Veterinary ophthalmology focuses on eye care and ocular disease prevention. Eye problems are a common malady in horses. In fact, eye injuries are one of the most common reasons for an emergency visit from your veterinarian. There are also breed predispositions for certain eye conditions. Always call us if you have any question regarding your horse’s eyes. Preservation of vision is critical, therefore, early diagnosis is key to a successful outcome. We will examine your horse’s eyes and determine the best course of action. All options and recommendations will be thoroughly discussed so we can build an effective and comfortable treatment plan for you and your horse. Complicated eye diseases are may be referred to a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists for further diagnostics or second opinions.

Indications of horse eye problems: 

  • Red and/or swollen eyelids
  • Increase in tear discharge from eyes
  • Increase in “gunky” discharge from eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light (squinting)
  • Eyelid that appears to be torn from its base
  • Abnormal growth near or on the eye
  • Haziness over surface of the eye.
  • Foreign bodies, such as plant material, in eyes
  • Constant rubbing of eyes
  • Bumping into objects or seemingly lost in a familiar setting
  • Behavioral changes, such as increased spooking

Preventing and improving horses vision problems

The following tests may be performed during an equine eye exam. Each test is considerate of horse comfort and does not cause pain. If serious problems are detected, treatment options, including surgery, will be discussed.

Fluorescein Stain – By inserting drops of a fluorescent green stain on the eye, the veterinarian will be able to detect corneal damage. The bright green stain rests in scratches and on wounds so the veterinarian can easily detect them.

Ophthalmoscopic Examination – Special instrument that has a strong light and allows us to look at different structures within the eye

Tonometry – Occasionally, we use a special instrument, a tonometer, to help gauge eye pressures within the eye. Glaucoma is always a concern in our equine patients.

Ultrasound – Ultrasound of the eye allows us to take a different look at the structures within the eye.

Neurologic Exams – Assessing nerve function around the eye and face is critical to giving diagnoses and prognoses.

If you have any questions about veterinary ophthalmology or would like to arrange for a routine horse eye exam, please contact our office to schedule your horse’s eye appointment.