Itching, scratching, coughing, red eyes, hair loss and oozing skin bumps….all related to allergic conditions in the horse and a common occurrence. Current approaches to therapy are often complex and unrewarding, leading to the allergic condition often becoming worse with every passing year, fluctuating from season to season. All of these clinical signs are evidence of a deeper seated problem in the patient, and through a better understanding, we can take a different approach which often yields better management. As with most issues though, in regards to chronic disease, we have to see the root, the cause, and not so much focus on the clinical signs that are present.
Eye conditions in the horse are extremely common, unfortunately, with many of them being traumatic in origin. The majority of equine eye or opthalmic conditions are considered emergencies not only due to potential loss of eye sight, but also due to potential secondary complications. Let’s review the most common conditions affecting the horse as well as some not so common situations, as well as discuss treatment options.