Hello everyone, August 2019
We very often get a call to the clinic saying “there is something wrong with my horse’s eye”. Horses are prey animals and rely heavily on their sight. No wonder having a sore eye makes your horse very unhappy. Let’s take a minute or two to look at horsey eye problems.
What are the signs that your horse has a problem with it’s eye? * Excessive tearing * Squinting * Avoiding bright light * Avoiding touch to the face * Discharge from the eye * Excessively red eye * Cloudiness * Bulging or sunken eye * Swelling of the lid * Change in eye colour * Protrusion of the third eyelid or the conjunctiva
Unfortunately there is a very long list of eye conditions that can cause these symptoms; ulcers, foreign body, cancer, infection, viral conditions, blocked tear ducts, dry eye, uveitis, cataracts, lens luxation…and the list goes on. Whenever you notice any of the above signs, it is best to contact a Vet to have a look at the eye before self medicating the eye. Applying the wrong medication into the eye can cause more damage than good and can lead to massive damage and even blindness. If you suspect that there is something in the horse’s eye or if you want to do something while waiting for the vet to come, just rinsing with tap water (or even better some Saline Solution) is the best thing to do to ensure that no extra damage is done. Some horses will not tolerate having the eye rinsed because of the pain and discomfort, so fighting with the horse to get the eye rinsed might cause more aggitation than just waiting for the Vet to come and have a good look.
Till next week. Have a lovely long weekend with your horses. Be safe.
Dr Marleece Parys Animal Hospital