Thursday, January 10, 2013

When You Think Things Can't Get Worse...

Time just keeps whooshing on by. And owning horses continues to empty pockets. I wasn't spending it anyway.

Ace has been in the hospital for a month. It started with a swelling of the eye that Ashley noticed. Then the eye was weeping rather uncontrollably. The vet came out several times, then told me I should either get a horse opthomologist or take him to a hospital for another opinion. We took him to a hospital where one of the vets has a special interest in eyes.

The treatment seemed to be working and then it stopped working. My vet came out again, Ace then headed back to the hospital. This time he was admitted. Six days later I had to give permission for surgery to try and save the eye: a fungal infection had eaten into the cornea. Again, he appeared to improve. Then he stopped improving. Last Thursday I went to visit him and two vets sat me down to discuss removing the eye.

I was stunned and heart-broken. The poor horse was in pain and not improving. The vets said to go home and sleep on it, or even take the weekend to make a decision.

I was ready to let them do the surgery because Ace would no longer be in discomfort. I've had a corneal abrasion. I know how much it hurts. I was planning to drive out to see him again and give permission for the second surgery.

The vet called when I was getting out of the shower. Ace had dramatically improved over night. The vet would not want to do the surgery if I gave permission.

As of two days ago, when I went for a visit, Ace continues to improve. I even looked at the eye (I'm a bit squeamish about these things) and the vet is very happy with his progress. He calls Ace an ideal patient. I am cautiously optimistic that he will not lose the eye.

Whether he will regain his vision in his right eye remains to be seen. I do know that most horses adjust to blindness better than I would. Ace seems to be doing just fine when I take him out for a walk and when I scatter carrots throughout his hay for a treat. I hope he'll be able to come home soon, because driving out to Somis became a lot more difficult when my Christmas break ended on Monday. Ace is greatly missed at the barn.