Sight For Sore Eyes

You could call it snot eye. A mucous discharge, yellow or greenish color, in the eye. It may be a result of dust or dirt in the eye, pollen and allergens; the worst variety is probably “pink eye” a contagious infection that spreads from one individual to another. Dogs, humans and other animals can have the discharge for many reasons. Earl Norris, the famous Siberian Husky musher, was often seen with this in the socket of his glass eye. Perhaps he took it out at night, put it in his pocket, then licked it before replacing it in the morning. That’s what Will Steger did with his contact lenses…

The first time I met Earl Norris was in 1974 at the Iditarod start. He told me “that sled will never make it to Nome.” The next time was January 1978 when I went to the Settlers Bay race near Knik. Earl offered again, “that sled will never make it to Nome.” I sold one of my sleds then to Rick Swenson and he used it all the way to Nome, though he was beaten by Dick Mackey in a photo finish.

Used On Three Continents

When eye discharge occurred with my dogs in the past, at races, for example, where veterinarians were present to advise and prescribe, they had their favorite ophthalmic antibiotic ointments with or without corticosteriods. I have a large collection of these small ointment tubes. I still have them because they were not effective most of the time, or if they were effective they did not work as well as the product of choice in my experience.

Terramycin  (oxytetracycline hydrochloride)

Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment with Polymixin B Sulfate

Again, in my experience, the first treatment had a major effect in 12 hours; the second and following applications stopped the discharge  completely.

My advice, if you are traveling with dogs, “Don’t leave home without it!”

On the subject of eye health, may be the subject of another post:

In the Alpirod year 1990 ?? both Jacques Philippe and Pascal Nicoud went snow blind in the Bramans Bessan stages. (Upper Val D’Arc, Haute Maurienne?) Beautiful high altitude trails under clear skies and bright sun.

One year during the Beargrease race Bill Smith frosted his eyeballs. These were much different conditions, snow at night that would stick to eyelashes making vision difficult so some mushers were not blinking enough. Doug Swingley did the same in Iditarod. Did they both wear contact lenses?

For many years I have been using ski googles, sometimes even at night. They have shading that improves contrast and blocks harmful UV from the sun. In the Pirena race Plateau de Beille I borrowed a special pair from Gerhard Offer that were perfect for running in moonlight without a headlight.





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