Tia isnt like most horses. The first time I met Tia she was everything I wanted; Pretty, Flashy, Friendly and Athletic. When I was looking at her, to buy her, I ended up on the ground with 4 Broken Ribs. As I laid there staring at the sky, I could hear her old owner saying about what a problem she was and how she was going to sell her to auction (in harsher words then that) All I could say is "I'll take her". And thats how I got Tia... I found out how badly abused she was in the months to follow. She would shake if you raised your voice and if she heard the chainlead clink she would pull back and panic.
Slowly she became not only my horse, but everyones horse. Her youngest rider is 5 her oldest is 65. She has carried riders of all ages and abilities, in between. Tia loves people and she loves other horses. She likes to trail ride, works cows, and show at local shows. She has done it all. Crossrails, trail class, showmanship, leadline, gymkana, everything you can think of. This year she was first in Year-end Halter points for CCBA. I am crazy proud of her and how far she has come from that first day I met her.
Just over a month ago Tia banged her eye... not bad just a little cut on her lower lid, maybe the size of a pencil tip. There was not mark on the eyeball itself, that we could see and there was no discharge, swelling or wincing. So we gave her some bute and called it a day. A couple days later, her eye was tearing and had started to swell. She didnt want to keep it open in the sun. So I called the vet. I could just see a small mark on her eyeball.
The vet came out... no problem, it was a small scrape on her eye. Give bute orally, give athraphine to dilate the eye, and antibiotics, keep her on stall rest with a mask. If the it looks the same or worse after 4 days call the vet. Day 4 came and went her eye looked good, less discharge, barely any swelling and she wasnt squinting as much.
Day 5... A grey circle appears on the eyeball itself. Discharge becomes mucussy and thick. So I call the vet. She diagnoses it as fungal infection and orders a fungal medication from a pharmacy. And they DONT come in. They are on back order and the company doesnt reach out to tell us. It took almost 5 days to get the meds we need. No one has them, not even small animal vets. We ordered people fungal eye meds and they were on backorder and a 2 day wait.
Day 9... It was a Tuesday when the vet came out again, and Diagnosed her with a Melting Ulcer. The fungal infection had caused enzymes to be released into her eyeball eating away at the cornea and eye tissues. My beautiful show mares eye had become a horror show grey, oozey blob. I was in Shock and horror. The vet says to me "how comitted are you to saving the eye?" and I broke down into tears. We came up with the plan to treat via meds.
Day 10... the Meds are in. We continued with the treatment of antibiotics and bute, but add in the new meds. So every 2-4 hours we rotate meds via a SPL (tube that goes thru her eyelid to deliver meds directly into the eye) and gel meds onto the eyeball itself. We now have all 6 medicines we need. But It feels too late, the damage is done and had a 5 day head start.
Day 24.... After 2 weeks of Treatment it feels like a life time. Around the clock care and sleeping nights at the barn or at a friends house have made myself and my mom exhausted. We have begun to see the red blood vessels in her eye appear which is a good thing, it means she is healing. But a new yellowish bubble has appeared where the grey ulcer used to be... the vet comes out and says she has a Stromal Abcsess. (which I guess is a common issue related to ulcers.) I cant believe it, dispair sets in. I ask the vet is it cruel of me to keep the eye at this point? (when she maybe blind in it anyway?) At what point do you decide to take your beloved horse eye forever? How do you tell if you are being inhumane or if you actually have a chance in saving some of her sight and/or the eye? She is not sure at this point ethier. So she seeks out more advice from other vets and eye specialists.
Day 28... I get a phone call from the vet. And it gives some hope that I did not expect. She has talked to a couple of different vets and an eye specialist. She has shown them the pictures and laid out the treament plan thus far. And they say.... To keep treating. To keep trying. That the eye doesnt look close to rupturing and that the blood vessels are doing their job. That it will take months but they are hopeful that with aggressive treatments she can keep her eye.
After almost a month of treating this injury around the clock with the help of friends and family, WE have hope. Hearing them say that they would keep trying meant the world to me and my mom. That our efforts are making a difference in saving Tia's eye. So we are going to keep going.
Your donations would help us in soooo many ways. Eye injuries are some of the most expensive injuries to have. Her antifungal for example is over $90 a little tube, we are on our second. She needs around the clock treatments every 4-6 hours that take time away from work and make it hard to save money. She has special needs such as new clean flymasks, sleezies to protect the SPL and dust free shavings are just a few. With your help we can continue her treatment and save her eye and maybe her sight.
Thank you for listening to this long winded Story of Tia's Eye Horror Story. We appreciate your time and donations. Titan Temptress thanks you!
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