Group Title: Press bulletin
Title: Moon blindness
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Moon blindness
Series Title: Press bulletin
Physical Description: 4 p. : ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Dawson, Charles F ( Charles Francis ), 1860-1928
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1902
Subject: Horses -- Diseases and pests -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles F. Dawson.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "July 15th, 1902."
General Note: At head of title: Department of Veterinary Science.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090442
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 82470155

Full Text

Press Bulletin No. 28.

Experiment Station.



Moon Blindness.
(BY DR. CHARLES F. DAWSON, Station Veterinarian.)
Moon blindness, periodic ophthalmia, recurrent
ophthalmia, or specific ophthalmia are names applied to
an inflammatory affection of the internal parts of the
eyeball of the horse. While heredity appears to play
an important role in its production, it would seem that
climate and soil have much to do with its occurence.
This disease is very common in Florida, and it could
doubtless be shown that in any country where the soil is
periodically inundated from rivers, lakes and seas, that
moon blindness is prevalent. In some countries where

July 15th, 1902.

the soil has been drained and the hygienic conditions
thereby improved, cases of the disease have become less
frequent. The overfeeding of rank, watery fodders
grown upon wet lands, or of heating, starchy foods,
disorganises the digestive system and produces an attack
in an animal predisposed to the disease. Teething,
training, or any condition which lowers the vitality of
the animal are exciting causes. While the disease may
occur at any age, it is most common in early life, or in
animals from two to six years of age. Statistics show
that the offspring of a moon-blind sire is more prone to
the disease than that of a moon-blind dam, 'and that
like some other affections in which heredity plays a part,
one generation may escape, and succeeding ones become
affected. On the other hand, if the offspring of a moon-
blind parent be removed from a low, marshy or damp
country to a high and dry one, given good nourishing
food and general good treatment, it may entirely escape
the disease. Generally speaking, all conditions which
tend to weaken or devitalise the system, are considered as
exciting causes in the predisposed animal.
The symptoms of the attack vary as it is a mild or
severe one. There may be fever, or the disease may
cause a general lack of vigor. The eye symptoms are
those of internal inflammation. There is considerable
pain. The eye-lids are closed and tears flow down upon
the face. The eye-ball seems smaller than usual, due to
its being pulled back further into the socket for protec-
tion. Attempts at examination by opening the lids
cause spasm of the eye-lids and closure of them which
lasts some minutes. The pupil of the affected eye is

smaller than that of the well one.
The aqueous humor or liquid in the front of the
eye is milky. The iris or "color of the eye" has turned
to a dingy brown or red, and is no longer a clear black.
There is a greenish-yellow reflection from the depths of
the eye-ball. The lens becomes clouded, as does also the
cornea or glassy front. In about two weeks, the eye be-
gins to recover. The turbid material settles in the bot-
tom part of the front of the eye, the pupil, lens
and cornea begin to clear up, and the attack is soon
over. The first attack' always leaves its mark, however,
and this consists of a bluish ring around the border of
the front of the eye. The corresponding ear will be car-
ried more erect to compensate the loss of vision. Instead
of the normal, well-rounded arch of the upper eye-lid, we
find the inner third bent somewhat sharply down.
The disease generally attacks one eye successively five
or six times, blinding it, and then the other eye falls a
victim to the same succession of attacks, and total blind-
ness results. The attacks may occur monthly, or at long-
er intervals and blindness may result in six months, or in
as many years. This depends largely upon the general
health and care taken of the animal.
The disease is an incurable one, but much can be
done to ward off the attacks by favoring the animal in
every way possible. He should not be kept in a hot,
damp stable, nor be driven on dusty roads, nor kept on
low-land pastures. Foods containing a large amount of
starch, such as corn are best withheld. Oats, beans, peas
or vetches, and the various hays when properly grown and
cured may be used with safety. The common practice
here of cutting out the haw or washer ("hooks") is ab-

surd, and cannot be too strongly condemned in this or
any other eye disease. The knocking out of the wolf-
teeth is condemned for the same reason. The following
medicinal treatment may be resorted to:
Powdered colchicum, half ounce, Sodium salicylate,
one ounce: Mix and divide into twelve parts: Give one part
twice daily. Give the following tonic during convales-
cence: Ferric oxide, three ounces; Nux vomica, two
drachms; Sodium sulfate, twelve ounces. Mix and divide
into twelve parts. Give one part daily. Put the animal
in a dark stall to rest and give soft feed.
O State papers please copy or notice.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs