Urgent - Any Vets Here? Severe Eye Sores; possibly contagious

A little back story - I have lived overseas in Cambodia for the past 3 years and met a gentleman there who wanted to start horse sport in Cambodia. It is extremely new there and very very limited on knowledge and resources. The vets are all local and are often guessing at diagnostics and treatments.

I just got home from a trip a few days ago and had been concerned about a horse that was brought in that had severe eye sores (large, tissue like sores that bled). I suggested even to put her down as the sores were not clearing up with cleaning which led me to believe they are some kind of bacterial infection (she was also painfully thin and sickly). The day before I flew home, I noticed another of the horses starting a similar spot on his eye (about the size of a quarter with the red tissue starting in the middle) and than the owner sent me a pic today of another horse with an eye issue. This one looks somewhat different but I am thinking they are all connected and worried that we have a serious contagion on our hands. The vets don’t know what to do and I’m not finding anything online.

We have some access to medications through the Cambodian Pony Welfare Society but we would have to tell the vets what to give.

Topical ointment perhaps but I’m wondering about what is causing the outbreak and if there is something we can give to kill the parasite?? (if that is what it is)

The horses are not regularly wormed which is something I have been pushing and pushing for but it’s a slow process on caring properly for animals.

Anyway, I have one pic that I received today and have asked for pics of the other horses.

I would greatly appreciate some feedback. They probably won’t be able to get an equine topical solution there but maybe a human one could work??

This is the pic:


Note: the other sores are different - they are under the eye and more like a lesion. Also note, there doesn’t seem to be an adverse affect to the actual eye at this point


Yikes. Hoping one of our vets chimes in with some advice.

I would have thought if it was bacterial it would clear up with cleaning. Could be fungal, viral, or parasitic. That almost looks like a growth.

Good luck.

Fourth year veterinary student here.

Honestly you need a better picture because it is almost impossible to determine where that lesion is originating from.

Without diagnostics such as biopsy, histopathology, or cytology its going to be near impossible to determine the actually cause and given that there are diseases across the globe that many veterinarians wont ever encounter it is going to be difficult.

You could start by using dewormers probably ivermectin to see if the general unthriftiness is related to parasites and ivermectin also has the benefit of having some efficacy on topical or encysted parasites in horses. Given that these animals and their parasites probably haven’t been exposed to a lot of avermectins I’d say it should have good efficacy for most of the things you encounter.

As far as antibiotics its a complete crap shoot.

Hard to tell from a photo, but in a relatively tropical environment, I’d be considering some sort of fly-related problem (similar to habronemiasis ).