EQUUS ‘Farm Calls’ episode 22: Equine eye issues

Most horse owners have faced equine eye issues if they have owned horses for any amount of time. In episode 22 of EQUUS Farm Calls, we talk to Dr. Ann Dwyer. She practiced at Genesee Valley Equine Clinic in New York since earning her veterinary degree in 1983. She has published many veterinary papers and book chapters on equine ophthalmology. In 2012, she was named an honorary member of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology.

EQUUS “Farm Calls” is brought to you in 2022 by Farnam—Your Partner in Horse Care.

Eye emergencies

Horse owners should understand that many equine eye issues are emergencies. They are common with horses.The three most common equine eye issues that are emergencies are corneal ulcers, acutely swollen eyelids and eyelid tears.

“After that there is a long list of less-frequent problems, like stromal abscess ERU (equine recurrent uveitis or moon blindness), foreign body in the eye, orbital fractures and so on,” said Dwyer.

Podcast outline

In this podcast, we talk about the following equine eye issues:

  • How does and owner know that a horse has an ophthalmic emergency?
  • How common are emergencies with equine eyes?
  • What equine eye issues need prompt veterinary attention?
  • How do owners get ready for a veterinarian whowill examine a horse’s eye issue?
  • What does an equine eye exam entail?
  • Eye issues from the outside to the inside of the eye

And much more!

Final tip

Dwyer said that eyelid tears in horses are critical. They can affect the horse’s sight if not cared for immediately and properly.

Horse owners can do one thing to help alleviate equine eyelid tears—tape up the metal handles on buckets!

“Bucket handles are the number one cause of eyelid tears,” said Dwyer. She said horses like to scratch their faces on buckets, and they can catch eyelids on the pointy end of the metal handle.

She said the metal handle curves around and hooks into the plastic or metal bucket. The end of that handle curve is supposed to be covered with a rubber tip, but they often fall off.

Dwyer said to take electrical or other tape and tape around the end of the handle where it attaches to the bucket. That can prevent many injuries.




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