Objective To assess the refractive state of the equine eye utilizing retinoscopy. To compare the refractive state of Spanish Thoroughbred horses with the refractive state of Crossbred horses.
Procedures The refractive state of 135 horses (264 eyes) was assessed utilizing streak retinoscopy. Two perpendicular meridians were examined in order to assess astigmatism at a working distance of approximately 67 cm. A group of 81 Spanish Thoroughbred horses was compared with a group of 54 Crossbred horses. Cyclopentolate ophthalmic solution was instilled in the eyes of a group of 18 horses to determine if accommodation has any influence on the assessment of the refractive state.
Results Mean ± SE refractive state of all horses examined was −0.17 ± 0.04 D. The mean refractive state of the Spanish Thoroughbred was −0.28 ± 0.06 D while that of the Crossbred was −0.01 ± 0.05 D. The refractive state of the Spanish Thoroughbred was found to be statistically different to that of the Crossbred. The most prevalent refractive state was emmetropia in all cases, followed by hyperopia for the Crossbred, and myopia for the Spanish Thoroughbred. Astigmatism ≥0.50 D present in both eyes from the same individual was found in 21.7% of all horses examined. Anisometropia ≥1.00 D was diagnosed in 4 out of 129 horses with both visual eyes. Cycloplegia did not statistically affect the refractive state of the evaluated eyes.
Conclusions The equine eye has a refractive state close to emmetropia. Myopia is higher among Spanish Thoroughbred horses than among Crossbred horses.