Subtle signs of eye trouble

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Allison Price

These are five signs that your horse’s vision health could be at risk.

Ocular problems in horses can be subtle. A weeping, swollen, or engorged eye is a sign of something is wrong. Some of the more severe eye conditions, like uveitis and glaucoma, can only be detected by subtle signs that are difficult to spot. These symptoms are all signs that warrant further investigation.

Subtle Signs of Eye Trouble

Aversion towards light. Bright sunlight can cause uveitis, an inflammation of the eyes. Horses who are more comfortable in the shade, especially during hot summer months, could be protecting their eyes from damage.The horse’s central eye is usually clear and pitch-black. If the horse’s eye appears milky, it could be a sign that a cataract has formed as a result on-going inflammation.

Equine eyelashes that point downward. Equine eyelashes are usually oriented parallel to ground or slightly up. It could be a sign of subtle swelling if your horse’s lashes point downward.

Iris yellowing. Eye inflammation can cause the iris, the colored area of the pupil that surrounds the pupil to turn yellowish. The unusual color of brown eyes is also seen in blue eyes. These changes should be a reason to contact your veterinarian for an eye exam.

Clearance in the pupil is not normal. The central part of the horse’s eyes should be clear and pitch-black. An indication that a cataract may be developing is a milky appearance.

Cloudy appearance to the whole world. Inflammatory disease and fungal infections can cause horses’ eyes to look cloudy or bluish. It’s worth investigating if one eye appears less clear than the others, or if they appear more cloudy than you remember.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!