Cataracts are described as cloudy eyes or eyes that have a white film over the lens or a thick opacity of the lens. Cataracts can impair vision as well as blind a horse depending on the severity and it can occur in one or both eyes.
The cause can be a variety of factors including genetic inheritance however this is not often the most common cause. Cataracts are generally caused by eye injuries and or eye diseases such as Uveitis and not limited to any particular age group however it is known to most commonly occur with either young foals or much older horses, older horses being the more common of the two age groups.
Cataracts can be surgically removed however in older horses the chances of success are considerably low at a 50% and even after a surgical removal there is a high degree of complications that can arise such as ongoing inflammation, ulcerations and cloudiness which could lead to shrinking of the eye and even blindness.
Foals born with or developing cataracts under six months old are considered to have this affliction as a congenital disease. Most veterinarians recommend surgical removal of the lens if the foal is healthy as the foals can usually tolerate aggressive treatments.
Of course any horse that has had a cataract removal is no longer considered a "sound" horse even if the horse can still function and get about in a normal fashion. A horse that has not had surgical removal of the lens can still also be functional with the aid of alternative therapy.
The Original Multi-Purpose Guardian Mask can not only help slow down the process, but the mask can also help prevent cataracts as the disease is known to be linked to Uveitis and as we have discovered, the best known treatment for uveitis is in fact the Guardian Mask with 95% sunshades for ultimate protection against the harmful UV rays of the sun.
The most common breeds of horses to have congenital cataracts are Appaloosa's and Arabians. All horses however, are susceptible to developing cataracts at any stage of life. Cataracts can also be a result of eye injuries. It is best to try and consider prevention rather than waiting until something "crops up" or waiting until your horses eyes are in poor to bad condition.
It is always recommended to have a complete ophthalmic examination as well as a general health examination to determine the condition of a horse with any type of eye conditions, as some diseases tend to also effect other regions of the horses anatomy. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian!
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