No pictures today, as Drifter is not looking his best. On Sunday morning he was brought in from the field with an eye puffed out like a tennis ball and pus pouring down his face. Nice. This happened despite wearing all his fly gear. I grabbed the yard manager to show it to her and she advised to bathe it in boiled water and she’d put some bute in his breakfast. (Don’t worry readers, he’s officially not-for-human-consumption!). It was decided he would stay in his stable so the flies wouldn’t have a chance to land on it and we’d see if it went down and get the vet on Monday if needed. I also washed his knees well so that when he wiped his face on them they were as clean as could be managed.
I had a little ride anyway, as he seemed happy enough apart from his eye, but we took it very easy, mostly walk with a little trotting. This was the first time I’d ridden since Friday’s physio and I could really feel that his back-end was swinging more freely in walk and his trot was bouncier. While I would have liked to see if we could get the right canter lead I didn’t seriously consider it because I wanted to make it just some very easy exercise, not in any way a workout.
I came back to in the evening to see how he was doing, and the swelling was very slightly reduced, but still massive. I negotiated with him so that I could bathe it again (Mini Horslyx mint flavoured lick held in one hand to keep his tummy and mouth happy while the other hand wielded the wet cotton wool at his eye – a very messy business but I’d rather use bribery than force.)
It was agreed that the yard would phone the vet first thing on Monday and he could come out at whatever time of day was convenient for him and they’d phone me at work to update me, leaving a message if necessary. So I spent the whole day waiting for the phone to ring. When I got out of work I went straight there and was told that the vet had said he’d be there at 6ish. 6ish turned into 7ish, but eventually he arrived. The horses in the two stables to the right of his both needed inoculations, so the parents of the relevant teens, who happened to be there, seized on my vet when he was done with us and so the call out bill will now be split 3 ways, which was nice for all of us.
The vet said that he has bad conjunctivitis and provided more bute and some antibiotic eye drops, for use twice daily. I’ll have to pay for the staff to give the morning dose (as I’ll be at work 25 miles away when he needs it) but I’ll do the evening, which will be a challenge! He said Drifter could be on normal routine, turnout & exercise but must wear a fly mask at all times, even, if possible, when ridden. This is to keep the flies off it, but also to reduce the amount of light hitting the sensitive eye – horse sunglasses, if you will. I’m to put vaseline under the eye so the pus slides off rather than sticking and recontact the vet on Thursday. If he’s not nearly back to normal by then he’ll need another visit/further treatment.
It was quite nice to actually meet the vet, who has seen Drifter several times for his vaccinations (there were none on his passport so we had to start from scratch with ones at close intervals. One more due next month and then we’ll be finally up to annual boosters). He seems quite pleasant, reasonable and sensible.
After he’d gone I tacked Drifter up for a ride, fitting the fly mask over the top of his bridle. He seemed quite happy to be out and moving, but he seemed to go from being relatively soft and obedient to suddenly difficult at intervals and eventually I realised (stupid slow human) that he was happy and obedient when the evening sun was on one side of him – the good eye side, but when we reached the end of the school and turned around, despite the fly mask the sun was hitting his sore eye and hurting it. Needless to say when I twigged what was going on we finished the session even though we’d not been out long at all. Until he’s better we won’t be riding outdoors again! If we can’t get the indoor school I won’t ride. This is not going to be helpful in terms of feeding back to the physio how he’s been, but it can’t be helped.
Tonight will be my first turn with the eye-drop bottle, so wish me luck!