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


Newborn Foal, Runny or Irritated Eye


An irritated eye in a newborn foal can result from many things, like corneal injury and foreign material in the eye, but it is most often associated with a turned-in eyelid (entropion). In this case, the eyelashes contact the eye surface, causing pain and irritation and resulting in watering and squinting. Entropion is more common in foals that are dehydrated and sick, but is seen in healthy foals too.

Eye problems in foals should be taken seriously because they can quickly damage the eye and make treatment much more difficult and prognosis worse. Keep in mind that eye problems in foals are often associated with other underlying disorders.

  • Code Red

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


What To Do

Given the importance of your foal’s sight keep the possibility of other problems in mind. Do not allow this condition to continue or worsen over time. Immediately contact your vet with your findings and concerns when you detect eye problems in foals.

your vet's role

Your vet assesses the foal's eyes in light of their general health. Disorders like corneal ulcer or entropion should be treated promptly to prevent further eye damage.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Is the problem in one or both eyes?
  • How long have you noticed this?
  • Is the foal active and nursing?
  • When was the foal born?
  • Do you notice any abnormality of the eye itself?

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
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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP