beta carotene for moon blindness - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-26-2012, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
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beta carotene for moon blindness

I have 2yr old that has just been diagnosed with a mild case of moon blindness in his left eye. The vet said he will never go completely blind in that eye and will always atleast be able to see shadows. I was under the impression that it was a degenerate disease. I have read a couple of articles where people have been treating it with beta carotene, 75,000 units per day. Has anyone used or heard of this and does it work?
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-26-2012, 05:50 PM
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Well, my 27 year old mare has pretty severe Moon Blindness (or ERU, "Equine Recurrent Uveitis") in both eyes (best guess, 85% of her total vision is gone) and I'd love it if that were the case! lol Let me know how that goes for you! :)

It is a degenerative disease though. Each "attack" is followed by a small or large decrease in vision. Basically the attack triggers are as different as the horse's are. For my mare, her trigger is getting chilled so I go out of my way to make sure she's never allowed to get chilled. Another thing that helps most ERU horses is to be flymasked with a mask that has UV protection whenever it's sunny out. Some horses need to be flymasked all the time for it to really help, but others, like my mare, only need it when it's really sunny.

Unfortunately, I'm gonna have to say that if your guy is 2 and already diagnosed with ERU, he will probably eventually lose sight in that eye. He might be 20 before it all goes but it's basically impossible to completely avoid attacks even with 100% perfect care. It's not a reflection on the caretaker at all, it's just the nature of the disease. ERU is the absolute worst. :(

Maybe you're already seem this but this article helped me understand this disease so much better than I did before. It's still confusing to me but it's less than it was.

Equine Recurrent Uveitis: Information for the Horse Owner

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post #3 of 3 Old 06-26-2012, 09:23 PM
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Very well said Wallaby. I also have a horse, 23 yr old mare, that has been battling ERU for several years. It appears her trigger is allergy based, so spring and fall are seasons I hold my breath and pray!

She has just come out of an episode, in her only sighted eye, and is now almost sightless. She has no night vision, but seems to navigate fairly well in daylight. Only time will tell as to what will be.

I've done extensive research in hopes to prolong the time between flare-ups, but there are as many treatments as there are "causes" , as Wallaby said, it is very individual. With T, we are struggling to build up her immune system. My vet believes it is auto-immune based disease, and is always "bubbling" behind her eye, waiting for a trigger.

It is very painful for the horse. It is imperative that the eye dilates before it is "frozen" in a constricted state. Time is of the essence with a flare-up.

With all the searching I've done, I haven't come across the beta carotene suggestion. I will look into it.

Best of luck to you and your young horse Coptordoctor. It is a long journey.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!".
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