Hi, am new to this forum but have been reading the excellent posts. I have a 21yo paint who has to have an eye removed (also apparently has a tiny tumor on the other eye which they think they can remove). Does anyone have any experience with this? I gather horses can do okay with one eye, but am wondering what recovery looks like, if anyone has been through it. Also,my vet is planning on doing it standing with local anesthesia, send him home the next day,but I have read(I know, bad thing to do but I want to be informed) that most people do it with full anesthesia, at vets for several days...... any information/experience would be very very much appreciated!!
We had a horse at a barn where I worked who had an eye removed. The vet actually removed the eye out at the barn. I don't remember everything about the recovery, but it was very easy--the horse did just fine afterwards and was much happier after the eye was removed.
At any rate, in our case the horse was never even hospitalized at all, and it worked out okay. Remarkably untraumatic!
I hope this helps....
Last edited by cobsize; Feb. 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM.
My 21 yr old gelding had his eye removed after a lengthy battle with a fungal eye infection. It was done standing at the vet hospital and he came home the next day. I wish I had had removed the eye so much sooner. He is back to jumping courses and is doing great. He has no issues, but I still have to remember he can spook a little if something comes up on his blind side too fast or quiet.
I would do the enucleation standing if you can. It is much better for them in terms of recovery.
Good Luck, he will be fine. He will acclimate very quickly.
It's understandable to be worried but most horses do very well after an enucleation. Getting rid of the painful eye is such a relief. There will be some swelling afterwards and your veterinarian will give you his/her recommendations on how to deal with it. Keeping your horse quiet to allow the sutures not to come out is about the only other thing you'll monitor but that doesn't mean staying in a dark stall and not getting some exercise.
Years ago one of my inside/outside kitties had an injured eye removed on a Thursday. Doc advised "keep him inside for 3 or 4 days" just to monitor. The next afternoon the kitty was howling to go outside so I took him out for some fresh air and stayed with him. He walked into the pasture, disppeared in the tall grass and 10 minutes later returned with a fat field mouse in his mouth.
Wow, thank you so much for this information! It is very comforting that others have been through it and it sounds like the horses have done well. Also glad to hear about standing being a good option! He has been such a great citizen, just want to make sure I am the right thing for him. Thanks for all the help!!
I have assisted my vet do 2 surgeries. They were done with local standing up. There is pretty good swelling after the surgy. The main word of caution is be very aware of their newly blind side and try to work off their visual side and make sure they know you are approaching. If the tumor has already caused blindness, then there shouldn't be an adjustment period.
Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses
I had a mare we had to do this to. It was pretty easy. You want one of those eye masks with a hard cup for an eye cover to protect it while they're healing. And any horse that is new to blindness on one side you have to give a chance to get used to it. But, in general, it was pretty easy, and this was a pretty difficult mare.
To been there..and horsetales..what was the "rehab"period like (trying to figure out if my husband can do this as I am 2700mi away)? I think the eye cups are a great idea (I was wondering if he'd get a horsey lampshade like the dog!!) as I was thinking he'd want to rub?? i would think he should be isolated from other horses? We only have a giant loafing shed but could take him to the neighbors who have stalls? Leave him at vets for several days of his initial healing (but then he would not getmuch exercise or chance to move). He is horrible about Banamine/Bute paste (and will not eat it in his food) so unless we can figure out how to get him any pain killers he might be in some pain??? Anyway, thanks again!!
The recovery period is amazingly fast as there is a good blood flow to the eye area. We took a really conservative approach with my guy as he was 24 and a really slow healer. I left him at the vets for a couple of days just to make sure he was doing well, even though they would have released him the next day. He came home bandaged. We hand walked him for a day or two and then started turining him back out. He had bandages wrapped around his head to protect the socket for about a week, at which point my local vet removed the bandages and the stitches. Any yes he was itchy and the eye socket continued to be itchy even after it was completely healed. He loved to have me itch it for him I think my horse was down to bute when he came home and then for only a couple of more days, so if you leave your horse with the vets for a coule of days they may be able to give him injectable banamine through the worst of it.
If you can't get pain meds into her, might be best to leave her with the vet. They do heal pretty quick. The vet will need to come out and remove stitches. My vet didn't bandage. Need to keep clean, so turnout may need to be limited until the stitches come out.
Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses
Thank you so much!! I think I will have him stay at the vet for a few days to do the injectable Banamine, sounds much more comfortable for him. And I am going to be very conservative with him!! I thought he'd have to go to a teaching hospital or something but I guess my vet can do it right there at their clinic. Am so grateful to hear stories of success, thank you so much. Can't wait for him to be Mr. Crabbypants of the Pasture again!! Thanks again so much for all the helpful feedback!