One of my Clydesdales has a tear duct issue. Vet could not get the tube in the nose-hole (whatever they are called) and I ended up having an eye specialist come out. Before her visit, I gave him Tri-Hist for a week. She had some difficulty but managed to flush. He also has some odd corneal issues which may have made the weepinmess worse. She suggested I have his ducts done every six months. Next time I had them done was when he was at the clkinic for something else. That vet said he had the biggest duct holes in his nose that he had ever seen. I wonder if that is why so much gets in there. He had to flush so much saline through there to c;lear the duct that he had to have me filling the syringe over and over and we used a ton of saline. Anyway, back to the advice part...you may want to consult an eye specialist and see if they are able to flush. My jorse was WAY more comfortable afyer we got all that junk out of the duct.
My horses are fine on soy, but my morgan has eye issues with flax. Shocked the crap out of me as flax is generally good for "issues". He gets goopy runny eyes and giant crusties. Same with chia seed (Horsetech was SO gracious and made me a sample).
Its not as if he was getting a huge amount of flax, but even a little is too much for him.
I did ask my vet to inspect, and she did go up the Lacrimal duct (thank you ChocoMare ) and puff the green stuff into his eyes, his ducts were clear.
If I were in your shoes OP, I would suspect everything your horse is eating, including the hay and do a process of elimination. It took about 3/4 weeks for my horse's eyes to become totally and completely clear, so if you do try diet changes give it the old college try and wait a full month. Hopefully, if it is a food allergy, its something you can easy and inexpensively control.
Eye goop isn't a real big deal considering all the things horses can throw at us, but its amazing how nice it is not to have to deal with it.
Originally Posted by deltawave
I know it's widely touted (without much more than anecdotal support) that soy causes eye goop, but in the case of a horse with documented obstruction of the tear ducts I fail to see how dietary manipulation could possibly make a difference.
Well, even with an obstruction, the goop production could be remedied if it is indeed food allergy related. It would be at least a small comfort I would imagine.
Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.
Yes, *allergy* to whatever food product could make goopy-ness worse, but I was trying (and failing, I guess) to emphasize that it is not a hormonal effect. And even a horse with no allergies whatsoever would "weep" with blocked tear ducts.
AFAIK soy is not any more allergenic than any other seed, so a reaction to flax or chia or any other seed is not shocking. It (soy) is perhaps more ubiquitous--maybe that's why there are so many reported issues?
Not trying to scare anybody, but as food for thought:
We had a similar issue with a young homebred mare of ours last year--vet came twice to flush clogged/blocked tear ducts, etc. Because she was young (5) after the second time he got a bit suspicious and asked to do a biopsy. She had squamous cell carcinoma in her third eyelid, and the growth of that was causing the blockages.
Now as terrifying as that sounds, we took her to the local university hospital, had the third eyelid removed to good margins, and she's been fine ever since (though she does live in a fly mask). But, if you have chronic duct clogging, I would strongly consider having a biopsy done just to be sure, so you can head a problem off before it gets irreversible.The surgery and aftercare was only about $800, so not a soul crusher.
You can put contrast agent into the nasolacrimal duct and then take a radiograph and determine the extent of the scarring. If there is just a small obstruction someplace in the duct, it may be possible to open it back up and solve the tearing problem....