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Wall eye in horses is an eye colour that is rarely seen but is not unheard of. It is a blue hue, either in one or both eyes, and can be found in various horse breeds. In this article, we will explore what wall eye is, what breeds are known to have it and what it means for a horse to have this unique eye colour. We will also look into the genetics behind why this colour is produced and the potential implications it may have for a horse’s health.
What Is Wall Eye In Horses?
Horses may exhibit a rare eye color, known as a ‘wall eye’. This is where either one or both eyes have an unusual, blue hue. Breeds such as Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Arabians and Tennessee Walkers are all known to have horses with this trait, though the exact genetic makeup that causes this is still largely a mystery. The blue shade is brought about by a lack of pigment in the iris.
Why Do Some Horses Have Wall Eye?
The exact genetic makeup that leads to wall eye in horses is largely unknown, with many experts still trying to figure out the cause. It is believed that the blue hue is brought about by a lack of pigment in the iris, which is responsible for giving the eyes their colour. Some breeds are more prone to developing wall eye than others, such as Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Arabians and Tennessee Walkers, though this could be due to the way these breeds have been bred over time. It is also possible that some horses have the recessive gene that causes wall eye, but it is not expressed until later in life.
Wall Eye In Horses – Health Concerns
Wall eye, or blue eye, in horses is a relatively uncommon occurrence, but it can have some potential health concerns associated with it. While the exact cause of wall eye is still largely unknown, it is believed to be caused by a lack of pigment in the iris. This can lead to some issues with the horse’s vision, as the lack of pigmentation can cause the iris to become more sensitive to light.
Additionally, blue eyes can be more prone to developing cataracts and other eye diseases, as the lack of pigment can make the eyes more vulnerable to damage.
It is important for owners of horses with wall eye to be aware of these potential health issues, and to have their horses’ eyes regularly checked by an equine vet. Additionally, owners should ensure that their horses have adequate protection from the sun, such as using fly masks when they are outdoors, to help protect their eyes from the harmful UV rays. With regular check-ups and proper care, horses with wall eye can live happy and healthy lives.
How Rare Is Wall Eye In Horses?
Wall eye in horses is relatively rare, though its exact prevalence is unknown. While some breeds, such as Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Arabians and Tennessee Walkers, are more likely to have horses with wall eye, it is still not common. Cremello horses are the most likely to have wall eye, due to their unique genetic makeup.
What Are China Eyes?
China eyes is another term used to describe wall eye in horses. The blue eye colour is caused by a lack of pigmentation in the iris, and is similar in appearance to the porcelain-like blue eyes of some Chinese figurines. The term is often used to describe horses with one blue eye, but it can also be used to refer to horses with two blue eyes. The genetics behind why horses develop wall eye are still largely unknown, but it is believed to be a recessive trait that is inherited from one or both parents.
Wall Eye In Cremello Horses
Cremello horses are the most likely to have wall eye, due to their unique genetic makeup. This breed is created from a cross between a palomino horse and a cremello horse, which results in a horse with a cream-colored coat and a pink, almost transparent, iris. The lack of pigment in the iris, combined with the unique genetic characteristics of the breed, makes it more likely for a cremello horse to develop wall eye. Additionally, the extremely light coat colour of the cremello horse can make the blue hue of the eye even more prominent.
Wall Eye In Horses – Final Thoughts
Wall eye in horses is a rare eye colour, caused by a lack of pigment in the iris. Breeds such as Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Arabians and Tennessee Walkers are all known to have horses with this trait. While the exact genetics behind why this colour is produced are still largely a mystery, research is ongoing. Additionally, some potential health concerns, such as UV sensitivity and an increased risk of cataracts and other eye diseases, may be associated with wall eye. With regular check-ups and proper care, horses with wall eye can live happy and healthy lives.
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