Urgent horses going blind!
Ok I have a friend who lives on a farm with around 30 or so horses. All are outside 24/7. There is a band of broodmares and their stallion and then a group of younger stallions that were intended to be gelded when they were old enough to train, but obviously time got away from their owner, because now most of the studs are from 8-15 give or take a few years. They are all in the same pasture, which is huge. I know it's not the ideal situation so I don't want anyone chewing my butt about it, because they're not my horses.
Anyways, a couple weeks ago, I was out there riding with my friend who lives there, and ALL the horses seemed fine. There are a couple older mares who were blind in one eye, but all seemed happy. I went out yesterday, and their owner had around 10 of them penned up by the barn. My friend told me it was because he was taking them to the sales ring Monday (tomorrow), anyways. I asked her if I could go see which ones were in there and she said I wasn't going to like what I saw. So we went to see them, and two of my favorite mares there, were in there. My friend told me it was because they were blind. One is 19 so I can understand that, the other is 8. The 8 year old mare has her eyes shut, is completely blind, and has pus or mucus running down her face from both eyes. Now both of these mares are the ones we were riding 2 weeks before.
Anyways, I was clearly upset and you could tell the blindness had just set it. The 8 year old mare was still very scared about her loss of vision, and you could clearly see it in her face. I looked more around the pen, and there again were more of the brood mares, all of which were blind, but whom were fine a couple weeks ago, besides one who had one blind eye for a few years. There were also a few of the studs in there, but no blindness in them. Then we walked out to the pasture to check the rest of the horses, and almost every single horse, besides the herd stud, and a colt that was born this spring, were blind. All of these horses I had just seen a couple weeks ago and were all fine. More than one we had out riding.
Now what I don't get is, WHAT could cause this, and what causes it to blind them so rapidly? I tried to call the vet over and over but each one I talk to wants nothing to do with it because there are so many that are blind. I have been researching on the internet, but haven't found anything that is this contagious, or so rapidly progressive. Any ideas????