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  1. #1
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    Oct. 29, 2012
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    Default Cataracts Detected in PPE

    Hey Everyone! I am a longtime lurker, love browsing these forums. I am in need of some serious advice!

    After months of searching for a new horse for myself, I finally found a horse that seems to be the perfect match. However, after the vet exam, a small cataract was found at the bottom of the right eye. I never even noticed it the two times I visited the horse. It is not a hereditary cataract, most likely the horse scraped its eye.

    The vet stated that the cataract is not affecting the horse's vision, but to keep an eye on the spot to make sure there are no changes.

    My questions to the wise chronicle members...Should this be a deal breaker for me? If I decide to sell the horse in a year or two, (if you were the potential buyer) would you pass on this horse because of the small cataract?



  2. #2
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    Mar. 8, 2012
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    Default

    If it's not affecting the horse's vision, it wouldn't be a deal breaker to me, just based on that. Did you talk to the vet about having it removed and what that would entail cost/risk/benefit wise? Basically, I wouldn't outright say no, but ask some questions first.
    I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know it alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
    Hannah B. Nana: 50% horse, 50% hippo
    Fiona: can't decide between jumpers or napping



  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks for the response Electrikk

    I did ask the vet about surgery, but he said he would not suggest it at this point. The vet has an equine opthamologist that is part of his practice, so he is going to consult more with him and get back to me tomorrow. I will post what ever I find out.



  4. #4
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    Default

    My mare has a readily apparent cataract in her eye, that's either heriditary or occurred shortly after she foaled. It didn't bother me at all when I bought her at 10. It doesn't bother her. She isn't a h/j, but a driving horse, and it's her right eye (to the road shoulder) For a while some of her nonsense (who needs that mailbox?) was attributed to "the eye". Vet assured me she can see fine. Turns out she's just an @$$.

    Joke is she has a great eye; A great eye.



  5. #5
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    Oct. 13, 2006
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    Default

    Not a deal breaker for me if it doesn't affect the horse's vision. My horse has (large and apparent) cataracts in both eyes, and he mostly does fine with them. The only problem he will have sometimes is if we are in a dark indoor, he has trouble seeing in the corners and dark colored jumps, and will lift his head to compensate.
    friend of bar.ka



  6. #6
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    Default

    It wouldn't deter me if that was the only problem (no soundness problems etc). I do think it would and should bring the price down a bit, but as long as the vet gives you the okay and advises you that the horse is sound for purchase, then you're good.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LessSugarMoreSpice View Post
    If I decide to sell the horse in a year or two, (if you were the potential buyer) would you pass on this horse because of the small cataract?
    This needn't be a deal breaker for you BUT it will affect saleability & price - if horse has enough unique qualities to rise to the top of the sale pool, that will offset the disadvantage inherent in the flaw ...
    if horse is another bay/brown OTTB with average attributes, a significant number of buyers will just go on to the next horse on the list.

    Your situation is different, you responded to the initial ad, liked the horse well enough to invest in a vetting ...

    The vet stated that the cataract is not affecting the horse's vision, but to keep an eye on the spot to make sure there are no changes.
    I'd want an opthamologist to do an eye exam & corroborate this statement - I agree that the horse is likely compensating, but a cataract by definition, is a loss of transparancy in the lens of the eye, this affects vision.
    At the very least, I'd expect horse to see differently from that eye as light decreases - horse may be more reactive at dawn/dusk, at shows etc.



  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    This needn't be a deal breaker for you BUT it will affect saleability & price - if horse has enough unique qualities to rise to the top of the sale pool, that will offset the disadvantage inherent in the flaw ...
    if horse is another bay/brown OTTB with average attributes, a significant number of buyers will just go on to the next horse on the list.
    Horse is a pretty fancy 3 y/o Oldenburg with excellent breeding

    I know there is no way to know exactly...but how much would it deter the saleability? Are we talking (just using random numbers) 25k down to 20k or 25k down more than that?

    Horse had no other clinical issues and had clean x-rays.


    Ughhhh, why must I love horses?! I need to learn to love goldfish.



  9. #9
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    Nov. 30, 2006
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    You can't say whether or not this blemish will affect the horse's vision or value unless you are a vet and have seen it yourself.

    Why was it the vet's opinion that it doesn't affect the horse's vision? Likely because the blemish is not in the horse's field of vision. If it isn't, it should not affect the horse's value.

    You either want the horse or you don't. Get another vet's opinion on whether or not it affects the vision.



  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gumshoe View Post
    You can't say whether or not this blemish will affect the horse's vision or value unless you are a vet and have seen it yourself.

    Why was it the vet's opinion that it doesn't affect the horse's vision? Likely because the blemish is not in the horse's field of vision. If it isn't, it should not affect the horse's value.

    You either want the horse or you don't. Get another vet's opinion on whether or not it affects the vision.
    Thanks for your input. I definitely want the horse! But not at the cost of not being able to sell it in the future (should I want to do so).



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LessSugarMoreSpice View Post
    Horse is a pretty fancy 3 y/o Oldenburg with excellent breeding

    I know there is no way to know exactly...but how much would it deter the saleability? Are we talking (just using random numbers) 25k down to 20k
    With an actual statement from an equine ophthamologist, this sounds about where I'd go ...

    There really is no way to predict the future, so don't get too hung up on "perfect"
    If you don't have the funds/interest/board facility to support possible future surgery, then this may not be the best horse choice for you (it's unlikely that insurance would apply unless horse is already insured).

    You might ask the ophtho vet, if this was your horse/if you were considering buying this horse, what would your course of action be ....

    I own a horse that is a lousy resale - he's brilliant & talented but is a very "speshul" guy - trainer's words (I appreciate her honesty) - knew he was "special needs" at 3, but at 5, he's pretty much still "special needs" (he's just better at hiding it) & it seems less likely to change ... in comparison, a small cataract is nothing



  12. #12
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    If you are really concerned about the possibility of not being able to sell the horse later...maybe lease. Things can happen at any stage in a horses life. A cataract is likely not a big issue, but no one can say 100% that it will/will not eventually cause the horse a problem.

    If you are willing to take a (small) risk, get the horse if you like him. Unfortunatley there are so many paramaters in life that will affect if the horse will be re-sellable. A small cataract is only a tiny piece of this.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    If it's only 3 not in serious work? I dunno if you want to go just off the vets opinion with nothing to observe as far as negotiating a course in varying light.


    And at 25k or so? People will want a nice show record to prove it is not bothered if and when you resell...and yes it will be reflected in the asking price unless he is a superstar. I know one in the 6 figure range that was dropped to 5-about a 20% drop- when a cataract was revealed in the PPE...and he had a darn good record as an A/O. Has been really difficult to resell, satys leased though.

    I'd be careful if you want a serious over fences show horse and are looking at an unproven, untested 3 year old with a cataract for 20k+.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  14. #14
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    Default

    Maybe a vet can chime in here, but I don't think cataract surgery in horses is a simple procedure like it is in humans. I believe it is quite a bit riskier and complications are more common.

    I would definitely speak to the ophthalmologist first. Find out if this is likely to become worse. I have a 28 year old gelding that developed cataracts about 3 years ago. He is pretty much blind in low light.

    If you do decide to pursue this horse, maybe see if they will come down on the price due to the pre purchase findings.

    Good luck!



  15. #15
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    A cautionary tale . . .

    I bought a 6 yo with a similar diagnosis, small cataract from an injury, not impacting vision, probably not fast growing, vet from a very good clinic assured I was many years away from any concern.

    Long story short, it was a detached retina that very much impacted his vision and his jumping--he was funny on xc and in some light conditions. No idea how frequently the two conditions are confused, but to me the important part is that one well respected vet couldn't tell that it impacted his vision, since it's hard to know exactly what they see.

    Probably the exception to the rule but just throwing it out there.



  16. #16
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    Just wanted to add...not like the horse can read an eye chart or tell the vet what they can see or how their vision differs in varying light. It's a guess with no performance to validate it. There is also no way to know if it will get worse or not.

    As a show prospect that will jump seriously and might be resold???? I'd probably walk unless I could afford to keep it for 24 years or so and have something else for that dream show horse.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  17. #17
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    Oct. 29, 2012
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    Default Thanks for all the input!

    So in the last couple weeks I have learned more about the equine eye than I ever imagined possible...

    Just a quick update, the ophthalmologist is looking at the horse on Saturday. Second vet has basic eye equipment, but the eye doc will be able to tell exactly what's going on. Vet states that he believes the cataract to be a polar cataract...which is generally nonprogressive and they are not in the line of vision. Vet also stated that if it were him personally, he would buy the horse. Also x-rays came back perfect! (if there were any other issues, it would have been a NO)

    I think that alto said it best "There really is no way to predict the future, so don't get too hung up on "perfect" "

    My horse might have a small cataract but the next horse a potential buyer looks at could have arthritic hocks..a popped splint..rotated navicular bone.

    So thank you everyone for your input!! It helped me write out all the pros and cons (many that I didn't even think of!)

    I will update after tomorrow..maybe post a pic of my pretty new girl, if I complete the sale



  18. #18
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    the ophthalmologist is looking at the horse on Saturday
    Perfect



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