McKee-Pownall Equine Services | How-To

How-To

How To Medicate Eyes

Why Do This?

Horses recovering from eye injuries and episodes of moon blindness need to accept eye medication several times a day. Good technique is important to prevent resistance from the horse and wasted medications.

Materials

You will need the following items:

  • Medications
  • A helper
  • Adequate restraint
"How to Medicate Eyes"
 

How To

Try to treat the horse during quiet times of the day, so they are not fussing and agitated about getting fed or turned out.

The horse should at least have a halter and lead shank on. Use a nose chain or twitch if necessary; this is preferable to accidentally poking the eye and making the situation even worse.

The handler should stand on the same side as the person applying the medication.

Place your index finger on the upper lid and your thumb on the lower lid. Apply gentle inward pressure while pulling you fingers apart. This will force the eye open and create a small gap between the lower lid and the eyeball.

Apply a 0.5 cm strip of ointment, or 2-3 drops, into this little gap. It is safe to use multiple medications at the same time if the horse is on several types at once.

Recap ointments quickly, as they continue to leak out of the squeezed tube, especially in the summer.

Allow the horse to close the eye, and with the palm of your hand, gently massage the eyelid to distribute the medication.

Give treats and love, try to make this slightly less unpleasant for them!

Avoid feeding the horse from a hay rack or net, as irritants are more likely to stick to the medicated eye.

Frequent and consistent medication is the key to successful resolution of eye problems. If your horse is too difficult to treat, contact your veterinarian for other medication delivery options.