Ophthalmology

Veterinary Services

Eye injuries and infections can be common in horses. It is important to check all eye injuries to prevent a minor problem becoming more serious. Eye problems can include traumatic injury to the globe, bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers and foreign bodies in the eye or under the eyelids.

With prompt treatment most ocular problems can be made completely comfortable within a few days and completely resolved within a week.

Things to look out for in your horses’ eye:

If you notice any of these signs in one or both eyes, or anything else unusual around your horses eyes, please call us immediately on 01306 627706.

Our Vets will usually sedate your horse and complete a small and simple nerve block on the head to allow full visualisation and examination of the eye and the surrounding tissues. Some stains or other diagnostic eye drops may be used as well as an ophthalmoscope which is used to look at the back of the eye.

Occasionally we may need to proceed to more diagnostic procedures including, measuring your horses intraocular pressures, ocular ultrasound, corneal sampling for laboratory investigation or digital radiography of the orbit and head. Some of these procedures are performed whilst your horse is sedated and are completely pain free.

Treatment usually involves eye drops or eye ointment which is put into the eye at regular intervals. Some eye ointments may be an antibiotic, pain relief or otherwise.

In some cases, your horse may not like the eye drops being put in the eye, especially if the eye is still painful before the treatment has begun to work. In such cases we can discuss other options such as sub-conjunctival treatment deposits, or more commonly a sub-palpebral lavage system (eye catheter). This allows deposit of the treatment fluid onto the globe from a very small pipe through the eyelid.

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