Are Blue Eyes More Likely to Go Blind?
A new study suggests that owners of blue-eyed horses and those with a mixture of blue and brown (heterochromatic) eyes may need special care, blue-eyed horses are no longer at risk for general vision or eye problems compared to their brown-eyed counterparts.
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A BLUE EYE STUDY
Veterinary Teaching Hospital research has begun to uncover the truth about blue eyes from the University of Illinois. Researchers looked at the medical records of hundreds of horses.
One hundred sixty-four of them were diagnosed with ocular pathologies, and 212 had no known ocular pathology.
By comparing the two groups, it was possible to determine if the blue-eyed horses were more prone to the problems.
Horses with blue eyes were no more likely than horses with brown eyes to suffering from vision problems. However, the study found that blue-eyed horses appear to be more susceptible to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
This is due to the skin pigmentation around the eyes and eyelid rather than the color of the eyes.
This fact also explains why some breeds are more likely to develop cancer than others. CTS is a skin cancer other than melanoma caused by exposure to UV rays.
It is important to protect any horse from the harmful effects of UV rays. Fly masks can help protect the face, and sunscreen helps protect a horse as well.
The shade should always be available in the diversion areas.
BLUE EYES HORSES AND BEHAVIOR
There is no scientific proof that blue-eyed horses have suspicious temperaments. If your blue-eyed horse is a little nervous, it has nothing to do with the color of his eyes.
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It isn’t easy to imagine how this myth developed. Maybe people thought the amazing blue eyes were a bit crazy!
Horses with blue eyes are rare.
Due to their uniqueness, they have been considered mysterious and sometimes suspicious.
A lack of pigmentation causes the blue-eyes
Due to their rare genetic makeup, horses with blue eyes lack melanin, resulting in a lighter shade and no pigmentation.
In some cases, horses may have patchy eyes, one brown and the other blue. A horse can also have partial colored irises, with a surprising mixture of the blue and brown present.
These are very rare, as the American Quarter Horse Association records only a handful of them each year.
However, the common belief in blue-eyed horses that they are prone to vision problems, and blindness is wrong.
In retrospect, people with blue eyes can see just as fine as people with brown eyes. The coloring of the iris does not affect the vision of the horse.
The idea may be due in part to an incorrect association of a condition called corneal edema. If a horse accidentally collides with its face or the eye becomes irritated, the cornea’s surface may be damaged.
As a result, the eye can acquire a bluish tint and damage vision. However, their appearance and nature are very different from horses born with blue irises.
The edema is painful and should be treated immediately.