Quick History Lesson:
My horse, 7 years ago was attacked by coyotes and resulted (in addition to other injuries) with a corneal ulcer. It progressed pretty badly before recovering.
14 months later a cataract started to form on the lens
So for the past 6 years he's been 90%+ blind in his left eye.
He's an 18 year old OTTB who's current job is granola dressage/endurance horse and he functions just fine
Wednesday, July 11th he came in from the pasture and his cornea had started to develop a blue grey haze, and the corneal texture looked to have developed mild edema. ZERO pain, tissue distortion, discoloration, or swelling, just a blue grey eye with a slight orange peel texture.
Emergency vet came out (don't like), (now know) misdiagnosed as "protein precipitate" and sent us on with flurbiprofen, BNP, and banamine.
After 7 days there was no change. Called real vet and made an appointment for today.
So, after an examination, the diagnosis was luxated lens. Basically the lens went from laying flat behind the iris, to popped through the iris and into the front of the eye. She was able to show me without any tools the luxated lens.
Since he's not experiencing eye pain, she wants to wait until the fall to enucleate so we aren't dealing with bugs and heat. If at any time it becomes painful or infected, we will move the surgery up.
I emotionally and financially set aside what's necessary for enucleation 6 years ago when the cataract first formed, so I'm cool... but I've never heard of a luxated lens before, and neither had COTH's search function.
Has anyone else ever experienced a luxated lens in a horse before? If so, would you please share your experiences.
I know this is an old thread, but did you end up enucleating? My friend's appy came in from the field with his eye looking like you described. After a week of treating unsuccessfully, an ultrasound was done and a luxated lens was found. Horse is completely blind on that side, of course, but does not seem the least bit painful. Blood vessels are starting to grow into the eye so it looks really odd. But vets say as long as it doesn't bother him it does not need to be removed.
It depends on where the lens luxates (anterior or posterior) what the prognosis is. Anterior lens luxations (what you are describing as "popping to the front of the eye") carry a worse prognosis than posterior luxations because the lens sitting in front of the pupil can block normal fluid flow in the eye, causing intra-ocular pressure increases, which further damages the eye, which is why enucleation is necessary. Anterior luxations can sometimes be converted to posterior ones by dilating the pupil as much as possible and trying to get the lens to fall back through the pupil, but that technique works much better in small animals than it does in horses.
Thankfully his eye never has gotten painful. He's on a very low dose of previcox, and the corneal edema is gone. When the vet visited in October she said she could not, in good conscience, enucleate an eye that was not bothering the horse. He's still rockin and rollin!