Ophthalmology

Eye pain is a very common problem we encounter in equine veterinary practice. The clinical signs that may alert you to a problem with your horses' eyes are squinting, ocular discharge, redness, swelling, lumps, cloudiness or bumping into objects. It is very important that a thorough eye examination is undertaken to determine the cause and appropriate treatment for the eye condition. This may involve the use of fluorescein strips, which is a dye that highlights any scratches or ulcers on the cornea. We also have an opthalmoscope, which is a special instrument to visualise the retina and optic disc at the back of the eye. Occasionally we can see scarring, degeneration or cataracts with this device. We would also check the eyelids, including the third eyelid, during any eye examination. Sometimes foreign bodies can hide behind the third eyelid and cause pain. The third eyelid is also a common site for tumour growth, in particular, when there is a lack of pigment in the eye tissues. If there is any eye condition that we are particularly concerned about, we work in with a specialist ophthalmologist who has a special interest in horses. Please feel free to call the clinic and chat to Arnold or Christian if you have any questions about your horses' eyes.