Disorders of the Conjunctiva in Horses

Disorders of the Conjunctiva in Horses

Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by Allison Price

The conjunctiva, a thin membrane covering the inner eyelids and reaching to the cornea of an eye, is thin. It is responsible for the movement of tears and eye, protecting the eye from external invaders and healing the cornea after injury. Because conjunctiva problems can be a sign of generalized disease, some may lead to blindness.

Broken blood vesselsbelow the conjunctiva could be the result trauma or a blood disorder. Although this condition does not require treatment, it is important to inspect the eye closely to see if there are any other serious conditions. Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination to determine the source of spontaneous bleeding if there is no evidence of trauma.

Disorders of the Conjunctiva in Horses

Chemosis refers to swelling of the conjunctival tissues around the cornea. Although it can occur in all types of inflammation, the most severe cases are those caused by trauma, hypoproteinemia, allergic reactions and insect bites. Topical corticosteroids are used to treat insect bites. They usually heal quickly. Other cases may require specific treatment to address the root cause.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis (also known as pinkeye) can be caused by many diseases. There are many causes, including infections, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. There are several symptoms: redness in the eye, swelling around the cornea (chemosis), mild discomfort, and discharge from the eyes. Your veterinarian will not be able to diagnose the cause by the appearance of the conjunctiva. A medical history, physical exam, conjunctival scrapings, Schirmer tear tests, and sometimes biopsy are all necessary to make a diagnosis.

One eye can have conjunctivitis. This could be caused by a foreign object, inflammation in the tear sac ( Dacryocystitis), and dry eyes. Infection with a virus or bacteria can cause conjunctivitis in both eyes. Horses can get conjunctivitis from herpesviruses, for example. Conjunctivitis can also be caused by allergens or environmental irritants. Your veterinarian may recommend a topical antibiotic if there is pus-filled or mucusy discharge. If there are other factors involved, however, an antibiotic may not be enough to heal the problem. Pink eye can also be caused by environmental factors, parasites and foreign objects. Your veterinarian will check your eye for these conditions. Your veterinarian might recommend a combination of treatments for conjunctivitis, as it can be caused by multiple factors.

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