Jos: I have a thoroughbred race mare that has a history of eye problems. She is now 3 years old. It started as a yearling of 18 months. Her eye (first one then the other) would start watering and then become cloudy with a distinct green color. She tested positive for lepto and we treated her 5 consecutive days with tetracycline IV. She then was clear eyed for several months. Her eyes (both at different times)again became cloudy and were treated with an antibiotic/cortizone ointment and atrophine ointment. The eyes cleared up only to recur latter while in training.
The vet at the track said that doxycline tablets should be used to try and control the outbreaks. Intially we put her on 30 tablets/day for 10 days. About 6-8 week later the problem recurred. Again the same treatment. The eye stayed clear for 6 weeks at which time she was entered in her 1st race. The trainer had become quite conscious of the eye symptons and while in the saddling paddock he noticed a very faint green tint in the bottom of the right eye. He thought that the problem was about to recur but surely not before the end of the race. Wrong! When the filly crossed the finish line and she was unsaddled he looked at the right eye and it was solid green. She could see nothing out of the eye. The vet was called to the barn and confirmed she was blind in the eye. He gave her a shot of banomine and suggested that the doxycline be given to her continuously at lower dosages- 10 tablets/day. The next day the eye was completely clear and vision was apparently nomral. The filly was entered to race after 6 weeks and she ran a good race getting beaten by 3 lengths from 1st. No problems with the eye. A week ago today the filly was worked 5 furlongs with no problems. She was entered to race today with no indications of any eye problems. Incidentally the filly was given lasix in the last race and today but not in the workout. The trainer observer the filly to be 'bug eyed' in the paddock. Her eyes were either enlarged looking or the eyelids were opened excessively to give the appearance of 'bug eyed'. There was no indication of the green cloudiness. He said she warmed up okay on the track but was reluctant to load which was unusual. When the gates opened she was extremely tardy and would barely gallop. As she crossed the finish line she stumbled causing the jockey to become unseated. The filly was loose on the track and ran into the railing not once but 3 times before she was caught. The trainer said she was totally blind in both eyes. It took them 1 hour to get her back to the barn. The vet confirmed again that she was blind in both eyes and gave her banomine. Hopefully tomorrow she will regain her sight as before. Do you have any idea of what is going on here? Why could she race good one week/ work the following week with no eye problems and then have a total disaster as today? Any insight on the problem would be helpful. The mare is well bred and has much talent. Is there going to be a problem with breeding if that is the only option?
I had a mare that had recurrent uvitis (moon blindness) due to Lepto. At first her episodes were few and far inbetween. Then they got more frequent. Eventually she went totally blind. Then unfortunalty was put down. I was told to give ten asprins everyday to help keep her from having episodes. When she did have an episode, I gave her Dex. It seems dust and pollen would cause an episode. And alotof times it would happen very rapidly. Don't know if any of this helps you. Good luck.
As C Carner mentioned, uveitis is a complication of leptospirosis. There is a lot of literature on the web that can help you with information.
On a side note, (if you have not been told) leptospirosis can be transfered to other species of animals, including humans. Please take appropriate precautions to protect yourself from potential infection. For more information on transmission of Lepto you can go to the CDC website.
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