What is making my horse's eye so itchy?

Nothing looks off about the eye - no weeping or any kind of discharge, no obvious white spots on the eye (to my naked eye).

But he keeps scraping above and below his left eye. This is a relatively recent development and I’m concerned that he’s going to actually hurt his eye sooner than later.

It seems a weird time of year for allergies and if it was allergies then I would think it wouldn’t always be the same eye. That seems to be where most ideas end: why is it always the same eye? He moved to a new barn in October and it started not too long after that.

Have you cut the eye hairs around the eyes that tell them not to bump into stuff? or have they been rubbed off?
A Barn owner once shaved off my horse’s facial whiskers and he suddenly had all kinds of bumps and cuts.

Not sure where you are, but Florida here. my horse (who wears fly mask in T/O) had an itchy eye, just one side, could tell by dirt rubbed on his knee. Couple days later both eyes puffy and itchy. Vet examined, no obvious issues, we put him on steroid drops for a few days AND Zyrtec. Its been a week or more and I’m absolutely sure the Zyrtec is helping. He is 1000ish lbs and gets 14 tabs a day. I found generic zyrtec on Amazon, 365 pills for about $15.

I’m in Pennsylvania. Interesting that allergies could affect just one eye - from my personal experience they’re usually both itchy :laughing: Thinking about how it started at the new barn there certainly could be a new allergy there.

Have not trimmed his eyelash hairs, but that did give me the idea to check his “reflex” by touching those hairs later today to make sure he closes his eye when I touch them.

I have a mare with allergies and she has flare ups where she will suddenly rub her eyes. It happens all year long ( i’m in the mid west) . We keep a fly mask on her year round and check her daily. When itchy and rubbing I give oral Dex and put in eye ointment and she is normal the next day in most cases.

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They can get ear wax that goes down too far. They are scratching that and knock their face at the same time.

You can feel the ear wax up above the eye below the ear. You need to massage it up.

We were told to put olive oil in the ear. It didn’t really seem to help. He loves his daily massage.

It would not be common, but friend’s horse gave himself a small corneal abrasion from rubbing due to nerve issues following an infected tooth extraction. Note that he didn’t exhibit normal signs of an infected tooth (snotty nose, etc.) and it had probably been like that for possibly a couple of years—a cavity that allowed an infection all the way into the nerve roots into the bone. Long story short, it could be some sensation that’s not actually his eye.