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Blinking sore…the painful equine eye

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Ophthalmic discomfort is a common presentation in equine patients. An owner’s perception of what symptoms represent discomfort and how significant these signs are often differ from those of a clinician leading, on occasions, to an underestimation of the significance of eye pathology.

The clinician is challenged with identifying the source of ophthalmic discomfort (broadly speaking sources of discomfort are divided into intra-ocular and extra-ocular discomfort). Diagnostic aids including direct ophthalmoscopy, slit lamp biomicroscopy, tonometry and laboratory investigation will be discussed.

Managing painful eyes ideally consists of diagnosing the cause of ocular discomfort and implementing an effective medical or surgical treatment plan to eliminate this cause. Limitations on providing ‘optimal’ treatment present frequently due to patient, financial and client factors. Practical steps in overcoming such limitations will be discussed.

Learning outcomes

  • To recognise the range of ocular discomforts experienced by horses
  • To develop a systematic approach to examining an eye exhibiting symptoms of pain
  • To overcome the challenges inherent in horses with eye pain in providing effective care


Brian Patterson, Consultant (Ophtalmology) - Animal Eye Consultants Ltd.

Running time: 60 minutes.
Part of the BVA / BEVA equine stream at London Vet Show 2016.

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London Vet Show

London Vet Show is a national two day conference and exhibition which offers world-class clinical and business content to veterinary professionals. The show has nearly 400 exhibitors and six clinical streams of world-class Continuing Professional Development (CPD).