- 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
8/7/01 - 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
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
10/30/01 - 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!!!
11/9/01 - 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!
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.
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.
You came through surgery like the champ you are!
2/16/02 - 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
- 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.
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
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’s
office where Pepper can be sedated for the procedure (in a stall
rather than a parking lot).
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’s 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.
3/26/05 - Pepper accompanied Sue
Ann on her journey to the vet’s for her surgery.
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
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
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
thanks to everyone for their prayers and contributions towards
5/2009 - 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.
6/2010 Vet Visit - Vet said he wanted 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 $550 for x-rays & surgery. Vet said other than the eye issue, Pepper is looking good, not displaying any signs of pain (he's a 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!