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


Eye has Splinter or Stick Near or Penetrating Eye Itself


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.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

your role


What To Do

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.

What Not To Do

Do not remove the foreign object, unless you absolutely must or are directed to do so by your vet.

your vet's role

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.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Does the eye itself appear to be damaged?
  • Can I have your location and directions to get to you as soon as possible?
  • Have you given the horse any medications?

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)

Very Common
more treatments

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP