Home from the Horse Hospital

It never is any fun when something is wrong with one of your animals, but it is even worse when it turns out to be something pretty serious. That happened recently with one of our horses, Bubba.

Bubba had been having a problem with his eye. The vet came out to look at it a couple of times, and he prescribed a couple of different eye medicines, but those didn’t do the trick. In fact, Bubba’s eye kept getting worse. So the vet recommended that we see a veterinary ophthalmologist. “Ophthalmologist” isn’t an easy word to spell, by the way. At least it isn’t if you want to spell it correctly.

The eye doctor, as we will call him from here on out to keep from having to spell “ophthalmologist,” doesn’t make farm calls, so we had to load Bubba up on the horse trailer and take him to a horse vet’s facility, where they eye doctor came to see him.

After we had waited a couple of hours, the eye doctor finally came. He took a look in Bubba’s eye and said, “Oh my!” You know that isn’t good when a doctor says that. He looked around a little more, and then he told us that Bubba has a fungus in his eye. And he told us that eye fungi are very difficult to treat. They aren’t the kind that put “fun” in “fungi.” That was my attempt at humor by the way, and not his. He was very humorless, either because of the situation or just because of his personality. Either way, Bubba’s eye fungus was serious.

The eye vet told us that we had a few options. We could do nothing and have Bubba put to sleep. We could have the eye vet do some really expensive surgery to remove the fungus, but he couldn’t promise that he would get it all the first time, requiring more expensive surgeries. We could have Bubba’s eye removed. Or we could try to treat it with some strong medicines.

Of course, the last option sounded the best to us. But because the fungus was so far along, the eye vet couldn’t guarantee that the medicine would work. He did say that it was probably worth a try, just to see if it did work. If it did, great. If not, we would be left with the other three options to choose from. So we chose the medicine. And we also chose to leave Bubba at the equine facility, also known as the horse hospital, so that they could give him the medicine regularly and keep a watch on him to see how he was doing.

After about a week of the eye medicine, the eye vet came back to see how Bubba was doing. He said, “Wow, that’s amazing!” And the regular vet at the horse hospital said, “I have never seen a horse recover from an eye fungus like that before!” Did I mention that Bubba had been on several prayer lists? Who says prayer doesn’t work? And who says you can’t pray for animals? Of course, Bubba still wasn’t in the clear. He would need medicine in his eye for a good while longer to make the fungus go away completely.

Bubba stayed for another week at the horse hospital, to make sure that he was still improving, which he was. Eventually, everyone involved decided that we should bring him home to care for him there, which we were glad to do. But before we could bring him home, we had to do a little work to his stall. Because of his eye condition, he would need to stay out of the sun. His stall just had a half door, so that he could stick his head out and see what was going on. So we needed to build the top half of a door to keep him inside entirely.

We had built the barn ourselves, but our last construction on it was around ten years go. Fortunately, we weren’t too rusty at building a door. Here, Laura hammers in a few nails:

While we were building, I saw this notice stamped on the plywood:

If you have trouble reading it, here is what it says:

Warning: This product may contain wood dust, a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer.

Plywood may contain wood dust? I had no idea! I’m glad we don’t live in California where we might get cancer from it.

Anyway, our work seemed to be a success, because the door worked just right. Now all it needs is some paint.

And now, with all of that done, Bubba is happy to be home where he belongs. He already seems to be a bit better, even though he still has some recovering to do. So far, it looks like he is still on the right track.

Hopefully, things will be back to normal for him, and for us, really soon.