A TEST FOR SUB­TLE EYE SWELLING

EQUUS - - Hands On -

A dramatical­ly swollen equine eye is hard to over­look, but the ear­li­est stages of oc­u­lar in­flam­ma­tion can be sub­tle. If you sus­pect your horse’s eye is get­ting puffy or painful, try this sim­ple trick.

With a helper to hold him still, stand di­rectly in front of your horse’s face so that you can see both of his eyes at once. Then fo­cus on the eye­lashes. Does one set point down­ward more than the other? That’s a very early sign of trou­ble---it means the area around the eye is swollen just enough to al­ter the an­gle of the lashes, but not enough to be oth­er­wise no­tice­able.

Call your vet­eri­nar­ian if you no­tice this change in your horse’s lashes. Early treat­ment of eye prob­lems can make a big dif­fer­ence in the out­comes. If your horse has a his­tory of uveitis or other eye prob­lems, your vet­eri­nar­ian may want to come out im­me­di­ately to make a di­ag­no­sis and start treat­ment. On the other hand, if your horse has never had any eye trou­ble, and he isn’t squint­ing or tear­ing, your vet­eri­nar­ian may ask you to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion and call back with up­dates. The prob­lem may be noth­ing more than a mi­nor ir­ri­ta­tion that will pass on its own.

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