Are Horses Blind

Bob Roberts
• Wednesday, 02 December, 2020
• 23 min read

Their concern was evident, which led me to wonder about their vision, and more specifically if horses are color- blind ”? Horses have enormous eyes, which allows them to see excellent at night.

horse blind rider riding riders dressage olympics called disabled woman rio training howarth games
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Many people believe that horses with their large eyes have better color perception than humans. But as I learned, there is a lot more to color recognition and visual acuity than the size of a horse’s eyes.

However, as technology advanced, we’ve learned that horses can see color, just not the same as we do. Horses can see blue and green color s of the spectrum along with their hues, humans with normal vision see four primary colors–blue, green, yellow and red–along with approximately 100 blends and tones.

In horse competitions, the lack of visual acuity is taken into consideration when designing courses. Often jumps and other obstacles will be painted colors easily seen by the competing horses.

A team of scientists conducted detailed testing on six ponies and published their results in the Journal of Vision. It is one of the largest in the entire animal kingdom and amazingly is bigger than the eye of either the elephant or the whale.

Herds of zebras are intensely active in very dim light at dawn and dusk and can see much better than human beings in those conditions. We are so used to thinking of the domestic horse as a daytime steed that we have overlooked this critical aspect of its natural lifestyle.

horse blind horses does sight
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Riders who jump with their horses at night confess to it being a nerve-racking experience for them; however, their equine partner takes it all in stride. The fact that the horse is naturally active by night does not mean that it is typically inactive by day.

Throughout the long waking phases of the day and night, the horse’s eye is forever scanning the horizon on the lookout for possible killers. And the eye is beautifully designed to be supersensitive to tiny movements in the distance.

Even today, after living its whole life in an utterly lion-free world, a domestic horse can still be panicked by the sudden fluttering of a sheet of paper in the wind, somewhere at the edge of its range of vision. Watching racehorses run with quarter cup blinkers makes me how wide is a horses range of vision.

A horse can see about 340 of the 360 degrees around it, with only two small blind spots, just in front and immediately behind its body. For this reason, it is crucial not to approach a horse, even an ordinarily docile one, form those angles.

Its sudden realization that someone has come close to it, when an invisible hand pats or strokes it, may startle it badly. Because the eyes of the horse are set on either side of its head, it does not usually see objects in-depth, with binocular vision.

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Because of its long muzzle, this vision only works at a distance of more than six feet in front of the animal’s head. It means that every time he urges his steed into another considerable leap over a fence, the animal is jumping blind.

But at the last moment, the jump disappears from view, blocked by the obstruction of the horse’s own head. It sees the jump coming and then memorizes its position as it sails blindly through the air.

What happens on such occasions is that something else has momentarily caught the animals’ eye and distracted it, leaving it with no defense against the rapidly approaching obstacle. If the jumper turned his head early, he would lose depth information and not be able to judge the distance of the jump ahead.

In intense light, when a horse is narrowing its pupils, there is a striking difference from the human reaction. The horizontal slit is a unique adaptation to the horse’s need to keep a broad horizon in view at all times.

The pupils may be smaller in the glare, but the vast range of vision remains unimpaired. I wasn’t able to find too much reliable scientific testing to determine the vision of a horse satisfactorily.

blind horse horses caring eye vision environment missing ride dealing daniel getty handle rode
(Source: www.thesprucepets.com)

In a contest between rival Arab riders, it was proven that a horse could identify its owner from other men at distances of over a quarter of a mile. But in whatever way they managed it, it underlines the fact that the eye of a horse is a truly remarkable organ.

A horse’s third-lid sits in the corner of the eye and will wipe across the eyeball to remove irritations. When it is noticed, some believe their horses eye has erupted and called their veterinarian.

The iris of a horse’s eye is usually dark brown to black but could be various other colors, including blue, hazel, amber, and green. Actual yellow eyes can be found in the Pass Fine breed.

When a horse sustains an injury to his eyes, it requires that you seek immediate veterinary care. If you don’t have a fly mask do whatever is necessary to prevent the horse from rubbing his eye.

Next place the horse in a clean environment to avoid exposure from substances which could cause further damage. (Click the link to check prices for a Fly Mask with Ears on Amazon) Put your horse in a quiet, dark stall; light could irritate his eye.

blind horse unusual animals horses riding stables endo uploaded user things
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A horse eyeball is flat at the front and back and doesn’t have a “ramped retina.” A ramped retina is a term used to describe retinas that are shaped in a way that creates different distances from the lens within the eye. It was thought that the ramped retina was the reason horses moved their heads up and down so often.

The theory was that by shifting their heads a horse was focusing his vision, similar to the way a human would see through bifocals. The retina includes cones and is light sensitive and provides the capability for a horse to see colors.

The retina also houses rod cells which see light and dark differences and includes night vision capabilities. The UVA or vascular tunic includes the choroid, biliary body, and iris.

When the muscles are relaxed, the lens becomes thinner to see a distant object more clearly. Common problems with horses eyes include abrasions, corneal ulcers, keratitis, conjunctivitis, uveitis, habronema, and keratoconjunctivitis Wicca.

Uveitis is an emergency for the horse, and the inflammation must be controlled immediately. Habronema is a nasty disease, it is caused by maggots depositing larvae from feces into open sores and mucous membranes of horses.

blind endo horse horses spanish walk sight eye blindness than does most he wagner did meet line know going wideopenpets
(Source: www.wideopenpets.com)

It may develop in numerous locations on the horse, but the eye is the main area affected. Keratoconjunctivitis Wicca is the scientific term used to describe “dry eye” syndrome in horses.

A fracture of a facial bone could damage a nerve and disrupt tear production. Be sure to have your horse checked by a veterinarian if you suspect he has “dry eye” syndrome.

If you think he has a condition that warrants calling your veterinarian then schedule your horse an examination. Both the strengths and weaknesses of the horse's visual abilities should be taken into consideration when training the animal, as an understanding of the horse's eye can help to discover why the animal behaves the way it does in various situations.

The equine eye includes the eyeball and the surrounding muscles and structures, termed the adnexa. The eyeball of the horse is not perfectly spherical, but rather is flattened anterior to posterior.

The nervous tunic (or retina) is made up of cells which are extensions of the brain, coming off the optic nerve. These receptors are light-sensitive, and include cones, which are less light-sensitive, but allow the eye to see color and provide visual acuity, and rod cells, which are more light-sensitive, providing night vision, but only seeing light and dark differences.

eye blindness blind horses turning horse moon choices owners quarter mark close owned
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Since only two-thirds of the eye can receive light, the receptor cells do not need to cover the entire interior of the eye, and line only the area from pupil to the optic disk. The vascular tunic (or UVA) is made up of the choroid, the biliary body, and the iris.

The choroid has a great deal of pigment, and is almost entirely made of blood vessels. The tape tum lucid um reflects light back onto the retina, allowing for greater absorption in dark conditions.

The iris lies between the cornea and the lens, and not only gives the eye its color, (see “eye color,” below) but also allows varying amounts of light to pass through its center hole, the pupil. The fibrous tunic consists of the sclera and cornea and protects the eye.

The sclera (white of the eye) is made up of elastin and collagen. The cornea (clear covering on the front of the eye) is made up of connective tissue and bathed in lachrymal fluid and aqueous humor, which provides it nutrition, as it does not have access to blood vessels.

The lens of the eye lies posterior to the iris, and is held suspended by the biliary suspension ligament and the biliary muscle, which allows for “accommodation” of the eye: it allows the lens to change shape to focus on different objects. Eye color Homozygous cream dilutes (“double-dilutes”) have pale blue eyes, while the blue eyes associated with white markings (bottom) are a clearer, deeper color. Although usually dark brown, the iris may be a variety of colors, including blue, hazel, amber, and green.

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(Source: blindhorses.org)

Blue eyes are not uncommon and are associated with white markings or patterns. The adnexa of the eye, including the third eyelid (seen in the left corner)The eyelids are made up of three layers of tissue: a thin layer of skin, which is covered in hair, a layer of muscles which allow the lid to open and close, and the algebra conjunctiva, which lies against the eyeball.

Unlike humans, horses also have a third eyelid (initiating membrane) to protect the cornea. It lies on the inside corner of the eye, and closes diagonally over it.

The lachrymal apparatus produces tears, providing nutrition and moisture to the eye, as well as helping to remove any debris that may have entered. The ocular muscles allow the eye to move within the skull.

The range of a horse's monocular vision, blind spots are in shaded areas horse can use binocular vision to focus on distant objects by raising its head. A horse with the head held vertically will have binocular focus on objects near its feet. The horse's wide range of monocular vision has two blind spots,” or areas where the animal cannot see: in front of the face, making a cone that comes to a point at about 90–120 cm (3–4 ft) in front of the horse, and right behind its head, which extends over the back and behind the tail when standing with the head facing straight forward.

The wide range of monocular vision has a trade-off: The placement of the horse's eyes decreases the possible range of binocular vision to around 65° on a horizontal plane, occurring in a triangular shape primarily in front of the horse's face. The horse uses its binocular vision by looking straight at an object, raising its head when it looks at a distant predator or focuses on an obstacle to jump.

horse blind guide around height story usatoday
(Source: www.usatoday.com)

To use binocular vision on a closer object near the ground, such as a snake or threat to its feet, the horse drops its nose and looks downward with its neck somewhat arched. A horse will raise or lower its head to increase its range of binocular vision.

A horse's visual field is lowered when it is asked to go “on the bit” with the head held perpendicular to the ground. This makes the horse's binocular vision focus less on distant objects and more on the immediate ground in front of the horse, suitable for arena distances, but less adaptive to a cross-country setting.

Riders who ride with their horses “deep”, “behind the vertical”, or in a roller frame decrease the range of the horse's distance vision even more, focusing only a few feet ahead of the front feet. Riders of jumpers take their horses use of distance vision into consideration, allowing their horses to raise their heads a few strides before a jump, so the animals are able to assess the jumps and the proper take-off spots.

The horse has a “visual streak”, or an area within the retina, linear, with a high concentration of ganglion cells (up to 6100 cells/mm 2 in the visual streak compared to the 150 and 200 cells/mm 2 in the peripheral area). They therefore will tilt or raise their heads, to help place the objects within the area of the visual streak.

Such motion is usually first detected in their periphery, where they have poor visual acuity, and horses will usually act defensive and run if something suddenly moves into their peripheral field of vision. A representation of how a horse possibly sees a red or a green apple (bottom) compared to how red or green apples are usually seen by most humans (top) Horses are not color-blind, they have two-color, or chromatic vision.

blind horse guide finds him friend abuse wildhorse rescue ranch
(Source: www.thedodo.com)

This means they distinguish colors in two wavelength regions of visible light, compared to the three-color (dichroic vision) of most humans. This structure may have arisen because horses are most active at dawn and dusk, a time when the rods of the eye are especially useful.

The horse's limited ability to see color is sometimes taken into consideration when designing obstacles for the horse to jump, since the animal will have a harder time distinguishing between the obstacle and the ground if the two are only a few shades different. Therefore, most people paint their jump rails a different color from the footing or the surrounding landscape so that the horse may better judge the obstacle on the approach.

Mare and foal with eye shine from the tape tum lucid um Horses have more rods than humans, a high proportion of rods to cones (about 20:1), as well as a tape tum lucid um, giving them superior night vision. The large eye of the horse improves achromatic tasks, particularly in dim conditions, which presumably assists in the detection of predators.

However, horses are less able to adjust to sudden changes of light than are humans, such as when moving from a bright day into a dark barn. This is a consideration during training, as certain tasks, such as loading into a trailer, may frighten a horse simply because it cannot see adequately.

It is also important in riding, as quickly moving from light to dark or vice versa will temporarily make it difficult for the animal to judge what is in front of it. Horses have relatively poor “accommodation” (change focus, done by changing the shape of the lens, to sharply see objects near and far), as they have weak biliary muscles.

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(Source: mprnews.org)

However, this does not usually place them at a disadvantage, as accommodation is often used when focusing with high acuity on things up close, and horses rarely need to do so. It has been thought that, instead, the horse often tilts its head slightly to focus on things without the benefit of a high degree of accommodation, however more recent evidence shows that the head movements are linked to the horse's use of its binocular field rather than to focus requirements.

Clinical signs of injury or disease include swelling, redness, and abnormal discharge. Untreated, even relatively minor eye injuries may develop complications that could lead to blindness.

Swelling of the upper eyelid caused by a physical impact to the area Illustrated Atlas of Clinical Equine Anatomy and Common Disorders of the Horse Vol.

Australian Equine Genetics Research Center, web page accessed July 20, 2007, at http://www.aegrc.uq.edu.au/index.html?page=30056 Archived 2007-08-29 at the Payback Machine ^ Locke, MM; LS Ruth; LV Million; MCT Opened; JC Murray; AT Bowling (2001). “The cream dilution gene, responsible for the palomino and buckskin coat colors, maps to horse chromosome 21”.

The eyes and skin of palominos and buckskins are often slightly lighter than their non-dilute equivalents. ^ Herman AM, Moore S, Hopkins R, Keller P. Horse vision and the explanation of visual behavior originally explained by the ‘ramp retina’.

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(Source: www.wideopenpets.com)

^ “Shedding Light on Equine Night Vision” The Horse online edition, October 12, 2009 ^ Griffin, James M and Tom Gore. ^ Prince Jr, Diesel CD, Elites I, Russell GL.

“Anatomy and histology of the eye and orbit in domestic animals.” “Horse vision and an explanation for the visual behavior originally explained by the 'ramp retina “.

Myths about horse vision litter the ground like discarded betting stubs after the favorite loses a race. They wouldn't be able to jump a fence, much less a series of barriers of wildly varying heights, widths, approaches and landings.

Nor could they slam on the brakes and come to an impressive sliding stop inches from an obstacle. They certainly wouldn't be able to “lock onto” and cut cattle, run barrels, or do any of the thousand of things we ask horses to do.

Changing Perceptions Myths start when someone introduces a training technique based on a theory about horse vision. Think about the astonished third-grader who struggles in school until he puts on a pair of glasses and suddenly sees the blackboard clearly for the very first time.

horse blind endo listening determined feels young woman december slightly cocked mama head he sassinboots
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We set up carefully controlled experiments to eliminate the red herrings that so easily confuse us. “There are quite a few myths and misconceptions about how horses see,” agrees Dr. Evelyn Hang, president of the Equine Research Foundation in Autos, California.

“After repeatedly reading and hearing odd things about equine vision, we decided to design some noninvasive studies that would provide solid evidence one way or another.” • Because of the way horses eyes are positioned, they have small blind spots directly in front of and behind them when their heads and necks are straight.

• Allowing your horse to raise, lower or tilt his head can help him judge distances better when jumping, cutting, running or working obstacles. • Areas of high contrast may initially startle or worry horses, but their eyes quickly adjust to differences in brightness and shadow.

Peripheral Vision Like most open-space prey animals, the horse's eyes are placed predominantly on the sides of their heads. However, horses do have a small blind spot in front of their noses, and another just behind their tails, and they probably cannot see much that is sitting low on their backs either.

And this ability to see different things out of each eye helps the horse assimilate what's going on around him in a generalized way. Using “binocular” vision, in which both eyes work together, horses can zero in on a selected point or object, such as that trail obstacle we're asking them to negotiate, or the cow we want to track.

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This misguided theory suggests that the two sides of the horse's brain are neither connected nor communicating. This, as Dr. Hang notes, would make the horse quite bizarre in the animal kingdom because, like nearly every other mammal, horses have a structure in the brain called the corpus callosum that connects both hemispheres of the brain, so information is shared back and forth.

Since just the presence of this bit of anatomy doesn't prove information actually gets transferred, Dr. Hang ran a series of tests using images the horses had never seen before. With no humans around to give inadvertent signals, the horses were given a choice of pictures to touch with their noses to receive food rewards.

To test the eye-to-eye myth, the Equine Research Foundation horses were trained to respond to one of two choices while one eye was blindfolded. Dr. Hang did experiments on this issue and determined that horses actually can recognize rotated objects from most (but not all) orientations.

Horses who have seen many objects in different situations and have developed trust in their riders generally react more calmly when confronted with just one more oddity. There could be a critter rustling in the grass, or a broken hinge that gives it a very different outline than it had an hour before.

As far as creeks, rocks, bushes, trees or the neighbor's barn are concerned, it might help to remember that just as an experienced hiker or trail rider will regularly look behind him to try to stay oriented-knowing that landmarks can be unrecognizable when seen from the opposite direction on the way home-it is possible that the horse may not recognize a potentially scary object from the opposite direction either, so he honestly needs to investigate it all over again to convince himself it's not a horse-eating monster. First, viewing objects with just one eye does provide an adequate degree of depth perception.

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One way horses seem to refine their depth perception is to raise, lower and/or tilt their heads. One practical training application to this is, if you are asking your horse to jump, cut, or maneuver closely around or through something, he is going to find it a lot easier if he has a fairly loose rein and/or the freedom to move his head, so he can judge distances.

That relatively small blind spot in front of the horse's nose, however, has some major, practical implications for riders. The peripheral vision is still showing what is to the side, but he is working blind in regard to anything smack dab in front of him.

It's a persuasive argument for riders to look up and ahead, not down at the horse's neck, since at least one member of the horse/rider combination has to see what's coming up! It might also explain why some horses are uneasy or resist being asked to comply with an unnatural headset.

The horses were trained to choose between pictures of vertical black and white stripes of different widths. Researchers kept narrowing the width of the stripes until the horses showed they could no longer detect a difference.

Perfect human vision is considered to be 20/20, so your horse could probably pass a drivers' license eye exam. Horses eyes seem fairly sensitive to low light, and they can see reasonably well at night.

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Dr. Hang, who is conducting experiments regarding the horse's night vision, relates a good example of this. “I was in the high desert with ERF program director Jerry Ingersoll on our annual trip to observe wild Mustangs.

Within a minute, a large band of Mustangs came galloping right past our tent-in the dark, through rough terrain made up of hills, gullies, rocks and sagebrush. Also, notable is that horses can adjust to major differences in brightness and shadow fairly quickly, but specific situations may affect their reactions to a great degree.

The reason your horse might hesitate at entering a darkened doorway or be “look” at a log on the trail as you are passing from a bright field into darker trees might be because he can't see right away what he's being asked to go into or over. Many people think that animals, including horses, are colorblind and only see in shades of gray.

If you've ever called your horses in from a pasture in the dark, you'll no doubt have been surprised as they barreled towards you at a wild gallop, but arrived without stumbling over rough ground. This is caused by the tape tum lucid um, a membrane at the back of the eye that reflects light and also aids their night vision.

Conditions that would leave us groping for the light switch or flashlight are less worrisome for a horse. If you've ever walked into the barn at night and flipped the light on suddenly, you'll probably have noticed that the horses blink for quite a long time afterward.

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As prey animals, horses vision played an essential role in being able to see predators and take flight before they ended up as dinner. Since a horse has difficulty seeing things directly in front of them, when they are negotiating jumps, a narrow bridge, or other obstacles, they may briefly be doing it while effectively blind.

Appaloosas, Paints, Pintos, and other horses with lots of white on their faces will sometimes have blue eyes. The protective layer in the corner of a horse’s eye, called the initiating membrane, helps prevent irritation from dust and objects like grass seeds and stems.

You'll often see a bit of tearing and grime in this area that can be wiped away with a soft damp sponge or cloth as part of your grooming routine. It's important to understand how they perceive the world, why they react the way they do to shadows and changes in light, and the extent of their close-up and distance vision.

A blind spot is an area where the horse cannot see. It might appear that your horses are grazing in the field without a care in the world when, in reality, all of their senses, particularly their vision, are in “red alert” mode, actively monitoring the environment for potential danger.

Their large eyes with horizontally fashioned, elliptically shaped pupils help maximize their ability to scan the horizon. “Not only are horses reliant on their vision for safety as a prey species, they also require excellent vision as athletes,” says Ann E. Dwyer, DVD, a private practitioner at Geneses Valley Equine Clinic, in Pottsville, New York, and past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (4AEP).

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Infection, trauma, dry eye, and increased intraocular pressure (glaucoma) can range from extremely irritating to downright agonizing for people. An acutely red, painful, and irritated eye in your horse that he continues to rub clearly indicates a problem mandating a veterinary visit.

Deceit, Flea, MR CVS, senior lecturer in equine internal medicine at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Veterinary Science, in the U.K. “An estimated 1 to 2% of the American equine population currently suffers unilateral (in one eye) or bilateral (in both) blindness, equivalent to approximately 95,000-190,000 horses.

This is a substantial number of horses, making vision loss an important issue in equine operations,” Dwyer adds. Finally, we’ll review management strategies for helping horses deal with deteriorating eyesight and blindness.

“It’s very important for owners to recognize that many horses without any vision at all can be successfully managed and potentially even continue to compete athletically,” she says. Considering the large size of the horse’s eyes relative to his head and the proximity of those eyes to the ground, where dust and debris, vegetation, and other horses tails and feet tend to aggregate, it’s no surprise that trauma remains a leading cause of equine ocular issues.

Uveitis itself is defined simply as inflammation of the UVA, which comprises several tissues inside the eye, including the iris. Classic signs suggestive of uveitis include a red, painful, cloudy eye accompanied by mitosis, a profound constriction of the pupil.

horse blind caring horses loving guide care should
(Source: blindhorses.org)

“Some horses suffer detached retinas, others go blind from maturing cataracts, others lose vision when the eye is so damaged that it just scars in on itself and becomes what we call physical.” Defined as a “multifactorial neurodegenerative ocular disease,” glaucoma typically appears as eyes that are “big and blue,” either over the whole corneal surface or a portion of it.

“There is actually a genetic condition called ‘multiple congenital ocular anomaly’ that has been linked to the silver dapple coat color,” says Dwyer. “Like many genetic linked diseases in horses, it presents with a spectrum of severity, ranging from minor variants to blinding sequela.

Dwyer also describes having seen West Nile virus cause acute blindness in a few horses within 48 hours of onset of clinical signs. Based on the available data, it seems horses are masters of disguise, frequently hiding deteriorating eyesight behind their lovely lashes.

“Ridden horses with major ophthalmic abnormalities, including extensive and bilateral lens opacification (a “fogginess” to the lenses) commonly show no behavioral evidence of visual compromise,” said Andrew G. Matthews, Bombs, PhD., Dial. Deceit, honorable Member ACO, FR CVS, an equine ophthalmologist from Scotland, during a presentation at a recent 4AEP Focus on Ophthalmology session.

“On the contrary, however, horses with minor abnormalities such as central focal lens opacities or virtual ‘floaters’ can exhibit behavior suggestive of visual dysfunction.” Retinal issues presumably impact visual acuity (this is the 20/20 type of vision reported in humans, ­indicative of clearness of vision) and color perception; Bullet-hole lesions on the funds, at the back of the eye, have been associated with significant visual disability; Older horses with senile retinal degeneration show decreased vision in dim lighting conditions; and Dense opacities on the lens can disrupt the passage of light, creating blind spots.

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The menace response This test is conducted by making a small, threatening hand gesture toward the horse’s eye. “If a horse that is unilaterally blind has the other eye blindfolded and is presented with a maze of buckets or other solid objects, it will either freeze or stumble into the obstacles,” says Dwyer.

In addition to simply keeping blind or partially blind horses as pasture pets, some owners continue to actively train these animals. “Religiously following training and handling routines will help visually impaired horses learn what is expected of them,” says Dwyer.

“Knowledge of diseases affecting older horses is essential to provide adequate preventive or therapeutic measures to maximize their athletic careers and quality of life,” he adds. Dwyer stresses the importance of recognizing that vision loss affects each horse’s welfare differently and, so, your veterinarian’s recommended treatment will vary with it.

Moon blindness, or iridocyclitis, is an immune-mediated eye disease which is painful to horses. The name moon blindness refers to the fact that the disease goes through stages of waxing and waning.

This disease has characteristics of intense bouts of pain and inflammation, which may fade away for a few weeks or months, leaving the horse with no apparent symptoms. However, since this is an immune-mediated disease, the horse’s cells may continue fighting and attacking the tissue of the eye and between flare-ups.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)

The inflammation tends to occur within the eye and negatively affects the veal tract. If your horse has developed moon blindness, he will exhibit symptoms characteristic of the disease.

Corneal ulcers Glaucoma Cataracts Squamous cell carcinoma Trauma to the eye Horses that have moon blindness will have several bouts of active inflammation in the eye.

This will include blood work, a biochemistry profile, a complete eye exam, and any other tests that he feels are necessary to get a preliminary diagnosis. There are a few differential diagnoses of this condition, and your veterinarian will perform tests to be sure your horse is not being affected by a corneal ulcer or an abscess.

Typically, eye conditions that are common in horses have the same or similar symptoms to moon blindness, with the main difference being that moon blindness comes and goes for no apparent reason other than the immune-mediated response your horse’s system is having. Moon blindness is very recurrent, and this is what gives the veterinarian a major clue in the diagnosis.

A very typical sign of this condition that the veterinarian will be looking for is the darkening of your horse’s iris. Horses with moon blindness tend to have a very dark iris, but without any damage or scarring within it.

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(Source: ihearthorses.com)

The veterinarian will be sure to closely examine your companion’s iris to help him with a definitive diagnosis. If your horse has been diagnosed with recurrent uveitis or moon blindness, the treatment will focus on decreasing or minimizing the eye’s inflammation and managing the pain that comes from this condition.

There is no cure for moon blindness, so the treatment will be focused on preventing this condition from affecting your horse again over time. These medications may include anti-inflammatories, both systemic and topical, immunosuppressive prescription drugs, and steroids.

The type of medications and the time period he will need them will solely depend on the individuality of your companion’s condition. Research is still being conducted on surgical treatments to treat horses with moon blindness.

Surgery methods may only be conducted by ophthalmologists that are highly knowledgeable of this condition in horses, as well as modern, high-tech equipment. The scarring in the eye can lead to glaucoma, cataracts, and other conditions, including blindness.

In terms of any type of topical application of anti-inflammatory medications, you may need to have assistance in applying these to the eye. He will also give you advice on how to properly care for your horse in terms of lifestyle management, such as by using netting to protect his eyes.

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My 8 years old Clydesdale mare which weight proximity 1800 to 2000 pound, was diagnosed with moon blindness this last summer, we did everything we could,giving her aspirin and making her wear an ultraviolet mask and also giving her drop from our vet, my question is why would she try to turn around in her stall all the time and will not eat her grain, she seems to have lost her appetite and also not want to turn to her left at all, could it be something else, this behavior only started a few days ago, her left eye is completely covered with a blue film, so we feel that she is blind in that eye, we are not sure if she sees in her right eye, and we can not get in her stall on the left, she will not move over, she will only listen to my husband voice,would appreciate any help or advice that you could give us Thank you, Linda R Culotte This may be a behavioural issue brought on by the loss of vision in the left eye or due to pain from the condition; you should check Dolly’s vision by holding your hand in a fist next to the eye (left first) around six to nine inches away and quickly opening your hand (not fast enough to cause any breeze) and see if she reacts to the sudden movement, repeat on the other side.

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