Eye Injuries In Horses

Eyes, including the eye ball and the eye lids, commonly become injured in horses.
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  1. Do you have any blogs, YouTube videos or any other information on chronic, recurrent, bi- lateral uveitis? As you saw my horse Kazoo has had this for over a year, it has never completely cleared up.
    I just don’t want him to lose his eye.

    1. Post

      Uveitis, I was taught. is an autoimmune disease where the horse mounts an immune response against it’s own tissue. I’m sure there is more research on this now but over the last 3 decades I have not seen anything significant in the cause and the prevention department. More emphasis is on the treatment with not too much improvement in the outcome.

      I am now personally in a narrow focus on trying to understand why things happen in all animals including humans and I am constantly being pushed into nutrition with an overlying component of genetic triggering by foods in certain animals. Hence gluten affects some people more than others.

      In my own life I have found that my distance vision has improved considerably since I changed my diet and my close up vision is still not perfect (fine print on a poorly printed pill bottle for instance) but has also improved. Could there also be a connection between nutrition and uveitis?

      I have hypothesized that EOTRH of the incisors and canines may be nutritional based on Dr Paddy Dixon’s suggestion that this is an autoimmune disease (see https://theequinepractice.com/what-is-the-cause-of-eotrh-in-horses/ ). If uveitis is an autoimmune disease and Dr Steven Gundry (“The Plant Paradox”) has evidence that all autoimmune diseases in humans (Lupus, Crohn’s, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema) has been alleviated in his practice by the removal of all lectins (see https://theequinepractice.com/decomplexicating-equine-nutrition-11-lectins/) then it might be reasonable to connect the two here.

      Lectins are plant proteins designed to defend the plant against predators because they cannot run away. From bugs to animals, plants are eaten. The most offensive is the eating of plant babies (seeds) and therefore the removal of all grains from human diets have helped many people. Our primary defense against plant lectins are medium chain polysaccharides (sugars) found in the mucopolysaccharides of the mucus within our gut. Also, the saccharide called glucosamine found in joints and oral joint supplements bind to these lectins and makes them harmless. However there is no mention in Dr Gundry’s book about uveitis but he does claim that ALL autoimmune diseases are resolved once all lectins have been removed.

      Lectins in horses include all grain and grain byproducts. Removing all feeds, supplements, treats and fruits from your horse and feeding only pasture, water and salt will remove these lectins. Because it is July (summer) now this is all I would feed for the next 30 to 60 days with the SOLE PURPOSE of observing the uveitis. After all, nothing else is working right now for him. If there are no more flare ups or if your vet notices a reduction in corneal edema then come back here and lets re-group. Please notice that I did not mention hay. If you have no pasture then you will need to give hay. If you could for this trial period find a consistent product it would be good. Locally grown hay may be good or it may not be – no one can say because remember that hay is a man made idea and is not natural for horses. If your local hay is “iffy” then try a good commercial product such as Standlee hay.

      Summary – If uveitis is an autoimmune disease then why? Why is it usually unilateral (injury, parasite migration)? Why is it bilateral in your horse (nutritional)? Why does it never resolve (the cause has not been removed)?

      You should involve your vet on this because you will need an objective exam to determine minor improvements. Not telling him / her what you are doing (modifying the diet) other than requesting a before, during and after exam of the eyes may be helpful not just to you but to the vet, to me and to all that read this. Write down everything you do and getting a full vet report may be important (and your vet may want to publish any results). Then again no improvement may occur and then we can eliminate diet and specifically lectins as a cause of inflammation within the eyes. Let us know what you decide to do. Thanks, Doc T

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