctivitis (spelling?). Pepper also sustained injuries to his eyelids (tears on lower and upper lids) which will require surgery to repair them so that debris doesn't always get in them. We will also need to order a SMALL Guardian Mask (Pearl's favorite attire) for him. He needs to have ointment put in his eyes twice a day.

Once some of the swelling goes down, we will arrange to have the surgery done. Because Pepper is a little fireball, he will have to be heavily sedated......asleep, therefore, the cost of surgery is a little higher. But, if we can get him a little more comfortable about having his eyes medicated, they may be able to sedate him enough to do surgery without putting his lights out! HA! He's getting a "little" more tolerant of having the ointment put in his eyes, but I imagine that's because it makes them feel better.


There was a pony with horribly infected eyes at an auction yesterday. Pepper, his new name, is now at TIER in a makeshift pen. A call is in to the vet, we have put some ocular ointment w/cordizone in his eyes. Left eye is much worse than the right. It is thought that his tear ducts need to be irrigated, but will wait for the vet's treatment/recommendation.



True Innocents Equine Rescue (T.I.E.R)
17130 Van Buren Blvd., #45
Riverside, CA, 92504
Tel: 951-943-0627
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