In late March we began to notice some changes in our co-founder, Reeses, and behaviors that indicated she might be having vision problems. During her spring physical, our veterinarian determined that Reeses had age-related changes in her eye and a cataract forming and that these were likely impacting her vision… not unusual for a horse who just turned 25!
We continued to monitor Reeses and noticed further behavioral changes, so we contacted the vet again. A more comprehensive eye exam found that Reeses has virtually lost all sight in her left eye. At this time we do not know the reason why, as there has been no injury or disease of the eye and the pressures in her eyes are normal. Thankfully she does have sight in her right eye, although it is also showing some age-related changes.
Reeses is now being given a daily prescription eye ointment to keep her right eye as healthy as possible, hopefully preventing any vision loss in that eye.
Reeses is adjusting well to this change in her situation, and we will adjust with her, ensuring Reeses gets all the additional support and care she needs. She is still an active member of our healing herd, and continues to love interacting with people. We are learning to adjust how we interact with her, being mindful of her limited vision. For example, it's ideal to approach Reeses on her right (good vision) side. It's also important to speak to Reeses while approaching her, to be sure we don't accidentally startle her.
Horses who have compromised or no vision can survive, and even thrive, with some accommodations made for them. They, too, have to work at becoming accustomed to a new "normal" and with support it is possible. We are still trying to determine the next medical steps in helping Reeses, including a variety of diagnostic tests. She will remain on the prescription eye ointment for as long as it helps her right eye remain as healthy as possible. We will keep you posted on other developments!
In the meantime, can you please help support Reeses, our co-founder?
If you would like to learn more about horses with compromised or no sight, please visit http://blindhorses.org/index.html.