A horse’s eyes are very important and injuries to them should always be considered an emergency. It is not uncommon for a horse to acquire a minor eye injury while out in the field or even while secured in its stall. While doing daily care on your horse, be sure to look carefully at the eyes to check for injury or disease. By noticing anything unusual, you can address injuries quickly and possibly save your horse’s eyesight. A seemingly minor eye injury that is left to fester can easily become infected, with serious consequences. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, pay attention to it and contact your vet.
As you observe your horse’s eyes, look for tearing, scratches, swelling, redness, or discharge. The horse’s eyes should be clear and bright, open completely (both eyes open the same amount) and free of obstruction or growth in the area of the eyelids. Some tears or moistness in the corners of the eyes is generally normal and no cause for concern. Chronic tearing in one or both eyes tears can indicate an irritation in the eye or clogged tear ducts. If you do find any problems or issues, consult your veterinarian right away to see what course of action you should take. Don’t risk your horse’s eyesight by ignoring even a small injury.
It’s a good idea to keep saline solution (contact solution) on hand for emergency eye care and first aid for your horse, as it can be used to flush the eyes in the event of debris or minor injury. Keep the area around the eyes clean, and use a fly mask to keep bugs from irritating the eyes and contacting wounds. Remember that eye injuries should always be considered an emergency and your veterinarian should be contacted as soon as possible. A small injury can turn into a serious infection, damaged eyesight or even loss of the affected eye.