Venus came to us in August, 2018. She had been through a lot in her life before she came to us. She had been purchased at an auction by Hi-Caliber, a now defunct organization. Hi-Caliber had a number of claims of neglect of the horses in their care before it was shut down, as well as volunteers attesting to the fact that the leaders of the organization would shoot horses if they could not adopt them out in a short amount of time.
When Venus was purchased by Hi Caliber, a volunteer saw her and offered to foster her. When she brought Venus home, she realized that Venus had an issue with her left eye. The volunteer had a picture of Venus when she was brought to Hi Caliber, and there was no issue with the eye, indicating that the injury occured after Venus was at Hi Caliber. She called the vet, who pulled out a splinter, most likely from the poorly-kept wooden paddock that Venus had been in while at Hi-Caliber. No one at Hi-Caliber noticed that there was a wound, which is unfortunate because the lack of care created a permanent loss of vision in Venus’ left eye. The vet did what he could, but he said that there was just too much scar tissue from the splinter being left in the eye for a prolonged period.
When the volunteer told the person who was running Hi-Caliber about the wound and Venus’ permanent vision loss, she was told she could bring her back to Hi-Caliber, where she would be subsequently killed. The volunteer was horrified at the thought of putting this little horse into a dangerous and deadly situation, so she offered to adopt her, instead.
Unfortunately, a few months later, Venus’ owner got into a car accident and broke her collar bone and was unable to care for Venus. Without daily interaction, Venus grew a little wild and was difficult to handle. A friend called Hanaeleh and asked if we could take Venus on as the owner could no longer care for her, and she didn’t want her to go back to Hi Caliber. We had just adopted out Austin, (who is doing awesome, by the way), so we had room to take her.
When we brought Venus to Hanaeleh, we had her eye assessed by the veterinarian. She confirmed that the eye was too scarred for any real vision, but said at the time that the eye would not need to be removed unless we saw some extreme discharge. We created a fly mask that was covered on the left to train Venus to ignore any flashes of light or shadows she might have seen in the left eye that would make her spooky. We work around Venus’ eye issues by walking her on the right side and exercising her on the right first before we ask her to exercise to the left. We also are very careful about approaching Venus on her good side and working with her slowly and patiently.
Venus’ eye has shrunk a bit over the past two years, but otherwise the eye has not had any issues. Last week, however, when I went into Venus’ stall, she was completely crazed and almost ran me over several times while I was trying to put the halter on. When I took the fly mask off, I noticed that Venus’ eye was weeping slightly and there was a pink film over the entire eye, which was most likely the issue- she may have previously had some sight in that eye, but with the film that sight was completely gone. We immediately called the vet for an appointment, and also e-mailed them pictures so they could get an idea of what they might see.
When the vet came out, she stained the eye in order to determine if there was an ulcer inside of the eye, which would have prevented us from using an antibiotic. Thankfully there was no visible ulcer, so the vet prescribed drops as well as the antibiotic, and a daily dose of banamine to help with any pain or inflammation.
Venus was very good (although a little spooky) for the vet, but that was also smoothed out by a bit of the sedation that the vet used. Once the sedation wore off, let’s just say that Venus was not thrilled about having me put drops in her eye, or putting my finger with the antibiotic into the eye. Weird, right?
So far I’ve been stepped on, smooshed, and head butted multiple times by Venus trying to get away from me harassing her poor eye. She’s not trying to hurt me- she just doesn’t want me putting my finger in her eye or putting drops that burn into her eye. Honestly, I don’t blame her- I wouldn’t want someone shoving their finger in my eye, either. Thankfully, after just a few days of the medication the eye started improving dramatically, and there is now just a very opaque pink tint to the eye. Venus is also much better now with me putting the medication in. Last Friday the vet came back out and looked at the eye and said we no longer have to put the drops in, but we are continuing the antibiotic and banamine. The vet is more concerned about the shrinkage of the eye, and suggested that we think about removing the eye completely, so we may have to deal with that possibility at a later date.
We made Venus another fly mask that is covered with a thick cloth on the left in order to protect the eye from any dirt as well as preventing her from seeing any possible random light or shadows that might scare her. She is doing much better and no longer seems to be uncomfortable in the eye, which is all we can really hope for at this point.
We are committed to doing whatever we can to help Venus and making sure she is healthy and comfortable. We are hopeful that the medication will take care of the rest of the infection, and the vet will come out again at the end of the month to look at the eye and determine what further action we need to take, if any.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Hanaeleh. It is because of you that we are able to give Venus the best care possible, and we will always do whatever we can to ensure she is cared for and loved for the rest of her life.
Venus would love to have a sponsor! Click here to sign up for as little as $10/month.