HHH: Maintain a healthy immune system as the first line of defense
• Consider Equilite’s Equiinacea (also includes eyebright) and Garli+C (with zinc)
• Silver Linings #24 contains various herbs with a variety of immune properties: antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-infection, etc., such as barberry, echinacea, garlic, rose hips, olive leaf and red clover.
• Stimulate the immune system, as well as increase circulation around the eye with acupuncture or with acupressure points BL1, BL2, TH23, GB1 and ST1.
• The immune system can be activated with aromatherapy and chiropractic treatments.
• Continue to support the immune system even after symptoms decrease or appear to have passed.
• Vitamin A can be supportive, and aid in decreasing a variety of bacterial infections.
HHH: Quality equine supports specific for the eye.
• Silver Lining #21 Bright Eyes (along with #27 for the Liver) is an effective support for night vision containing herbs such as eye bright and bilberry to strengthen eyesight.
• For Love of the Horse recommends pairing its proprietary blends Uveitis SolutionTM and Total Immune Health Solution for maximum effect in a horse with Uveitis.
• Support cleansing the Liver with Oregon Grape and Yellow Dock.
• Witch Hazel can be used as a tonic to the eye.
• Cold laser treatment has been helpful in combating eye infection.
• Use euphrasia (the herb eyebright) for eye inflammation; even diluted (5 drops per 2 tbsp) sterile saline solution.
• Blood Circulation is also important for eye health.
• Check your local health food store for Homeopathic Euphrasia eye drops that can be used 2-3 times a day.
• Bach Flower Rescue Remedy, a few drops followed by castor oil, can be administered.
• Antioxidants like C (and E), the mineral selenium, and carotenoids (found in leafy greens) may reduce macular degeneration.
• UV Blocking mask
• Vitamin C (Equilite’s Citrus C/Q or Uckele’s Pur C)
• B2 (Riboflavin)
• Infection support and kidney assist (Silver Lining’s #25 and #27)
• Vitamin A
HHH: Watch for symptoms of Uveitis
Does your horse prefer to be approached on one side over the other?
Is your horse’s performance better on one side than the other?
Does your horse run into things or act spooky?
Does your horse have recurring eye issues?
Consider testing your horse for nutritional deficiencies, minute worm larvae Leptospirosis, all causes for Moon Blindness.
HHH: Support your horse’s special needs immediately
Early diagnosis may prevent blindness! Keep the horse in familiar surroundings and always speak to your horse and let him/her know you are there. Don’t surprise your horse or walk up on the sightless side. Address your horse’s nutritional needs and suppressed immune system. Limit or avoid overprescribed steroids which further suppress the immune system.
HHH: Vitamin A deficiency is the classic sign of Night Blindness
• Without enough Vitamin A delivered to the retina, the eye can’t make enough visual purple (a purple pigment in the outer segment of retinal rods)
• Vitamin A deficiency is linked to night blindness and other eye disorders
• Feed really green fresh organic hay/grass, and/or cod liver oil to your horse if Vitamin A deficient. Runny eyes and dry coat may indicate a worm infestation and a possible A and copper deficiency. Overhead power lines have also been linked to VitA deficiency!
• Vitamin A may be supported with extra zinc. (Note: Zinc, a trace mineral, is very concentrated in the eye and is responsible for several chemical reactions in the eye)
• Red Raspberry is known for its high vitamin A content
HHH: Riboflavin deficiency is linked to periodic ophthalmia
• Feed non-chemical fresh green hay, high in B2 to aid the eye’s ability to withstand bright light. Deficiencies in horses may show by signs of difficulty in urinating, and issues of the eye, mouth and lips. (TIP: Red clover herb supports urination).
• Nutrition studies show low B2 as one cause of Moon Blindness.
• Check if your horse’s tongue is rosy pink. A purple (or magenta) cast may be a sign of riboflavin deficiency.
• B2 may protect the eye through a chain reaction which eventually releases glutathione, a possible shield from damage to the proteins in the lens.
• B1 and B2 support nerve function, therefore deficiency may show as hyper-excitability or nervousness.
HHH: Vitamin C has shown support with eye disorders and immunity
• Large doses of Vitamin C have been safely used as an antibiotic support.
• Equilite’s Citrus C/Q is an excellent quercetin, bioflavinoid, antioxidant C blend for horses.
• Quercetin has been specifically accredited for delaying diabetic cataracts.
• Tissue degeneration from chemically burned eyes was well supported by Vitamin C drops used on rabbits. Vitamin C was also found to nourish the eye’s aqueous humor, notably containing 18-20 times more C than in the blood.
• Ascorbic powders may be used in lieu of antihistamines for allergic eye flare ups
• Vitamin C has solid scientific literature to support its use. It can be used as prevention for allergy symptoms such as Uckele (1-800-248-0330) Pure C. Alleviate runny eye symptoms with Farnam Clear Eyes (1-800-234-2269) or drop sterile saline solution into your horse’s eyes.
• Vaccinations are linked to Vitamin C depletion.
HHH: Leptospirosis, another possible cause of periodic ophthalmia, is a contagious disease of a bacteria called Leptospira.
• A vet may prescribe penicillin antibiotic, but it won’t remove the bacteria from the kidney.
• Prevent infected urine from contaminating outside water sources by separating cattle, a suspected source when mixed with horses.
• Consider Silver Lining #25 for bacterial infection. #27 may also be desired to support the kidney, especially if there are any signs of swelling which indicates the kidneys can’t keep up with the toxic load being released through the kidneys.
• Infection prevention for the eye might also include rue, golden seal and celadine (equal parts) + a few drops of Bach Flower Crab Apple.
HHH: Supply a UV blocking mask for daylight exposure.
• Keep your horse from rubbing the area, further irritating the eye.
• Masks may reduce localized hypersensitivity and allergic reaction which lead to ocular inflammation.
Complete Book of Vitamins by Prevention Magazine.
Horseman’s Veterinary Encyclopedia by Will Haden, DVM.
Herbal Horsekeeping by Robert McDowell
Vet Clinic HORSES by John McEwen BVMS
Natural Horse Care by Pat Coleby
Feeding Horses by Melyni Worth
Complete Holistic Care and Healing for Horses by Mary Brennan, DVM
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Horse Journal GuideTM to Equine Supplements and Nutraceuticals by Eleanor Kellon, VMD.