Acupressure and Home Remedies for Eye Problems in Horses
(Reposted from my previous blog, The Handy Horse Owner)
First of all, I’d like to preface this post with the statement: I’m not a vet. If your horse has a condition that your unsure of, take him to a vet for a diagnosis. With that said, occasionally my horses get gunky eyes for one reason or another, and I usually just treat it myself. This last summer, three of my horses had the gunk– probably from some sort of viral conjunctivitis (pink eye). I thought I’d share a couple homemade remedies for treating conjunctivitis in horses and a few acupressure points that can help clear up eye problems.
Here are some home remedies for eye problems in horses (borrowed from an equine rescue website):
Conjunctivitis Remedy #1:
Steep several tea bags ( black tea is strongest ) in a cup of hot water (distilled water is safest). Bring to lukewarm temperature. Wash each eye with soggy tea bag saturated in tea. Wash carefully, do not break open the tea bag. Use several tea bags for each eye to make sure the eye is thoroughly cleansed and do not use same tea bag on both eyes, it could cause contamination. Do not dip tea bag back into tea, this will contaminate tea mixture, also. The tannin in tea has antibiotic properties.
Conjunctivitis Remedy #2:
Using unpasteurized honey, mix 3 tbs. honey in 2 cups of boiling water (distilled water is safest). Stir to dissolve, cool, and use as an eye wash. Unpasteurized honey has antibiotic properties.
Acupressure Points for Eye Problems
You can apply slight pressure with your forefinger to these points. Hold for about 10-15 seconds or until you see a ‘release’ from the horse, such as head-lowering, licking, or chewing. The points are bilateral so use them on both sides of the horse. If the horse won’t tolerate you touching a certain point, just skip it.
Bladder 1: benefits eye disorders; located just in front of the inside corner of the eye (not on the eye itself)
Bladder 67: clears the eyes; located just above hoof, 2/3 of the distance from the front to the back of the hind hoof on the outside of the leg
Stomach 1: used for all eye problems; located directly beneath the center of the eye
Large Intestine 4: benefits the eyes; located in the ‘valley’ on the inside of the ‘knee’ when you pick up the front leg (you have to feel for it by running your fingers around the backside of the ‘knee’ when the leg is held up as you would hold it when cleaning the hoof).
(click on image to enlarge)
These are just a few natural remedies for treating gunky eyes or other minor eye problems. Again, if you suspect your horse is ill or there may be something else going on, please see your vet!