Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Eye, White or Pink Tissue on Outside Edge of Eyeball

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

    This is a fairly common finding and usually results from an inflammatory condition caused by the body’s response to parasites. The other main possible cause is cancer, squamous cell carcinoma.

    Sometimes this area appears abnormal, but is found to be within normal limits by your vet following an examination.


    Given the importance of your horse’s sight, do not allow this condition to continue or worsen over time.

    Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), assess their eyes, compare one to the other, and look for other signs of injury or disease. Take a photo of the eye and send it to your vet. Share your findings and concerns with your vet.

    Apply a fly mask and keep your horse quiet until your vet can see it.


    Due to the possibility of cancer, your vet should examine your horse. If there is any doubt, they may take a biopsy to determine the character of the tissue.

    (Note: “cherry eye” is blockage and distention of the third eyelid gland, often seen in dogs. Horses have no problem with their third eyelid gland, just their third eyelid.)

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

    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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