Lots of people have asked why Paj wears a fly mask in winter.
Oddly enough, it's because he has allergies, lots and lots of allergies.
What does this have to do with a fly mask? His allergies are airborne. When he comes in contact with an allergen, his eyes swell shut and we have to flush his tear duct with a solution of Carbocaine and saline. About half an inch of a catheter goes in a tiny hole in his nostril. Keeping some pressure on the nostril, you depress the syringe, and the solution goes up his tear duct (the entire length of his nose) and out the corner of his eye. If you don't keep pressure on the nostril, the solution just flows out his nostril and down your arm.
Why do his tear ducts clog? Because he over-produces gunk as a response to the allergen. How does the fly mask help? It helps to keep wind-borne allergens out of his eyes. And since his eyes itch and he wants to rub them into the ground when he rolls, it helps to keep dirt out of his eyes. I hate allergies.
We try to prevent reactions by keeping him on monthly allergy shots.
When it's clear something is irritating him, he gets a dose of Dexamethasone. When the wind comes whistling cross the plains, we put a prescription ointment in his eyes. If it's really crazy, he stays in. We also keep the barn really clean, only sweeping when he's turned out. And of course we feed a hay that he's not allergic to.
When we were at a big boarding stable and couldn't control his environment at all, Dr. Gary was coming out about every 10 days to flush his eyes. When we moved him to our own place, we went from August 2009 to December 2010 without a blocked tear duct. Yay! But then in December, we inadvertently got some brome hay, and he had several reactions before we got it sorted out. Thus the post. Poor baby!
This face is too pretty to cover up all the time!