Blindness In Blue Eye's Horse?

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Blindness In Blue Eye's Horse?

This is a discussion on Blindness In Blue Eye's Horse? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Are blue eyed horses deaf or blind
  • Are horses with a blue eye blind?

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  • 1 Post By bubba13

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    11-10-2011, 09:19 AM
Blindness In Blue Eye's Horse?

There Is a double blue eye'd horse at my stable. She's only two and her owners are just starting to work with her...But she absolutly freaks out when you even walk over to her left side. I know that blue eye'd horses carry this gene but how can tell that this horse is blind? She's fine on her right side but if you even attempt to ask her to change directions she freaks out quite dangerously. She has had conjunctivitis in both eyes but all the horses were spreading around, and she got over it quickly. Everyone is stumped because she's fine on one side but not the other...? So any tips on how to tell if a horse is blind would be great! Thank!
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    11-10-2011, 09:39 AM
Super Moderator
Has she had an ophthalmic examination? That is where you need to start. A knowledgeable Vet (preferably one that has specialized in Ophthalmology) should examine this horse. Eye problems should not be taken lightly and some eye conditions require immediate attention while others are chronic but still respond to proper treatment. If a horse already has a loss of vision, it should be thoroughly explored so handlers and owners can make an informed decision as to what is the best course and future of this horse. Just blundering on and hoping for the best is a bad case of 'barn blind' on the part of the owner.
    11-10-2011, 02:19 PM
Agreed Cherie, have a vet check him out. Meanwhile, a test you can do quickly wave something down from his eye, such as your hand. Hold your hand about where the top of his ear is, and wave it down quickly, but make sure you do it about 1-2 feet away from his eye, or he could just feel the air. Watch his reaction closely. Does his eye or ear flick toward you? Does a jerk his head away- did you not notice it? If he reacts at all, he probably isn't blind. But if he doesn't react, he may be. EITHER WAY- have a vet look at his eye- they can do a much more advanced test. Make sure you repeat several times to.
    11-10-2011, 02:31 PM
She is probably going blind. A Vet can figure this out in about 10 minutes. I know bc I had a horse that was losing his sight, and my Vet caught it doing routine work, took him into the dark barn with a penlight and confirmed the diagnoses. I saw no symptoms. He said that the horse would be jumping and kicking at shadows until he went totally blind, then could be used. This is a tough one. Everybody says, in theory, that you can use a totally blind horse. But when YOURS is the blind horse, it's tough to know what to do. =(
Certainly, the show ring becomes out of the question, but the horse IS comprimised, and vulnerable even if only one eye is blind. I think we're going to see more of this bc we have so much breeding for color, including blue-eyed Arabians and TB's. The gene for blindness is getting spread around more often.
My pony, "Toma" was a tobiano paint with a brown face, big blaze, 2 blue eyes, and he died at 35yo without any vision problems. (I owned him for 1/2 of his life.)
    11-11-2011, 12:54 AM
There is no genetic link between blue eyes and blindness.
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    11-11-2011, 10:56 AM
Super Moderator
I know of no link between blue eyes and blindness. Blue eyes and deafness is well documented but I know of no connection to blindness like that seen in some dog breeds.

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