Equine eye surgery 04/03/06

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Equine eye surgery 04/03/06

Post by Sole_Purpose » Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:18 am

One of the horses I work on, Lucky, is the sighted companion for a blind horse, Iceman. I also do some periodic work on the blind horse's face, as he plops it over the stall dividing wall to sense me working on his pal, Lucky. This work on Iceman seems to really relax and influence Lucky. A truly amazing relationship.

Well, Iceman is scheduled for surgery tomorrow (9:30 am, please send him your prayers and well wishes). He's already missing one eye (which has an infection in the opening where the eyeball would be), and the other one is diseased (and possibly painful as a result of the disease). So, they are operating on his eyes, and then placing "glass eyes" in both of the sockets (wow...just incredible).

Both of these horses are EPONA rescues...and this surgery is made possible due to the funds that were raised at the recent EPONA event I went to last weekend!

The two horses are inseparable at this point, and are both at the surgical center as I am writing this.

I've been invited to watch the surgery and will post more on that experience tomorrow.

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Post by makingachange » Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:29 pm

how amazing and inspirational! can't wait to hear more
amanda
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Post by Sole_Purpose » Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:36 pm

What an incredible experience! And, what an honor it was to have the opportunity to observe this surgery. We were able to observe from a bay window looking into the surgical room. The surgery was approx a couple of hours.

Both horses were brought into a pre-surgery padded stall/room where they were sedated (Lucky was sedated so he would be okay leaving Iceman). Once Iceman was heavily sedated and ready to enter surgery, his head was guided upward so that his hind would go down into a seated position, then the rest of his body would follow nicely & safely into a lying down position. Lucky was then walked back to his special stall, there at the medical center, while waiting for Iceman.

Iceman is a large horse and to see him on the surgery table was amazing. Initially both his front and back legs were tied up into the air. Eventually they released his hind legs to just flop outward (looked kind of like he was squatting) and then put latex booties on his hooves. His front legs were tied up and out of the way but also allowed to naturally flop near his chest. He had oxygen flowing into his mouth and IV’s.

They removed everything from inside the eye socket, as well as, severing optical nerves and musculature. What a large opening! I thought they were putting glass eyeballs in but I was misinformed. They actually put rubber balls into the socket for support and then sewed the eyelids shut around them. This way the sockets won’t sink in.

Typically they only do one eye per surgery (because of time under anesthesia) but where both horses need to be brought in, and it’s kind of traumatic for both of them, they decided that it was best to do both eyes in one surgery.

I had to leave as they were finishing up surgery (for a human client appt) and am waiting to hear how Iceman is doing. I’ll be on pins and needles until I visit tomorrow.

Apparently other horses who have gone through this surgery are like new horses after the procedure. I am looking forward to seeing how he does.

Many thanks to all who sent their prayers and well wishes! :smt051

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Post by Sole_Purpose » Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:37 pm

harperorium wrote:how amazing and inspirational!
It was! :D

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Post by Rose of Sharon » Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:25 pm

That is really amazing! I am so glad they sedated both horses, and considered the needs of Lucky, too. I wish we could get doctors for humans to be so humane!! I''m glad you got to see it, too. I'll be watching for your update!
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Post by Sole_Purpose » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:50 am

I went up to visit Iceman and Lucky this morning. Iceman's eyes and head are all bandaged up, and he is still very groggy from sedation. Just kind of standing there (hind end blocking the stall door) while at the same time rocking back and forth and forwards and back. He is a sight to see. Tomorrow and the next day he should be much less groggy.

They were allowed to stay in the same stall last night. Iceman is keeping very close to Lucky and rests his head on Lucky's back, as well as trying to scratch his bandaged face there, too.

Although it was a challenge, I was able to massage Lucky a little bit (15 min or so) but it was interfering slightly with the presence that Iceman was needing. I massaged Iceman just a wee-bit, too, to let him know I was there and it was okay. Lucky seemed to have a little more energy and oomph after the mini-massage.

*Big Sigh* :smt087

P.S. They both appear to be doing very well under the circumstances! Me, on the other hand, that's another story. :roll:

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Post by Sole_Purpose » Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:14 am

Iceman appears to be doing much better today...he is much more alert and much less wobbly. His head and eye area are still bandaged. He and Lucky are still sharing a stall and doing very well that way. Iceman has been resting his head on Lucky's back, as well as giving him kisses. They were both very excited to receive carrots and mints. I'm sure all their visitors have been showering them with lots of love and treats.

I was feeling a little sad yesterday after seeing them...but after today's visit, I am feeling quite light-hearted!

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Post by Rose of Sharon » Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:19 am

That is so cool! I know what you mean about seeing him that way, yesterday. I would have been bawling! (I have to admit to getting a little teary, just reading about it!) I'm so glad to hear they are both doing pretty good. Do keep letting us know about their progress!
Sharon

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Post by Sole_Purpose » Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:47 am

Rose of Sharon wrote:That is so cool! I know what you mean about seeing him that way, yesterday. I would have been bawling! (I have to admit to getting a little teary, just reading about it!) I'm so glad to hear they are both doing pretty good. Do keep letting us know about their progress!
Thanks, Sharon! :) ...I will keep an update going, in here.

Also, here are a couple of post-surgery pics from Monday, in their stall, at the surgical center.

Image Image
Photos courtesy of E.P.O.N.A. (Equine Protection of North America)
Last edited by Sole_Purpose on Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by maestra » Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:48 am

Sweet, glad he's doing better.
And that you are too.
I watched the movie "Dreamer" with my family last night... and sort of wondered how much quicker that horse (Sonador) would have recovered with equine massage! :wink:

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Post by Sole_Purpose » Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:58 am

maestra wrote:Sweet, glad he's doing better.
And that you are too.
Thanks, maestra!
I watched the movie "Dreamer" with my family last night... and sort of wondered how much quicker that horse (Sonador) would have recovered with equine massage! :wink:
:D

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Post by Masthera » Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:13 pm

I am glad that they are doing better. Thank for posting the pics too.

Seems like they are under very good care.

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Post by Sole_Purpose » Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:53 pm

Masthera wrote:I am glad that they are doing better. Thank for posting the pics too.

Seems like they are under very good care.
Thanks, Masthera, me too! I expect them to be even that much better tomorrow. :) Welcome for the pics.

Yes, they are under excellent care. The equine surgical center/hospital that they're at is really something.

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Post by akdragonfly » Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:03 pm

It has been truly wonderful to read about these two horses and their relationship. The care they are receiving is amazing, how lucky they both are!
Thank you for sharing!
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Post by mush » Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:22 am

thanks for sharing a great story. it's so beautiful.
and you could be the sunshine falling over the mountains.. john butler
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Texas-gal

Post by Texas-gal » Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:46 am

Wow!

Thanks so much for sharing and the pics.

I grew up with horses until I was about 24. I have to say, having them is a wonderful experience and you do get very emotionally attached. :)

I am wondering - will Iceman's eyelids always be closed from here on out or will there be something else they do? Please let me know.

Thanks again for sharing. :)

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Post by Sole_Purpose » Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:01 pm

Thanks, everyone, for your support. It is soooo much appreciated! :smt050

Iceman and Lucky are going home today! Whoohoo!! I believe that more photos will soon be posted on the EPONA website. Another one of their rescues - Blessed - had major surgery on his face today, and photos of that will be posted as well (be forwarned that they may be very graphic).
Texas-gal wrote:I am wondering - will Iceman's eyelids always be closed from here on out or will there be something else they do? Please let me know.
Yes, his eyelids will always be closed from here on out. We're told that the lids and eye area will still move around some, even though the nerve endings have been cut. I watched them change the bandage today and his eyes look awesome...very clean and like he's sleeping. I thought I might have a problem with that but I didn't...really surprising. I wasn't sure how I was going to react to his eyes being shut, you know?

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Post by Sole_Purpose » Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:34 am

I worked with Lucky yesterday. Both he and Iceman are doing awesome! Iceman is still bandaged from the eye surgery and will continue to be for 2 or 3 more weeks. He was moving around his stall really well and eating his hay & grain as normal. I wasn't sure how Lucky was going to respond to massage, and being touched, after such a traumatic week last week but he surprised me (yet again). Since I've started working with him, I always say that I don't know who is lucky, me or him.

I forgot to mention that on Thursday, the day they were brought home from the hospital, Lucky finally was able to lay down and rest (in his hospital stall, right beneath Iceman's feet). The poor thing was so exhausted! To add comic relief, his bottom teeth were showing big time and he looked just like "Donkey" from Shrek. It was a much needed laugh at that point. :lol: If I can get a pic, I'll post it.

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Post by Rose of Sharon » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:27 am

I am so glad to hear they are doing well!! It is so neat to hear about their relationship. Animals are such amazing creatures. I don't know how (or why!!) people live without pets! I'd love to see more pictures, if you can get them up. Thank you for updating us!
Sharon

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Post by Masthera » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:32 am

Great update. The "Donkey" moment must have been so funny! :lol:

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Post by Sole_Purpose » Tue May 23, 2006 7:06 am

Hey gang...it's been a little over a month since my last update. Ice Man is doing superbly well. He appears not to be aware that he doesn't have eyesight. He gets turned out everyday (weather permitting) and gallops off into the middle of a huge paddock, full of energy and a passion to run. He's an inspiration.

His eyes look amazing...not creepy like I was anticipating. Initially, he was turned out with a head/facial mask to keep the dust, dirt, and bugs out of his eyes. Now he goes without props!

The main difference that I am noticing, is that he appears to be pain-free. The way he moves around, his energy level, social behavior, his friskiness and general calm is more balanced.

**I wish I could have nabbed Lucky's "Donkey" moment pic for you all.

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Post by Sole_Purpose » Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:33 pm

Kindred Spirits wrote:**I wish I could have nabbed Lucky's "Donkey" moment pic for you all.
Well...I finally got my photo opp on Christmas day! :lol:

Image

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Post by Rose of Sharon » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:50 pm

Great picture!!
Sharon

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Post by LadyNiko » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:57 pm

:lol:

Very funny,! Yuo should put a caption with Mr. Handsome there, showing off his teeth. :)
The little white men in the little white coats are coming to take me away! he he ho ho ha ha!

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Post by Sole_Purpose » Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:33 pm

Thanks...lol :P :lol: ...he's a character!

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