Equine ophthalmology guidelines

Fluoroscene Pupil size Subpalpebral lavage system? Antimicrobials Atropine Anti-inflammatories Other therapy Surgery
ULCERS Positive Variable If difficult to medicate

Broad-spectrum q6-8h for ointment, q2h for aqueous.

Consider antifungals.

Yes – use to effect for mydriasis

Flunixin IV if hospitalised,

Bute PO in field

Serum/EDTA q2-4 for melting ulcers

Yes if:

1. Deep and centrally located

2. Melting

3. Desmetocoele

UVEITIS Negative Miosis If difficult to medicate None Yes – q2h until pupil dilated then as needed Flunixin IV if hospitalised, Bute PO in field No No
STROMAL ABSCESS Negative Variable If difficult to medicate Broad-spectrum q6 for ointment, q2 for aquous Yes – use to effect for mydriasis Flunixin IV if hospitalised No Yes – recommend for all

Ocular Exam

  1. Note any epiphora & blephrospasm
  2. Examine the conjunctiva
  3. Examine the cornea grossly
  4. Examine the anterior chamber
  5. Ophthalmoscopic examination
  6. Fluoroscene stain
  7. Other diagnostics


  1. Sedate heavily
  2. Perform nerve blocks – auriculopalpebral & supraorbital (see below)
  3. Infuse local anaesthesia at site of tube exit from the upper or lower lid and sites at which tube will be suture to the head.
  4. Apply topical anaesthesia on eye – generous volume into eye every 1-2 mins for 3-4 applications
  5. Using a non-sterile gloved hand under the eyelid, palpate most dorsal or ventral conjunctival sac close to orbit
  6. Use introducing needle from kit, protect needle with finger as introduce to specified site and push through skin
  7. Pull needle and tubing through and ensure footplate sitting flush against conjunctiva
  8. Suture SPL tubing in place at several spots


Supraorbital: Frontal nerve branch of trigeminal nerve

Locate supraorbital foramen (depression ) & inject 1ml lignocaine over foramen

Palpebral: **MOST IMPORTANT** Motor branch of facial nerve

Palpate nerve mid way along the zygomatic arch. Inject 1ml lignocaine over nerve