Damage to the eye

The eye is an organ that allows a person or animal to perceive their environment. It is therefore also called a sensory organ or sense. Just like any other organ, there can be conditions that hinder the functioning of the organ. In this article we take a closer look at eye damage and how you can treat it. 


A horse has the largest eyes of all land animals. They are a prey animal and therefore have their eyes on the side of their head. This is a big difference from humans and other predators, who have eyes at the front of the head. The reason for this is that prey animals must have a wide field of vision, so that they can keep a close eye on the environment for possible dangers. Predators, on the other hand, have limited vision, but binocular (with two eyes) so that they can see depth and focus well. This again comes in handy when hunting a prey animal. 


Various injuries or damages can occur around the eye. These can be caused by the horse themselves, for example by bumping their head or rubbing against a sharp object. It is often clearly visible if a horse has injured themselves somewhere, in addition to a wound the eye can be swollen. It is important to immediately contact a veterinarian in case of such an injury. He will suture the wound well and in detail to prevent further issues, such as corneal damage. 


In addition, the cornea may be damaged, for example if a branch or another horse’s tail comes into contact with the eye. But dust, dirt or a hair can also cause damage. In case of such damage, the horse will squeeze their eye shut and a lot of tear fluid will come out. There may be superficial or deep damage, this will be examined by the vet. If you have a superficial wound, you can treat the wound well at home with an antibiotic eye ointment. In the case of deep damage, intensive treatment is required, which may require surgery. For the repair of a corneal injury, it is important that the eye is clean of foreign materials (such as wood splinters or hair). 


A horse’s eye is a very sensitive organ. It is therefore important to immediately contact the vet if you suspect an eye condition. In general, you can recognize an eye condition if the horse keeps their eye (partially) closed, it is red and/or swollen and there is a lot of tear fluid. The vet can then examine the eye further to make the correct diagnosis and draw up a treatment plan. 

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