Eye diseases in horses are as common as in humans. Horse eye diseases are infectious and non-infectious. Often in horses, you can observe diseases caused by changes in pressure inside the eyes: conjunctivitis, diseases of the eyelids, lacrimal glands and other appendages.
In the case of horses, they suffer from disturbances of the lens shifts and similar diseases that interfere with the adequate perception of visual information. Light entering the horse’s organs of vision is not correctly perceived and distorted at the entrance to the nerve channel. Such diseases are most often acquired congenitally or appear over time. When the horse begins to age, then it may appear acquired myopia or farsightedness, etc. Along with this, there are contagious diseases that can spread from individual to individual. Such diseases are infectious and not inherited.
Infectious diseases can disastrously affect the horse's vision. If the infection cannot be cured in time, complications can arise that will lead to partial or complete loss of vision, blindness, the formation of growths and skin layers on the eyes of the animal. Therefore, in case of symptoms of conjunctivitis or other dangerous diseases transmitted between equine representatives, it is better to immediately contact a veterinarian. Which goes without saying, this applies to both workhorses and thoroughbred horses. And most importantly, the infection does not penetrate deep into the eyes.
Periodically occurring symptoms of the most common equine eye disease are associated with moon phase changes. For this reason, the disease received a rather unusual name - the Moon. It is an infectious disease that spreads easily among horses. If you do not turn to a qualified veterinarian in time, then the horse may subsequently lose eyesight. Loss of vision occurs when the disease reaches the vitreous body of the eye, already affecting the lens, retina, cornea, iris, conjunctiva. If you start the disease at the initial stage, when it affects the eyeball, then it can affect the whole eye over time.
The first symptoms of ophthalmic diseases in horses can be characterized by tearfulness, discoloration of the eyeball or mucous secretions in the eye area. Symptoms of impaired vision can also occur in horse behavior. If the symptoms are sluggish, then they can inadvertently be overlooked, and not notice how the disease will prevail over the animal. For this reason, even if you are not sure and you are in doubt about your pet’s health, contact your veterinarian immediately. Only an experienced professional can identify and cure eye disease in a horse. Unqualified help here is useless and can only do harm.
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Horse Disease: Prevention
- Go to the section heading: Diseases of horses
- Horses sight
With the help of vision, the horse is oriented in space, distinguishes between the shape, size and remoteness of objects. Therefore, the horse’s eye is the most important, but at the same time very sensitive and sensitive to all kinds of damage, sensory organ. Diseases of the eyes, non-contagious and infectious, which are quite widespread, include diseases of the eyeball and its appendages - the eyelids, conjunctiva, lacrimal organs, and also the orbit. Separately considered are diseases caused by impaired blood and lymph circulation in the eye, such as changes in intraocular pressure. There are also deviations from the norm due to violations of the refractive power of the optical system of the eye, when the animal perceives vague images of objects, namely myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism.
Some of the eye diseases are inconsistent, as if random, in nature, while others, such as infectious keratoconjunctivitis, are the nature of common contagious diseases. There are many dangerous eye diseases leading to visual impairment and even blindness. This, in particular, inflammation of the cornea, leading to its clouding, and in advanced cases - to the appearance of a thorn that impedes or does not allow the animal to see, as well as purulent painful chronic inflammation of the conjunctiva, which can go to the cornea with the already mentioned consequences and lead to the destruction of this membranes and getting the infection inside the eyeball.
Often in horses there is the so-called moon sickness, which manifests itself periodically, and its return after an apparent cessation is associated with the phases of the moon. The disease deeply affects the eyeball and eventually passes to the iris, conjunctiva, cornea, retina, lens and, finally, to the vitreous. This is a contagious disease, the pathways of which are not well understood. Disease dangerous due to the possibility of loss of vision. But you can get rid of it, while maintaining the vision of the horse, only with early treatment by a veterinarian.
Treatment of eye diseases is a complex process, therefore it is better not to do this for the horse owner, not a specialist in veterinary medicine. But for the health of his horse, he can do a lot if he is seriously engaged in prevention. And since the causes of ocular blisters are quite diverse, it is important to have an idea of their first signs. A horse’s eye diseases can arise both as a result of contacts with sick animals, and with objects from farms that are unfavorable for eye diseases, including building structures, harnesses, and equipment.
A number of infectious eye diseases often begin after injuries or various kinds of eye contamination, which happens when animals are not kept properly. Indoor light conditions are also important for horse eye health.
It is important to know that any factors that painfully irritate and damage the organ of vision of the animal, and which are the cause of the onset of horse eye disease, initially cause similar symptoms of the disorder. This is, first of all, increased lacrimation and redness of the conjunctiva, less often, edema of the eyelid may follow. The appearance of these primary signs may already be a harbinger of formidable consequences for the horse's vision. Consequently, the owner of the horse to take urgent measures - seek the help of a veterinarian.
Therefore, the owner of the horse should always be on the alert to quickly detect the first signs of the disease, and therefore must daily examine her eyes and adjacent areas of the coat. This is especially important for those horses that are involved in the transport of bulk, and especially various chemicals, as well as working in the forest and daily in contact with other horses. When conducting eye examinations, it is necessary to pay attention to their symmetry, whether the eyelids open simultaneously and whether their shape has changed. Look carefully for any outflow from the eyes.
In general, all measures for the prevention of horse eye diseases are reduced, as a rule, to a rational arrangement of its premises, keeping it clean, rational and varied feeding. Important and immediate isolation from animals affected by eye diseases. In addition, the stall or stall should not have sharp protrusions, protruding nails and other objects hazardous to the eyes. The nursery should be located so that the bright light from the window does not blind the horse, so that it can lead to eye injuries with the ends of hay or straw stalks. Every day you should conscientiously clean the horse, while in its bangs there should not be particles of hay, straw or twigs. Important: for every deviation in the horse’s health condition or suspected illness, a veterinarian must be called in.