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


Eye has Wound on Clear Surface (Cornea)


Injuries to the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) are fairly common in horses. They are important to recognize early because if not properly treated they can worsen rapidly, leading to permanent eye damage and potential blindness.

Wounds to the cornea generally result from direct trauma. They can also result from a perforated corneal ulcer. A corneal ulcer is a shallow, wide corneal wound. A dark body projecting from the corneal surface can be a prolapsed iris, a sign that a full thickness wound has occurred.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

your role


What To Do

Do not delay, contact your vet. While you wait, keep the horse calm and apply a fly mask, if needed. Talk to your vet about whether or not to give pain medication if it is available.

What Not To Do

Do not apply eye ointments or medications, unless advised to do so by your vet.

your vet's role

Any significant injury to the cornea must be addressed promptly and appropriately by your vet if your horse's sight is to be preserved.

Your vet may use sedation and regional anesthesia to carefully evaluate the eye and the severity of the injury. Once the exam is complete, treatment and prognosis can be discussed.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • How sure are you that there is a wound to the clear surface of the eye (cornea)?
  • Describe specifically what you see.
  • Is there tissue protruding from the wound?
  • Does your horse seem normal otherwise?
  • Can you see a wound?
  • 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.

Very Common
Less Common
more diagnoses

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP