Georgina Parkin, BVSc., Cert E.P., MRCVS.
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Ophthalmology

Corneal Ulcer

The ulcerated region of the cornea has been stained with a green dye.

equine corneal ulcer

The glassy clear layer at the front of the eye is called the cornea. There are several layers of tissue which form the cornea. These are the epithelium, the stroma and the endothelium (outside to inside). When the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed this is termed a 'corneal ulcer'. There are many inciting causes of a corneal ulcer ranging from direct trauma e.g. twig or whip injury to immune mediated disorders. Corneal ulcers are extremely painful and can lead to inflammation within the eye (Uveitis), which if not controlled may lead to permanent damage to the eye and unmanagable pain. Please seek advice if your horse has swollen eyelids or appears unable to open the eye to the same degree as the unaffected eye.