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DISEASES OF THE EYE
Are several; but the most common is inflammation of the conjunctiva, or membrane which lines the eyelids, covering the cornea and haw of the eye.
When the attack is but slight, a cooling application will often remove it. The following embrocation is used: Goulard's Extract
1 drachm, Spring Water
1 pint, mixed. Or, Laudanum
3 drachms, Spring Water mixed.
Either of these may possibly be effective; at the same time administering a mild purge :Barbadoes Aloes
5 drachms, after the usual preparation of bran-mash.
Regard must, however, be paid to the symptoms and general appearance of the eye: if the disease proceeds from a blow, or is produced by any foreign body, try Sulphate of Zinc
1 ounce. Spring Water
lį pints. This will remove the inflammation; but if it still lingers, and the horse shows great reluctance to stand in the light, it is to be feared that the most destructive of all diseases to which the eye is subjected is present. This is known, as the
SPECIFIC OPTHALMIA ;
Or, as it was formerly called, Moon-blindness: it ge
nerally comes on during the night, and does not attack horses that have been free from it when between four and six years old; but having had it during that period, they are liable at all ages afterwards to be affected. At first, the cornea becomes clouded, and the aqueous humour loses its transparency; the iris in many cases is discoloured, and the inflammation is by no means stationary, but first attacks one eye, then the other; the whole surface soon assumes a bloody appearance, the pupil contracts, and finally total blindness is the result. Sometimes one eye is lost, and sometimes both.
The disease at all times is most uncertain ; for several weeks all inflammation will disappear, and then it will as suddenly return
Causes.—It is usually attributed to a baneful atmosphere, the neglect of cleaning and purifying properly the stables, and at the same time keeping them too close and void of proper ventilation ; another cause is keeping the stall too dark, the horse becomes dazzled, and it is some time before he obtains his vision when brought from a dark stable into the light. Purging will also bring it on: and it must here be noticed, that once attacked, the horse propagates it; if perfect in every other respect, blindness, in consequence of Specific Opthalmia, will give the young
may eventually turn to total obstruction of light. This is a fact well known, but not been properly heeded.
Treatment.--According to the strength of the animal, bleeding will relieve this disease, but by no means cure it. Try any of the lotions named before, or apply poultices, with a small quantity of either Goulard's extract or opium mixed in them: bleeding from the
angular vein at the inner corner of the eye is à practice some employ. Scarifying the eyelid may be performed; setons are placed in the cheek. Some resort to the following remedies :Blue Pill
12 drachms. Opium
2 drachms. Linseed Meal
1 ounce. This is made into a mass with soap, and then divided into six balls, one of which is to be given every second morning, fasting. Or, Sulphate of Copper
12 drachms. Or, Sulphate of Iron
- 12 drachms. Take which is preferred or easiest of access, and mix the quantity with linseed meal and soap, and use one ball every day.
Use whatever is direct, or recommended by any practitioner. “One thing is certain,” as a modern author expresses it, “ the disease ebbs and flows, retreats and attacks, until it reaches its natural termination, blindness of one or both eyes.” This, however, is only in reference to the true and severe attack of that dreadful inflammation, Specific Opthalmia.
Mr. Coleman says, this disease of the eye of the horse is an inflammation of a specific nature, totally differing from any that occurs in any other animal. One of the reasons why it is supposed to affect the constitution is, that horses afflicted with this inflammation of the eye, are either totally free from perspiration, or they sweat profusely, indicating a slow fever.
Is generally the sequent to Specific Opthalmia ; and it were needless to prescribe any cure when such a termination has ensued. Many of the ablest practitioners have tried operation after operation in this case but without effect. The Royal Veterinary College has laboured most studiously with the same result.
Simple cataract, as in the human being, does not exist in the horse ; the retractor-muscle draws the eye very deeply into the socket, and with such force, that an operation cannot be performed : and indeed if it were possible to remove the opaque lens, the sight in such a case would still be very partially obstructed ; and it is a well-known fact, that an imperfect vision is useless, and often detrimental to the horse.
Is another species of blindness to which the horse is subject, and is likewise known as the Glass Eye; which name it takes from appearance, being bright and fixed, with the pupil more than usually dilated. It appears to be paralysis of the optic nerve. It is as incurable as cataract. Blistering, bleeding, physicing, and the application of rowels, have been tried in vain. It is ascribed to various causes, as staggers, termination of blood to the head, and affection of the brain.
Sometimes the haw thickens and projects on the fore-part of the eye ; cooling lotions, with bleeding and physicing, will disperse all danger. This important organ should never be cut out, as some of the old farriers were accustomed to recommend.
It is a general notion that when vision has been lost to one eye the other is strengthened accordingly; on this, Mr. Percivall in his lectures observes :
“ The loss of one eye does not enfeeble sight, because the other acquires greater energy, though it much contracts the field of vision. It is said to render the conception erring, and the case of mis-judgment of distances is the one commonly brought forward to show this. All I can say on this point is, that the best hunter I ever possessed, a horse gifted with extraordinary powers for leaping, was a one-eyed horse, and this animal carried me through a hunting season without, to my recollection, making one single blunder in leaping."
CONTRACTION OF THE FOOT,
Is a disease very general among horses, and more particularly contraction of the heel, when lameness almost invariably is the consequence; and if it has existed for any considerable time, a perfect cure cannot be wrought. It always comes on gradually, and therefore should be checked in the very commencement.
Causes. There are many circumstances which ac celerate this disease. Among the primary ones, we must attribute it to the strength and thickness of the wall of the hoof. Want of moisture-bad shoeinginternal disease, and consequent alteration of the structure of the foot, will produce contraction. Neglect of paring the sole and lowering the heels, are especial