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I have a question for you, I hope you can give me some insight. A friend of mine bought a paint who has no visible markings on her, she looks like a pure white horse and she has blue eyes.

Is there anything she has to do to protect her eyes from the sun?

Have you heard of moon blindness? If so, could you explain what that means? She has been told by several people that her horse will probably end up blind if she doesn't do something to protect her from the sun.

What's your take on this?

- B. M.


Tell your friend not to worry about her blue-eyed horse. Paints and other breeds will occasionally result in blue eyes. Some horse breeders actually prefer them -- such as the Blue Eyed Cremes. The pigmentation of the eye doesn't make a horse more or less prone to blindness. I happen to have blue eyes, and I'm no more likely to become blind than any of my brown-eyed friends.

So-called "moon blindness" refers to an inflammation of the eye -- equine recurrent uveitis -- that seems to become worse the more it happens... and which can eventually result in blindness. Some of the secondary symptoms of the disease include spasm of the eyelid muscle, a smaller than normal iris opening, glaucoma, cataracts, or scarring of the cornea. The name "moon blindness" comes from an ancient belief that it was somehow related to various phases of the moon. Actually, it may be related to a prior leptospirosis infection or a deficiency of riboflavin in the diet.

So, tell your friend to just enjoy the fact that she has a somewhat unique animal.

Happy Trails!

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