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Equine Health Resource

Eye has Splinter or Stick Near or Penetrating Eye Itself

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

    I have seen numerous variations of this type of wound including large sticks penetrating deep into the orbit alongside the eyeball, through and out an eyelid, and penetration of the eyeball itself.

    It can be very hard to determine the severity of the injury without a careful veterinary examination, which often requires sedation. Horses usually guard these painful injuries and resist examination and treatment.


    Given the importance of your horse’s sight and the nature of the injury, call your vet immediately. Do not try to remove the object. It is helpful for your vet to see the object in place and remove it themselves because this gives them the best opportunity to assess the severity of the injury and try to avoid causing any additional damage to the eye or eyelid.

    If you absolutely must remove the object yourself, take a photo beforehand and save the object for evaluation by your vet. Note the angle, depth and site of penetration. Prepare to control bleeding using focused pressure.


    Your vet’s primary concern is always the condition of the eye, and the general health of the horse. If the eye is spared, there are no fractures, and foreign material is removed by your vet, then the prognosis is usually good for even seemingly serious wounds.

    Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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