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Moonblindness Or ERU – The Story of One Horse’s Cure

When my husband’s light grey gelding was recognized with Equine Recurring Uveitis (ERU) also called Moonblindness, I panicked. ERU is the primary trigger of blindness in horses.


In February of 2008 Clover’s left eye was closed and weeping. I referred to as my vet, Dr. Susan Mende, D.V.M. of Wolf Creek Equine in Lothian, Maryland.

She handled the attention with atropine and a steroid. The eye healed inside every week.

But Clover’s proper eye flared up twelve weeks later, and he examined optimistic for leptospirosis. After two extra outbreaks in fast succession, my vet delivered the terrible analysis. The good-looking 17 12 months outdated had ERU. Without fast and drastic intervention he would go instantly and fully blind.

Symptoms of ERU & Difficulty of Diagnosis

The preliminary indicators of the illness are inconspicuous: a weeping and swollen eye, usually left to heal itself.

In unhealthy circumstances ERU recurs in brief succession, typically affecting each eyes. The gaps between our horse’s outbreaks lessened from 12 weeks to 11 weeks to 9 weeks, and affected alternate eyes.

Luckily my vet noticed the sample early. Many horses are solely examined after an extended sequence of recurring flare-ups, dramatically lessening the possibilities of saving their sight.

Causes of ERU

The causes of Equine Recurring Uveitis usually are not identified for positive, however latest analysis signifies the wrongdoer is the leptospirus bacterium. Among carriers of leptospirus are mice and contaminated pets, in keeping with Barbara Fenner, a specialist on the Chirurgischen TierKlinik in Munich, in her article “Schreckgespenst Mondblindheit” (Moonblindness, the Frightening Ghost).

She writes that it is thought the bacterium itself would not trigger the outbreak. The physique seems to have an allergic response in opposition to the protein of the leptospirus, inflicting an auto-immune response throughout the vitreous fluid of the attention.

Available Treatments

What might be finished to avoid wasting Double Clover’s sight?


Dr. Mende instructed be about cyclosporine. Applied topically within the case of human uveitis, it penetrates the cornea and treats the illness. Unfortunately cyclosporine can not penetrate the equine cornea.

She instructed me about two vets, Drs Brian Gilger and Janice Allen, at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine who surgically insert a gradual releasing implant of cyclosporine into the vitreous fluid of the attention. They may also take away the diseased fluid, filling the attention with a recent, wholesome alternative.

The operation is often profitable and the implants final for 2 to 4 years.

The solely downside is the associated fee: $3,500 on the time of writing. To be paid not just for this operation, however subsequent operations each two to 4 years over the remaining life of the horse.

I struggled with the every day worry of Clover going instantly blind, and having to simply accept that we had been unable to afford the one operation that might save our horse’s sight.

Overhearing my lament a neighborhood horse present, somebody then stated the magic phrases: “A good friend’s horse had ERU and homeopathy cured him.”

Finding a Homeopathist

Filled with new hope, I hunted for data on homeopathists and was instructed about Dr. Joyce Harman who runs a holistic follow Harmany Equine Clinic Ltd in Flint Hill, Virginia.

Dr Mende had solely good issues to say about Dr. Harman, and I instantly organized a cellphone session.

The Effects of Stress

Dr. Harman requested whether or not Clover had skilled any stress in his life?

I reeled off an extended checklist, together with: blowing each entrance tendons: flying from England to the U.S.: blowing a deep digital flexor tendon: common coughs within the spring: a bout of Lyme’s illness: gentle arthritis, and now leptospirosis.

Dr Harman defined that irritation of the attention pointed to poor liver perform, which might even have brought on the tendon issues.

The liver’s job is to detoxify, however the stress in Clover’s life had compromised his liver’s skill to carry out correctly. Over time this had worsened, till the issue had blown up in his eye.

The Treatment

The intention was to take away the irritation and proper imbalances in his physique. Dr. Harman instructed me he would enhance over the following month to a few months, however must be handled for six months.

She prescribed Zinc Picolinate, CoQ100. Also a Chinese natural liver method referred to as “Tendon/Ligament” as Clover’s gums had been a lightweight pink. Had they been purple, she would have prescribed Haliotis powder.

Dr. Harman warned me we had been treating him quite late after his most up-to-date outbreak, and he could have one other flare-up. If so, it will be a gentle one. She prompt a therapy of Thuja tablets, doubling the CoQ100 and washing the affected eye with euphrasia. In the case of a nasty outbreak I ought to use the above therapy along side Dr. Mende’s treatment.

It was now the primary week in October, and Dr. Harman requested that I replace her in mid-November.

The Result

On 25th November I despatched an ecstatic electronic mail to Dr. Harman saying Clover had handed the 10 week mark with no flare-up. He then went 11 weeks, 12 weeks and longer with none ERU signs!

On 18th December 2008 his left eye began weeping in a gentle outbreak. There was no swelling nor had been the eyelids closed, however they had been purple inside. After consulting with Dr. Mende I utilized the steroid cream.

The redness contained in the eyelid endured however Dr. Mende reassured me the attention itself was high-quality and by the start of March the lids had returned to their regular white shade.

As of the start of May 2010, the large grey has gone with out even the slightest signs of an ERU outbreak for over twelve months!


If your horse reveals weeping and puffy eyes, name the vet instantly. The sooner the trigger is discovered the higher off your horse can be. And if he has ERU, you are able to do one thing to cease this horrible illness!

Dr. Harmann will be reached at http://www.harmanyequine.com

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