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What are some eye problems that are specific to certain horse breeds and why?

Published: March 29th, 2012

Category: News

Some of the eye diseases in horses that are hereditary or suspected to be hereditary include:

  • Multiple congenital ocular anomaly in the Rocky Mountain Horse, pony and miniature horse
  • Lack of normal iris development (aniridia) in the Belgian, Thoroughbred and Quarter horse
  • Congenital nuclear cataracts in the Morgan and Thoroughbred
  • Congenital cataracts in the Belgian, Thoroughbred and Quarter horse
  • Congenital Stationary Night Blindness (CSNB) in the Appaloosa, Paso Fino and miniature horse
  • Optic nerve coloboma in the Quarter horse.

Other ocular diseases are diagnosed at a higher frequency in certain breeds and may be attributable to genetic defects that affect the body’s own response to the disease.

  • Appaloosas and Warmbloods represent a large number of immune mediated uveitis or Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU) cases.
  • Draft breeds, Haflingers in particular, and Paint horses appear to be predisposed to conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

More Information

If your horse has an ophthalmic issue, contact the UF Large Animal Hospital at 352-392-2229 for a phone consultation or to schedule an appointment.