early signs of blindness....?

serena2005

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Hello,

Can anyone give me some advice on early signs of blindness.
The more I think about it the more I convince myself my horse is going blind in one eye.

Signs I have noticed:
Spooks worse on one side in hand and ridden.
Prefers if you walk on her off side when led (off side eye is the one I believe is losing sight)
Only turns one way when put in the stable (haven't noted if she turns both ways after being left in the stable)
On the left rein when ridden bends head outwards
If she's bending inwards on the left rein she will suddenly spook as if something just appeared.
Doesn't like horses coming up behind her

Iv done a little bit of research online, but there's not much available, she has had some weeping but it's bot constant and at the time I put it down to the change of weather.

I haven't examined her eyes closely as I didn't know what to look for, after seeing some pictures online I will look at her eye for the moon Mark.

Are these early signs or am I imagining it and giving her more excuses for her spooking.
The vet in due for jabs next month so I will ask her opinion. But I didn't know how urgent it is, can sight loss be a sudden occurrence or gradual over years.

She has no issues jumping and we recently went xc which she was super at.
So I'm not to concerned just yet. But like I said I don't have much knowledge or experience of this kind of problem.

If she is losing her sight what should I expect from her in the future? I know people ride one eyed horses but what can't they do?

Thanks for reading and any information and advice would be great, thank you xxx
 

Wagtail

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I think all of the symptoms you describe could be a sign of losing sight in the right eye, but are more likely due to a physical stiffness and therefore dislike of bending left. When we lead horses, they naturally bend to the side we are leading from, so if your mare finds it painful to bend left then she will prefer you to lead from the off side. Similarly, when riding, she would prefer to bend to the right. And when made to bend left will spook etc as an evasion. Horses in physical pain will often increase their spookiness. I would get the vet out for a full examination and lameness work up.
 

sarahann1

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I don't have first hand experience of it, but my friend has just had to put her wee pony down due to sight problems. In his case his pupils no longer reacted to light, in his case he was a nervy wee pony who couldn't have coped with limited sight.

Good luck, hope your horse is ok.
 

serena2005

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I think all of the symptoms you describe could be a sign of losing sight in the right eye, but are more likely due to a physical stiffness and therefore dislike of bending left. When we lead horses, they naturally bend to the side we are leading from, so if your mare finds it painful to bend left then she will prefer you to lead from the off side. Similarly, when riding, she would prefer to bend to the right. And when made to bend left will spook etc as an evasion. Horses in physical pain will often increase their spookiness. I would get the vet out for a full examination and lameness work up.

Completely agree!

I didn't want to give her excuses for her spooking/evasion, she has her back checked on a regular basis but her "stiffer" side is usually left. But over the last few months she has switched sides
 

serena2005

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I don't have first hand experience of it, but my friend has just had to put her wee pony down due to sight problems. In his case his pupils no longer reacted to light, in his case he was a nervy wee pony who couldn't have coped with limited sight.

Good luck, hope your horse is ok.
Thank you! It is a worry!
She is generally a skittish/anxious horse which this would explain alot.
I hope I'm just over reacting. And looking into it too much, will have to see what the vet says :(
 

sprytzer

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Our lad over time got progressively worse to catch, appearing to spook at you all the time, and when eventually caught, spooky to lead progressing to outright refusing to go through a gateway or a stable door.
He was retired at the time due to a leg injury, so was living out 24/7 anyway, but on getting his eyes checked it turned out he had gone totally blind in his left eye and only had 25% vision in his right eye.
We had a lot of problems with his eye weeping, wore a full face mask most of the year and had cream 3 times a day in the eye.
He did cope quite well so long as we didn't move anything in the field and kept him to a strict routine.
 

serena2005

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Our lad over time got progressively worse to catch, appearing to spook at you all the time, and when eventually caught, spooky to lead progressing to outright refusing to go through a gateway or a stable door.
He was retired at the time due to a leg injury, so was living out 24/7 anyway, but on getting his eyes checked it turned out he had gone totally blind in his left eye and only had 25% vision in his right eye.
We had a lot of problems with his eye weeping, wore a full face mask most of the year and had cream 3 times a day in the eye.
He did cope quite well so long as we didn't move anything in the field and kept him to a strict routine.

See this worries me!
She's a night mare to catch, and now iv got her to a set routine she's much more settled, she's also only turned out with one other horse which she follows around, she gets very stressed out in a herd
 

CazD

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If you move your hand towards her eye, does she blink or flinch? I tried this when I suspected our elderly pony might be losing her sight in one eye. Like yours, she only likes being approached from the side of her good eye and we can only lead her from the off side. Our vet confirmed she is losing the sight in that eye although he did say it was difficult to say just how much or little sight she does have left in that eye. She's an elderly companion pony so it doesn't really affect her anyway.
 

serena2005

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If you move your hand towards her eye, does she blink or flinch? I tried this when I suspected our elderly pony might be losing her sight in one eye. Like yours, she only likes being approached from the side of her good eye and we can only lead her from the off side. Our vet confirmed she is losing the sight in that eye although he did say it was difficult to say just how much or little sight she does have left in that eye. She's an elderly companion pony so it doesn't really affect her anyway.

We did this today actually, on the near side, she blinks instantly 3 or 4 blinks, on the off side she didn't blink instantly and when she did blink it was just once, like a normal blink.

She's 17 and in full work. Apart from the spooking and resistance to left bend there are no other riding issues
 

STRIKER

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You could shine a strong torch into the eye in a dark place and see if the pupil dilates. You could also flick you finger in front of the eye and see if there is a blink. These are pretty much what the vet will do.
 

fatpiggy

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My vet was examining my mare when she was first diagnosed with epilepsy and asked me if I thought her sight wasn't good on the left side. I said I thought it was just due to spooky things like bins and loose rubbish always being on the left and though no more about it. A few years down the line she quite suddenly was odd to lunge on the right rein and would do anything to get back on the left rein, not like her usual self at all. At about the same time I realised that she was spooking at things that she MUST have been able to see up ahead, but didn't spook until she was actually passing them. I then realised that she could see sideways ok, but not ahead with that eye, and the lunging problem was because she couldn't see where she was going properly. Her sideways vision meant he could see me on the left rein, and her right eye monitored her foward progress. Ultimately she started being obviously bad in poor light (in her mid 20s by this time) and although I couldn't see anything amiss, assumed she had cataracts forming. I did notice that she had a tiny (pinprick) white dot on the centre of her eye. I don't know if this was anything to do with it or not. Poor old girl was losing her hearing too by the end.
 

serena2005

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Yes my mare is not great to lunge on the left rein, she will lunge but the circle gets smaller and she won't get too close tp the fence. I think her sideways vision is what's effected.

Vet is coming to see her tomorrow. I'm very nervous of the outcome and what to expect in the future with her if she is losing sight. She's quite a nervous horse and I don't think she would cope blind :(
 

serena2005

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How did you get on with the vet today? Hope it was positive news.

Ah thank you!
Very good news! She's fine :) apart from the vet saying she has no manners! Which is true!
So it means she's just taking the Mick and I must stop giving her excuses
 

el_Snowflakes

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You could shine a strong torch into the eye in a dark place and see if the pupil dilates. You could also flick you finger in front of the eye and see if there is a blink. These are pretty much what the vet will do.

This ^^ the torch test....however the pupil should constrict when the light is shine in, not dilate! However, I suspect that's what you meant putasocinit :)

Eta: just noticed you got the all clear, great news :)
 

Wagtail

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Whohoooo!

Op I think, as I said in my original post, that she must have some stiffness issues. Maybe get the physio out to see her, check her tack etc?
 

applecart14

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Hello,

Can anyone give me some advice on early signs of blindness.
The more I think about it the more I convince myself my horse is going blind in one eye.

Signs I have noticed:
Spooks worse on one side in hand and ridden.
Prefers if you walk on her off side when led (off side eye is the one I believe is losing sight)
Only turns one way when put in the stable (haven't noted if she turns both ways after being left in the stable)
On the left rein when ridden bends head outwards
If she's bending inwards on the left rein she will suddenly spook as if something just appeared.
Doesn't like horses coming up behind her
Sorry I have just realised after writing the information below that you have already resolved the situation so what I have written probably won't make much sense now...
Your horse will naturally spook ore on one rein than the other. Try holding your finger up in front of you so it lines up with something in the distance (the edge of a wall, a desk, a lampost, whatever). Shut your right eye. Does the finger move? Shut your left eye - does it move then? The eye that moves the finger is the dominant eye. Same with a horse, the horse sees things from different perspective depending on what eye he views from the side.

To check your horses retina is healthy, hold a candle or lighter up to the eye. Be careful! You should see three images, one sideways, one upside down and one the right way up. this shows light is bouncing back of the retina in the correct way.

Finally try your horse on Magic Calmer for a month. See if it makes any difference.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Riding-the-Spooky-Horse&id=774530
 
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