The most common equine eye problem

Horses have beautiful big eyes which make for good photographs, but it also makes them prone to injuries. The most common eye complaints we see in horses are ulcers. These occur when a horse scratches the outermost layer of their eye. They may do this on a tree branch, hay or wire, however most of the time we have no idea how a horse manages to get themselves into such mischief!

The cornea is the outside surface of the eye. The cornea itself is made up of several layers which has a total thickness of about 2mm. Most ulcers are superficial and only involve the most outer layer. However, occasionally the eye is damaged through to deeper layers which is a serious concern.

It is quite obvious when a horse has damaged its eye as they will often hold their eye closed in a condition known a blepharospasm. This is an uncontrolled muscle contraction of the eye which you may have experienced when you have been poked in the eye. You may also notice discharge, redness around the eye and a cloudy appearance to the surface of the eye.

Most of the time these heal without too many issues, however it is best to determine early on whether the injury will need more intensive treatment.

If your horse has a squinty eye, don’t wait until it’s too late! Call us if you’re worried.