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Dear Bob,

I am the proud owner of a double blue eyed overo paint stallion. He recently got sick, but all tests did not show any problem. He just had fever and off his feed. Just kinda down. Took to horse clinic for IV fluids, tests and observation.

They noticed that the blue iris' of his eyes were turning yellow around the edges. Not the sclera as you would when jaundice was the problem, but the actual color part of the eye. The vet said he had never seen a full grown horse with this -- only once in a foal.

He is getting better and the yellow in fading back into the blue.

Do you know what this is or the cause?


-- B. H.


What you describe sounds like what the vets call "Periodic Ophthalmia" -- commonly known as "moon blindness." It's an inflammation of the eye which isn't very well understood. There's sometimes a yellowish secretion inside the eye which can be seen through the iris. You may want to talk with your vet about giving a riboflavin supplement as well as administering an antibiotic, such as streptomycin. Your vet may also recommend an eye ointment as well as possibly keeping the horse in a dark stall until the inflammation decreases.

Remember, I'm not a vet, and I don't have the opportunity to look at your horse firsthand, so this has to be just an educated guess. Rely on your vet for the best answers.

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