background image
Columbia Equine Hospital inside image

Keeping Your Horse’s Eyes Healthy

It is not unusual for horses to develop eye problems, whether from infection, injury, or cancer. Trauma is the most common cause of eye injury, due to the outward placement of the eyes on the equine skull. A horse with obvious trauma to the eye or associated structures, discharge, or squinting should be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately. Be sure to contact us right away if you notice any eye problems with your horse.

Veterinary Equine Eye Care at Columbia Equine HospitalOur trained equine veterinarians use sedation and regional nerve blocks to safely, thoroughly, and gently evaluate the eye without causing further injury or pain. Fluorescein stain is used to assess the integrity of the cornea. While it is not possible to accurately assess the visual acuity of the horse, it is possible to assess discomfort and ocular pathology.

Common equine eye issues include:

  • Corneal disease or trauma—This is very common in horses and can be a sight-threatening problem if not treated promptly.
  • Uveitis ("moon blindness")—Bacteria, virus, parasites, or trauma can cause this very painful disease in horses. The symptoms that an eye is in distress include swelling, redness, pus, squinting, pupil constriction, and photophobia.
  • Neoplasia (cancer)—Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in horses. Treatment may include medications and surgery, depending on the severity of the disease.

Medical and surgical treatment options available at Columbia Equine Hospital include corneal debridement, subpalpebral lavage placement, cosmetic eyelid laceration repair to ensure proper closure and irrigation of the eye, and anti-collagenase therapy. Our veterinarians work closely with board-certified ophthalmologists should a consultation or surgical referral be deemed necessary.


“Competent and helpful.”

“Professional and compassionate.”

“I have been using CEH for years, and I have 100% faith in them.”

“I always have a great experience with them.”

“I recommend them for all your horses medical needs.”

“We always have a good visit when we take our horses to Columbia Equine!”

“Columbia Equine has a wonderful staff of professionals & state of the art equipment.”

“They're focused on the well being of the animals more than anything else. They educate the customer and are helpful in many aspects, I recommend them all the time!”

– Marlene

“Blessed am I to have this great vet team behind me and my pony thank you Columbia Equine Hospital! You rock!”

– Lauren

“Thank you for the great addition to your already top notch staff at Columbia Equine. We love you guys!”

“Amazing vets and beautiful facility. I've had my horses under their care before and they do an awesome job! I would recommend any of my fellow horse friends to take their horses there.”

“I can not begin thank Dr. Hanson and staff for the amazing care they gave my horse...”

“My initial conversation was with Alexis, me asking a lot of questions, she providing a lot of professional answers and setting up an appointment for a farm visit later that day, to Dr. Rioux-Forker showing up on time, listening to the problems we are having with our OTTB, Leon, asking thoughtful questions, and suggesting helpful solutions, we were very happy with every interaction we had with the staff at Columbia Equine Hospital. Very helpful. Very professional. Very experienced. And reasonably priced. Thank you!”