Clinical Trial

Study to document factors that may contribute to ocular disease in draft breeds

Department: Ophthalmology Service


A Survey of Ocular Abnormalities in Draft Horses

Sarah Czerwinski, DVM, DACVO
Kate Myrna, DVM, MS, DACVO

If interested, please email Dr. Czerwinski at, or contact Lisa Reno, Clinical Trials Coordinator, at

Study description: Research investigating ocular abnormalities in horses of various breeds suggest that age is a factor in development of ocular disease, in addition to the type of work that the horse performs. Draft horses are unique in that this group of horses is principally used for pulling – whether it be for farm work, competition, or recreation. This subjects these animals, and their eyes, to different stresses. This study aims to document the relationship between age, work-use, and ocular disease in draft horses.

During a single visit, a routine complete ophthalmic examination will be performed (with sedation, if needed) and photographs will be taken of each eye if possible. Breed, age, gender, whether the horse has been used to pull, and bloodline (if known) will be recorded for each animal. Examinations will be performed by board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists.

Costs associated with the complete ophthalmic examination including sedation will be paid for by the study. Treatment for any conditions that may be discovered as a result of this examination will be the financial responsibility of the owner.

Duration of study: The study is currently OPEN. Enrollment will terminate when the target enrollment is filled.

Potential benefits to veterinary medicine: This data will provide information about the nature of ocular disease in draft horses which may provide specific monitoring and treatment recommendations based on age, gender, and use, and may identify genetic diseases affecting the eye that have the potential to be passed on through generations.