Equine Iridology - Finding Hidden Dangers

Iridology is not just for humans - horses can benefit from it too. Luckily, this horse's caretakers utilized Equine Iridology, which gave him a new lease on life.

By Mercedes Colburn with Dena Eckerdt, DVM

We were called out to a ranch in the Salinas Valley to photograph the eye of a horse that the veterinarians had just saved from ‘colic'. This was not the first time this horse had been saved from severe colic. The doctors had first used a tube through the nose to deposit oil through the horse's system hoping to release any blockages in the intestinal system. When colic happened again to this mare the owner felt she had two alternatives. One was having the horse destroyed to save her from extreme pain of colic; the other was surgery. The owner was desperate to stop these colic episodes. She asked the opinion of the barn manager where the horse was stabled. The barn manager was very familiar with Equine Iridology and suggested the owner call us and have the horse's eyes photographed to see what could be found. Equine Iridology can show strengths and weaknesses in the horse and the degree of inflammation and where it is occurring in the body. Although similar to the human iris, the equine iris is distinct.

After filming the eyes of this horse, Dr. Dena Eckerdt, DVM and I were able to see indications of several problems. One was that the mesenteric artery, very important to the horse's blood supply, seemed to be almost closed. When this artery gets compromised, a white line develops underneath the pupil, as seen in the photograph. A horse will colic and die if this artery closes. There were other issues with this photograph but the artery seemed to be the number one problem. Dr. Eckerdt and I had seen this white line in the eye a number of times before, and all of those horses had had intestinal problems.

After several meetings discussing and studying film, Dr. Eckerdt and I believed that the white line could be indicating a parasite problem in the artery, possibly an impaction of parasite eggs. The health of the horse may have been less than optimum and the parasite program may have been lacking in effectiveness for all stages of parasites.

When the mesenteric artery is compromised, a white line develops underneath the pupil.

Dr. Eckerdt used a strong chemical dewormer that was used to not only kill the parasites but also their eggs. We also used probiotics every day for one month afterward. Every three months after that, this horse was given conventional or herbal formulas for parasites and egg control along with probiotics.

I talked to the barn manager yesterday (four years later) and she says that she rides with that horse and the owner twice a week, and the horse looks and feels great and has not had a problem with colic since.

A complete and appropriate health program will minimize the opportunity for parasites to thrive. If, however, you see a white line under the pupil of your horse, or suspect any health problem, please see your veterinarian or equine health consultant. The added insight that Equine Iridology gives us is indeed valuable.


Equine Iridology is not meant to replace professional medical treatment, but is offered as a much-needed diagnostic tool for equine veterinarians and therapists.

About Mercedes and Dena:

Mercedes Colburn, ND, is an herbalist, the owner of Through The Eye International, and co-creator of the Equine Iridology Grid. Involved in grid research and education, Mercedes has worked with hundreds of horses over the last decade, having gone into research to find the reason for colic and how to prevent it. Mercedes began taking series of photos of horses' eyes and set up a double-blind system for the development and testing of the new Equine Iridology Grid. Through The Eye International, formerly known as the Herb Farm Company, offers seminars, one-day workshops, Equine Iridology educational materials, and personal consulting by phone. Please call or e-mail for available services and materials.

Dena Eckerdt, DVM is Veterinary Consultant for Through The Eye International and co-creator of the Equine Iridology Grid. Dr. Eckerdt, involved in research and education with Mercedes, has performed a decade of research and extensive testing through independent pathology labs. In late 1995, she and Mercedes developed the Equine Iridology Grid to map out the horse iris as a simple, painless, economical means of reviewing the horse's body systems.

For more information:

Through The Eye International
1123 Fontes Lane, Salinas, CA 93907
(831) 422-9182
info@equineiridology.com

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