What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Eye appears To Have Blood Inside Clear Front Chamber


Occasionally a horse will bleed into the front chamber of their eye (hyphema). Sometimes this appears as a bright red clot of blood, laying in the floor of the front (anterior) chamber of the eye.

This can result from traumatic injury to the eye, or can be a sign of body-wide disease (usually a clotting problem). In the latter case, the horse is likely to show other signs of illness or disease and will require more aggressive treatment. In cases caused by traumatic injury, the blood will usually be resorbed over days to weeks.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours
    • Most eye problems are considered veterinary emergencies.
You also might be observing
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your role


What To Do

Assess your horse's general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), paying special attention to attitude and appetite, the appearance of the other eye, and that of the gums and vulvar mucous membranes in mares. Look for apparent bruising or red spots on mucous membranes, which could indicate a clotting problem.

Assess the affected eye, looking for signs of squinting, watering, discharge or reddening of the "whites" of the eyes. Contact your vet with your findings and concerns.

your vet's role

With physical examination and laboratory testing your vet will try to determine whether this is a local traumatic injury or is evidence of a body-wide clotting problem.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Is the other eye normal?
  • Does the eye look normal otherwise?
  • Is there any evidence of trauma?
  • Is there bleeding or swelling noticeable anywhere else?
  • Does the horse seem normal to you otherwise?
  • Do you think the horse's attitude and appetite are normal?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?

Diagnoses Your Vet May Consider

The cause of the problem. These are conditions or ailments that are the cause of the observations you make.

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Treatments Your Vet May Recommend

A way to resolve the condition or diagnosis. Resolving the underlying cause or treating the signs of disease (symptomatic treatment)

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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP