Research: Equine Traumatic Brain Injury and Blindness

Credit: Thinkstock Blindness can result from traumatic head injury in horses. undefined

Many horses have accidents where they strike their heads, whether from falls, rearing and going backward or other types of injuries. These injuries can cause damage to the brain that can cause blindness. Dr. Dennis Brooks and colleagues discuss causes and treatments for blindness and eye problems caused by traumatic brain injury in the article “Traumatic brain injury manifested as optic neuropathy in the horse: A commentary and clinical case.”

This article is available on Wiley Online Library (


“Blindness from head trauma is a serious debilitating disease in the horse. It appears that blunt trauma to the skull results in intracranial injury to the optic nerve at the optic chiasm from mechanical and vascular mechanisms. Systemically administered iron and calcium chelation therapy may enable some horses to recover vision.”


D. E. Brooks and C. E. Plummer, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA; S. L. M. Craft and J. D. Struthers, Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA.

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