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Horse Eye Problems and Infections
 By Winniefield Park   •   6th Dec 2015   •   1,672 views   •   0 comments
Horse Eye Problems and Infections

Whether human or horse, eye problems are something you donít want to mess around with. Every time I check my horse, I look her in the eye--not because Iím trying to stare her down--but to make sure that little bit of weepiness is the right amount and color. A bit of tearing is a healthy thing and itís not because theyíve been missing you. Itís pretty normal to see a little teardrop in the corner of an eye. This helps keep the eye clean, since your horse spends a lot of time with its eyes close to dirt, grass seeds and other debris near the ground.

Eye injuries and infection arenít uncommon in horses, and they often resolve themselves. But you need to keep your own eyes on things, to make sure they are getting better, not worse. There are a few instances where a wait and seetitot be good. If there is any sort of tear or in the eyelid, the eyelid is badly swollen, the eye itself is obviously damaged, there is redness and inflammation, the tearing is profuse or there is a lot of thick discharge. White film or patches can indicate injury to the eye itself. A growth on the eyelid or eye should be looked after promptly be a veterinarian. And if you have a foal thatís born with turned under eyelids, this needs to be looked after sooner rather than later.

The simplest first aid treatment for any eye problem is washing the area with a saline solution. You can easily make this at home with cooled boiled water and sea salt. There are lots of recipes online and you canít go too far wrong with one recommended for humans or other pets. Then you want to protect the eye so no further damage is done and the area stays clean until the veterinarian arrives. In summer, a fly mask might be a good idea. Also keep the horse out of bright light.

For infections, your vet will probably give you an antibiotic cream or ointment to put in the eye. You may also be given NSAIDS or Bute. Treatment directly to the area can be a tricky process as your horse will want to protect its already sore eye. It can easily be a two-person job. Follow the veterinarianís advice and give your horse the full course of the medication. Some eye infections are treated by dropping the horseís blood serum into its eye. Your vet will draw blood, separate out the plasma and show you how to apply it to the eye. This process helps the horse heal quicker.

Another reason you donít want to mess with eye problems is that what looks like an infection could be URI or Moon Blindness. Equine Recurrent Uveitis is a serious problem and needs to be treated quickly for the best outcome. Unfortunately, some horses get frequently recurring bouts of this condition, which is very painful and hard to treat. There are some new treatments on the horizon, but for some horses, this condition is very bad news.

Pink or whitish patches around the horseís eye may look odd, but theyíre less of a worry. This is called vitiligo and it can happen to any thin skinned area on the horseís body. We donít know exactly why it happens. It could be diet, or it may be hereditary. But, it is more of a cosmetic problem and not a cause for great concern if the eye and the area around it is healthy.
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