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Wait and See… Now your horse can’t see

A week ago, volunteer April Slater noticed Everest – our big, loveable gray quarter horse (half of the Ghosts) – squinting his right eye, which was weepy and obviously irritated.

Everest – Swingin’ D Horse Rescue’s big, loveable, goofball.

We’ve learned from experience, a “wait and see” approach to eye injuries can quickly lead to a blind horse. When it comes to the eyes (and the possibility of founder), we don’t take chances. So, even though we knew we’d be paying double for an emergency weekend exam, we called the vet. It’s a good thing we did.

Everest was in a lot of pain when the vet came to examine his eye.

Dr. Ross said Everest had gouged his cornea, “the size of Texas;” and that, even with the best care, he could lose his eye.

He prescribed not one, not two, but three expensive eye drops to be administered twice a day, every day. He told us to keep Everest in the barn to protect the injured eye from sunlight and wind (and whatever almost gouged out his eye).

If we did all these things, faithfully, we MIGHT be able to save Everest’s eye.

Have you ever tried to convince a 1200-pound prey animal that’s terrorized by something as benign as candy wrappers to let you poke around his eyes?

Turns out, Everest doesn’t like eye drops – let alone SIX eye drops, twice a day. He doesn’t like people messing with his face. He doesn’t like being cooped up inside, and he doesn’t like being away from Romeo (the other half of the Ghosts).

Romeo and Everest (the Ghosts) and Jake with the photo bomb.

It’s been a challenging week for Everest (to say the least). He’s had to put up with a lot of unpleasantry, but the experience has made him an even more amazing horse.

The great news is, the vet says Everest is on the right path, and that as long as he continues progressing with the treatment we’re providing, he should regain full use of his eye.

The silver lining is that Everest went from yanking and jerking his head so hard the vet had to sedate AND twitch him to administer drops, to us taking an HOUR to wrestle drops into his eye TWICE A DAY. It was so bad, we reluctantly ordered a “humane twitch,” just in case he continued to fight treatment. We weren’t going to let him lose his eye.

We tried clicker training. We tried treats. We tried duct tape on the end of his nose. Nothing was working, but we never gave up.

The day the twitch arrived, before I ever figured out how to use it, Everest suddenly stopped yanking and flipping his head. He grew more and more patient with every treatment.

Today, he tilts his face toward us and and holds his head still to let us administer the drops. He trusts that treats, hugs and kisses will soon follow. His eye is nearly healed, so he’ll soon be able to hang with his bestie – sans pirate patch.

All it took was a little trust and faith. And love. Always love.

You can help Swingin’ D Horse Rescue provide quality care and sanctuary for precious souls like Everest. Tax-deductible donations go directly to our horses. No one at Swingin’ D gets a salary, perks or reimbursement. The more you give, the better they live.

Link to donations