The Whites of Their Eyes

Q. I have a 3-year-old filly which has prominent white around her eyes. Most farriers and several others tell me this is a sign of madness in a horse. I always thought that this was an old wives' tale, but this particular filly does appear to be very nervous. Could you please clarify this for me or direct me to some articles I can read on the subject?


A. I think it means the horse has a lack of pigment in the sclera (the membrane that connects to the cornea and constitutes the major portion of the outer layer of the eyeball). It is just another old tale.

About the Author

Dennis E. Brooks, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVO

Dennis E. Brooks, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVO, is a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Florida. He has lectured extensively, nationally and internationally, in comparative ophthalmology and glaucoma, and has more than 140 refereed publications. He is a recognized authority on canine glaucoma, and infectious keratitis, corneal transplantation, and glaucoma of horses.

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