Friday, June 27, 2008

Can colic cause blindness?

Colic itself would not normally cause blindness but certain types of poisons can cause colic and blindness.

One of the most common poisonings in horses is called moldy corn poisoning. It happens most often between late fall and early spring, after corn has been stored that has too much moisture in it, or has been stored in an already damp area, which makes the corn moldy. Moldy corn will be discolored with shades of pink and/or red to reddish-brown colors in it.

Moldy corn poisoning causes what is known as the blind staggers. A horse that has eaten moldy corn will exhibit signs such as circling and staggering, doesn't blink when you wave your hand in front of their eyes, confusion and will panic for no apparent reason. A horse can die from moldy corn poisoning in just a day or two once these signs begin HOWEVER it IS possible save them if the signs are detected and a vet is called soon enough. (Of course, get the corn away from the horse or get the horse away from the corn immediately!)

If you suspect that your horse has eaten moldy corn, don't delay, call your vet!

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Please feel free to email me your horse questions and I'll do my best to answer them or at least point you to someone or someplace that can. (Scroll down to the "About Me" section and click on "View my complete profile" to send me an email) I look forward to hearing from you! ~Melanie