Equine Eye Vets Veterinary Eye Care for Horses
When you arrive at the clinic we will have you fill out a new client/patient information form and a form detailing the course of the eye problem and any treatment your horse may have received from your veterinarian. We advise that you arrive 15 minutes before you first appointment to allow enough time to complete this information. We also encourage referring veterinarians to send us details about the case when the appointment is made.
We will discuss with you the horse’s eye problem, any other medical conditions you are aware of and previous treatments you may have tried.
Horses may be difficult to examine if the eye is painful and often sedation (xylazine or dometomidine) is given early in the examination to make the process easier on them and us. Since horses' eyelids are very strong they can squint the lids shut very tightly and prevent us examining the eye. To counter this a nerve block is usually given (in the skin on the side of the head) to relax the eyelid muscles and enable a complete and thorough examination. We may use special stains to look for signs of corneal abrasions or ulcerations. The front portion of the eye is examined at high magnification with a slit lamp biomicroscope.
After applying a local anesthetic agent to the eyes we may measure the intraocular pressure and, in many cases, dilate the pupil to allow us to see the back part of the eye (retina and optic nerve) with an ophthalmoscope. It requires about 30 minutes to dilate the pupil and the pupil returns to its normal size in 3-4 hours.
Depending on the problem we may recommend other tests all of which can be done with sedation and local anesthesia