Horse Life

P-Bug’s Life Is So Hard

It’s been awhile since P had a post, and while I’m not exactly convinced he deserves one, I do still love the idiot (despite what I may say at times).

P’s been battling this eye ulcer thing since May 6th and it’s been exhausting. Up until last week he was on 5 different meds that had to be administered every 6 hours, with 2x/week vet visits and it just wasn’t healing. To P’s credit, he’s been very good about me shoving ointment after ointment in his eye at midnight loose in his field, but quite frankly, it was exhausting.

Me every night I get in the car to go BACK to the barn

So because P has been so good about the meds, when I went out there on Memorial Day to do his morning meds and he wouldn’t even let me touch his face, I got quite worried. When I checked on him a few hours later at a time when the Banamine I’d given him should’ve already kicked in and he was STILL as non-compliant about it, I figured something was in there or he’d re-injured it, so I called the vet. Because of course I have $135 just lying around to use on an emergency vet call 48 hours after he’d already seen her.


She came out and of course nothing was out of the ordinary, but the thing still wasn’t healing nearly as fast as it should and I was (and still am) pretty much at the end of my rope with being at the barn 3x/day. She mentioned there was an animal ophthalmologist about an hour away and so the next AM, I called them to see if I could get an appointment because SOMETHING had to give. Even though he still does this when I come to get him, despite him clearly knowing at this point it’s to shove things in his eye.

The eye clinic said they could see him that afternoon so I called my vet and she sent over all his records and pictures to them, then I loaded P in the trailer and off we went.

The ophthalmologist (why is that word SO hard to type?) did an exam and gave me a few options:

  1. Switch is existing antibiotic eye med to a stronger one. Cost: $100
  2. Do a Diamond Burr Debridement, which removes the damaged corneal tissue. At that point, my regular vet had done 3 debridements with a plain cotton swab to clean up the edges around the ulcer, but this was a bit more involved. Cost: $200
  3. Combine #1 & #2
  4. Perform a keratectomy, which removes the entire ulcer and any abnormal tissue. Cost: $900

Maybe it was the sleep deprivation, because I’m still waiting to hear if insurance will cover it, but I went with the keratectomy + the stronger antibiotic + I opted to have the ulcer biopsied to make sure there was nothing crazy that was causing this. Total cost (with sedation and meds): $1,469.

Luckily they were able to do it right then and there, and the whole thing took less than 30 minutes. P was a model patient and the two vet techs had a brief bickering spat on which one would be the one to walk him around to help him wake up. The thought of leaving him there may or may not have crossed my mind.


I had to walk always after that

Along with the surgery, came a new meds schedule that still feels incredibly weird. He gets one med (Atropine) 1x/day, and then 2 cc’s of Ofloxacin squirted in to his eye 3x/day, followed by Voriconazole squirted into his eye 3x/day. It seems so counter-intuitive to back down on the meds, but this guy’s the specialist + it gets me a little more sleep. So I go there and do his AM meds, then BO does his early afternoon ones and then I go back out around 10 PM to do the bedtime ones. Not ideal, of course, but easier to swallow than midnight.

Husband texted me last night from his oceanfront beach hotel suite (he’s on a “work” trip) so I sent him this

He had a checkup with our regular vet yesterday and while it’s still not healed (the ophthalmologist said 2-3 week healing time is typical), it’s definitely smaller than it was pre-surgery. The ophthalmologist called me this AM to let me know the biopsy came back and didn’t show anything crazy or infected, which is great news, so for now we’re just staying the course. So hopefully a week or two more to go and we can put this behind us. I’m sure something new will come up, though. I’ve become quite cynical these last few months.

May 24th (pre-surgery): the green stain shows how large the ulcer was. It was getting shallower but not closing up width-wise
June 3rd: much smaller

One thing I’m NOT cynical about, however, is the fact that P perhaps should be a movie star. When I was hauling him to the ophthalmologist (and not happy about it), I got the notification that we won another contest, this time for Coat Defense! I’ve previously talked about this product, and HAD to enter (despite the fact P was lame), as I was running low on the Preventative Powder. The video had to be under 30 seconds and show how you use their products. Nailed it.


So…despite the fact that at that point P still didn’t have front shoes on and was quite footsore, not to mention he was in the midst of an eye infection, he’s kept up his streak of winning every contest he’s been entered in. So I guess I’ll keep him around.

They sent me a hat (in turquoise!), a patch and a FULL-SIZE bottle of Preventative Powder. I go through that stuff like candy so it was a very exciting day


P approves. Husband knows to treat that stuff like gold.

He’s also been back in a (somewhat) regular riding schedule and while I’m pretty sure he’d be just fine with being used for weird videos, I’m hoping that by channeling some of his energy he can cool it with the insane vet visits for awhile.

First ride after getting shoes on after being barefoot up front for 6 weeks


Rocking his “new” PS of Sweden, whose beauty is only slightly diminished by the Bug Mask

Until we’re even (which will be never), I’ll just find new ways to torture him, like making him run through the arena sprinklers. Because if I have to pay off my vet’s mortgage for your stupid eye, you can entertain me, minion. He was SO angry at me for this. I loved every second.






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