Polo Players Edition

JUL 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

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58 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N and should help alleviate pain that could prevent your horse from really banging itself up, especially if your veterinarian cannot immediately get to your farm to treat your horse. Ask your veterinarian h ow she prefers you handle administering analgesics during a period of colic with your horses. Sudden and Severe Eye Pain The second emergency scenario to recognize is sudden and severe onset eye pain. If you are a skimmer, the short and dirty of this paragraph is call your vet if your horse has an eye issue. Many problems with the equine eye are true emergencies, including blunt head trauma, eye trauma, protrusion of the eye, eyelid lacerations, acute blindness, acute eye swelling, tearing or squinting. Equine eye injuries are cases that need to be seen immediately by your veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist in order for accurate diagnosis and treatment to occur, ensuring the best long-term prognosis for globe and vision retention. You can help prevent further injury to the eye by keeping your horse from rubbing the eye further. Corneal ulcers are by far one of the most common eye ailments to polo ponies and are important to diagnose early, especially in the southern areas of the country where parasites and fungi run rampant. A simple corneal ulcer should heal in 7-10 days. The main staples of therapy are controlling the infection and the inflammation and pain associated with the ulcer. Acute corneal edema or a bluish tinge to the eye can also indicate many problems requiring immediate treatment like trauma, uveitis or glaucoma. For many eye maladies, be prepared to administer topical ocular medications as frequently as every four hours, a sub-palpebral lavage system can help to more accurately and less painfully (for you and your horse!) deliver eye medications, but referral to a 24-hour care facility may also be necessary to ensure treatments are performed. Lacerations The third emergency frequented by polo ponies are lacerations. Acute, t raumatic lacerations of less critical structures, if caught within the first 12 hours can be cleaned, debrided, and closed (sutured, stapled, etc.), known as primary closure, by your veterinarian. Wounds with significant contamination may be bandaged for several days to allow for a delayed closure. Antibiotics and anti- inflammatory drugs are usually administered with these injuries. Your veterinarian will also want to administer a tetanus toxoid to your horse if it has not had a booster within the last six months. The major concern with lacerations is the location, and if that location involves a synovial structure (joint or tendon sheath). Prognosis for your horse is significantly worse and cost significantly more when joints, tendon sheaths, and supporting structures (tendons) are involved with lacerations. In general, the more structures affected, the poorer the prognosis. It is also not safe to assume that just because your horse is weight bearing on a limb a synovial structure is not affected. Even with immediate treatment, when more structures are involved there is higher risk for complicating factors such as adhesion formation, permanent lameness, developing contra-lateral limb laminitis or persistent infection, that make prognosis and price substantially worse. Severe Lameness A fourth area of emergency that is worth calling your veterinarian for would be any non-weight bearing lameness. The main differentials (or causes) for a non- weight bearing lameness are fracture or luxation of a bone, an infection, for example a septic joint or foot abscess. Foot abscess is by far the most common culprit, but non-weight bearing lameness is and should be treated as an emergency. (continued from page 17) Stromal Abscess Iris Prolapse Corneal Ulcer Eyelid laceration

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