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Moon Blindness in horses...

My 7 year old quarter horse just developed moon blindness this year....we have tried several different treatments for him, and he always seems to get better for a while, and then goes back down hill...
Any suggestions on what else we can try?


Asked by BradensMom1026 at 5:50 PM on Sep. 5, 2010 in Pets

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This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Moonblindness is medically known as Uveitis and its a catch-all term - just like colic describes any abdominal ache - to describe any ocular inflammation that restricts bloodflow to the iris. It can be caused by bacteria, as the first poster mention, by genetics (malformation of the lens), by parasites, by trauma, by reccurent irritation from dust or allergies. One commonality in all forms of uveitis is that vision degenerates with each episode so it's important to treat aggressively when it's first diagnosed and also to remove the horse from whatever is causing the chronic irritation.

    Your vet should have prescribed eye meds to be given to your horse for a period of 14-30 days. S/he would prescribe an antibiotic like opthalmic triple antibiotic ointment and also atropine, which dialates the eye and makes it easier for the Triple Antibiotic to get into the eye.


    Answer by Linds2Horse at 9:28 PM on Sep. 5, 2010

  • ...con't...
    The ointments are applied every few hours. Because the eye is dialated - and the eye is already inflammed - the horse needs to be kept in a completely darkened stall during treatment and for at least a week after treatment has stopped. Many owners find it easier to send their horse to the vet or a rehab barn during this period because they don't have the facilities or the ability to medicate the eye every few hours.

    If you can do this you might be able to get ontop of the infection and prevent recurrent infections, however the damage that has been done to the eye is irreversible. That is why it's important to get aggressive with treatment as quickly as possible.

    If this treatment doesn't work then you should consider an opthalmic veterinarian, as uveitis can lead to permanent blindness.


    Answer by Linds2Horse at 9:34 PM on Sep. 5, 2010

  • ...cont...

    BTW, I doubt fumigating your barn would make much difference. Leptospirosis lives in water and the threat from it living in wood, shavings, concrete would be minimal.

    Answer by Linds2Horse at 9:35 PM on Sep. 5, 2010

  • I assume you have had your QH on antibiotics of some form, right? Have you tried to see if there is a source at the barn for the bacteria and attacked it there. You may have to fumigate the entire barn after cleaning it down to the dirt (or concrete) and then put the bedding back in. You may have to even scrub the walls, the feed bins, the hay rack, everything to try to get rid of the bacteria. It is a lot of work, but much better than a blind horse.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 5:54 PM on Sep. 5, 2010

  • Its not caused by a bacteria or anything like that...They don't know exactly why they get it, but they think its genetic... Moon blindness never goes away completely, but they say they should only have flare ups once or twice a year, and should only last a couple of weeks, and we've had trouble with it all year.

    Comment by BradensMom1026 (original poster) at 6:03 PM on Sep. 5, 2010

  • iam sorry dont no any thing about horses

    Answer by ladybug36519 at 11:53 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • while doing all that linds mentioned. we bought a special mask with special uva restrictions. at it was about a hundred dollars for it and you can eventually replace the eyepads if they wear out. i find it works so much better than a regular mask and he wears it all year long except when it is rubbing him. the bright light and the wind blowing both are causes of flareups and the flies will be on his eyes constantly irritating them if not covered as when the wind blows even slightly it iritates them and makes them water heavily. so the mask is a major must for him. he has had more than a few flareups this past couple of years. at one point he flared in both eyes to the point we moved him to his special pasture that he knew cause he was totally blind...cont'd next post

    Answer by devonsmom at 11:12 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • for about three weeks. i dont even want to know what kind of damage that did. must follow vets med reccommendations and give him special attn during flares keeping him out of bright lights and protecting his eyes from wind, etc... you can go forever without a flare, and sometimes you seem to get them more frequently. there is no real set in stone calendar of times they will get them. good luck with him and i hope he feels better soon.

    Answer by devonsmom at 11:13 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • My mother's pony has moon blindness. They have tried many things to help him but nothing has helped cure it. At this point they just leave a light on in the run-in and the pony heads for the barn when it starts getting dark. He seems to be fine with having the light on and has been doing fine at night now.

    Answer by Carajust at 8:53 PM on Sep. 5, 2010