Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU), also known as moon blindness, is the most common cause of blindness in horses worldwide. It affects 2 to 25 percent of horses globally, with 56 percent of affected horses eventually becoming blind. More than 60 percent of affected horses are unable to return to previous levels of work. ERU is most often characterized by repeated episodes of inflammation of the uveal tract of the eye (the middle layer), involving one or both eyes. A subclinical manifestation, known as insidious uveitis, does not present as outwardly painful episodes, and instead is consistent low grade inflammation (not episodic) that causes cumulative damage to the eye. Cumulative damage caused by ERU can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, and eventually blindness. Although not all horses that experience a single episode of uveitis will develop ERU, they are at risk for disease.
Congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) is the inability to see in low to no-light conditions (essentially dusk to dawn). It is found in horses with two copies of a specific white spotting pattern mutation known as leopard complex spotting (LP), which is characterized by a symmetrical white pattern centered over the rump with few or no spots of pigment in this white patterned area. This coat pattern is common in Appaloosas, Miniature Horses, Knabstruppers, Norikers, and some other breeds.
Nothing can drain the colour from a horse owner’s face quicker than hearing the word COLIC! Winter is an important season to focus on colic prevention and ward off water woes that can lead to impaction in the equine gut.
Research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has demonstrated that a chromosomal defect is responsible for a significant proportion of horse pregnancies that fail within the first two months of development. These findings will pave the way for new diagnostic tests for what could be one of the most common causes of pregnancy loss in mares.
Moody mares may benefit from ovariectomy to alter their behaviour and rideability, according to a recent report. Some mares are difficult to manage and perform poorly as a result. They may be uncooperative or aggressive when handled on the ground. They may kick, buck, or rear when ridden, or may be aggressive towards other horses.