Uveitis (Moon Blindness) In Horses
Two of my horses have developed a "cloudy" eye in the last month. What could be causing this?
It is imperative that a a veterinarian be consulted immediately for any problem concerning your horse’s eyes: lack of treatment can lead to blindness. There are several potential causes of a cloudy eye in horses, including cataracts. However, Since both your horses have developed cloudiness it should be assumed that an infectious agent is at work. Cloudiness of the eye is often a sign of uveitis (often called "moon blindness" because of a medieval belief in a link to the moon) which can be caused by infectious agents (bacteria, viruses or parasites) or by trauma. If after a thorough examination your vet concludes that your horses have uveitis, it is essential that you do not waste time in applying an aggressive treatment regime – otherwise sight can be lost in one or both eyes. the usual short term treatment includes atropine to dilate the eye, followed by either a steroid or antibiotic. Treatment must be prescribed by a veterinarian because if a steroid is used when the eye is ulcerated, blindness can result. Long term maintenance treatment will often include aspirin on a regular basis and use of a fly mask in an attempt to keep the inflammation from starting.
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