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This is a discussion on Eyesight within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horses eyesight
  • Mare stumbling eyes blinking

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    01-27-2009, 10:35 PM

Hi! I was wondering if anybody could tell me the signs of a horse with possible eyesight problems...like blindness? Im thinking a horse at the barn im at has vision problems.
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    01-27-2009, 11:11 PM
Some signs are not blinking when you go near their eye (but sometimes that's hard to distinguish because they may blink from "feeling you" near their eye). I was told to throw a cotton ball near their face on the side you are worried about when they are standing calm and see if they react to that (But don't throw it on the eye, just near the face). A vet would TRULY be able to tell if the horse is blind or not. Is the horse's pupil dilated during the day? Or any forms of cloudiness? Those can be some signs.
    01-28-2009, 09:53 AM
Green Broke
Hi, curious to know why you think this horse may have an issue with sight.
My own experience with my mare T started with display of light sensitivity, eye would water in sunlight. She also started to lower her head like a bloodhound in the paddock when walking.

How old is this horse and what breed (some breeds are more prone to eye issues than others , though that is not always a definite I have found in research)

There is a wonderful sight called the guardian mask that I came across in researching my mares conditions, it provided a lot of information and hope.
    01-28-2009, 10:57 AM
She is a 20-21 yr old foxtrotter x TWH. Her eyes do water somewhat alot more so when she is outside. When she comes in from outside, for her finding where her stall is to go into, she looks like she sniffs to find it than look for it like the other horses. She also goes into the wrong stall sometimes, but the other horses do to. When I flash my hand in front of her face, she dosent seem to react but im not sure if that's just her. I will have to do some more 'tests' tonight, but I have to make sure that her owner dosent see so she wont get worried. But I will update you! Thanks! Also she stubles alot when ridden.
    01-28-2009, 12:22 PM
Green Broke
Ticklytiger12, T is a very stoic mare so many of the tests you can do at home were not really helpful. It took the vet examing her eyes to determine the issues, which where inpart due to old age and to an injury in one eye (that I did see of course) and off we went into the frustrating world of uveitis aka moonblindness. The vision issues she displayed were also due to macular degeneration, though I wonder if in fact it isn't cataracts. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm just thinking out loud.

I guess what I'm trying to say while I'm going around the barn is don't be surprised if this horse doesn't react to the cotton ball test or the finger test ect... some horses and T is one that tolerates a lot.

Good luck.
    01-28-2009, 10:38 PM
Some other signs would be the horse startling at things that are not normal for him, tipping their head to the side, stumbling over rough ground, bumping into things. Some of those would be more advanced signs. My appy has ERU, aka moonblindness. The first signs of ERU is squinting, watery eyes, pain in bright sunlight during flareups. If this horse has signs of eye pain be sure to have a vet check for ERU.. Timely treatment will help to slow the progression of this disease.

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