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Anyone Else Have Keratectomy Done?

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  • Anyone Else Have Keratectomy Done?

    Hi all,
    My little Tb gelding had a keratectomy done on his right eye last week to remove a superficial ulcer that just wasn't healing.
    So far I think things are going well (after his post-op colic..), but wanted to see who else on the BB has nursed a horse though healing from one, and how long the healing process took? The surgery was a week ago yesterday and the eye is still painful (no worse than it was when I picked him up, but I had hoped to see some improvement by this point - I'm assuming this is normal?)

    He's getting Atropine every other day, NeoPolyBac and Voriconazole four times a day, and banamine twice a day. I think we'll both be glad when the med schedule slows down a bit

    Anyway, anyone else have stories they'd be willing to share with me? I called the Dr. yesterday to ask him about the healing process, but my call wasn't returned...

    TIA !

  • #2
    Horse eyes can be real boogers to heal.
    When does the vet want to see him again? If not for a while and you are not comfortable with how it is doing, and it sounds like you aren't, have him seen again.
    Never ever ever put off any suspicision of "not right" with a horse eye.


    • #3
      My horse had conjuctival flap surgery Feb 2, 2006. (We were dealing with an indolent ulcer since Aug 2005. It look like it healed only to come back 3 month later.) He left Tufts and returned home on the 7th. He was on 500 lbs of banamine 2 x a day for 3 days then 500 lbs 1 x a day for 3 more days. Eye looked good until the the 9th day and then a setback. He was uncomfortable and tearing so 500 lbs 1x a day for 4 days He then had an appt back at Tufts for recheck and trimming of flap on the 1st of March. 3 days later the horse was miserable, really uncomfortable more banamine and appt on the 8th at Tufts and he was admitted for round the clock watching and medication. It was hell!!! and very scary but 5 years later he is great and has full vision and his scar is much smaller. Good Luck and if he looks at all in distress call your opthomologist.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for your thoughts!
        My vet here in Maine saw him on Wednesday to get a baseline, and thought things looked great, and it hasn't changed since Wednesday, so I'm not concerned at this point, I just have no idea how long it takes for something like this to be comfortable again. The discharge papers say that full epithelialization should take place in two to three weeks - we're on day 8 right now.

        Meghan - the opthamologist wants to see him again in one to two weeks (two to three weeks from the surgery date), but he's been seen by my own vet since he came home from the hospital.

        Jacqui - I'm going to have to do some research about your horse's ulcer - this guy has had ulcers every 6 months or so for two years - all the ulcers before this one had healed normally. This one had been dragging on for a month with no improvement before we decided on the keratectomy.

        According to the discharge papers he should be on 750 pounds of banamine twice a day until he's rechecked two to three weeks post surgery, which leads me to suspect that it's not abnormal for him to still be showing discomfort. It was a big area they removed from his cornea - almost the size of my pinky nail, so I can't imagine it would heal *that* quickly... though I wish for my boy's sake it was!

        I did talk to one of the vets at the clinic today and she said it was not alarming that he was still uncomfortable, which makes me feel better... Eyes scare the he!! out of me and I just want to make sure I don't miss a thing!!


        • #5
          You might want to put him on some gastrogard too. If he is getting stomach ulcers from the banamine + stress, that will contribute to the pain and discomfort.

          With him on atropine be sure he is not out in bright light. That is wicked painful!

          And as long as you have a vet keeping a close eye on it (no pun intended) until you see your ophthomologist all should be fine. If either of you have a concern, contact the ophtho.

          Horse eyes heal VERY slowly. But have wicked good pain nerve inveration. Not one of mother nature's better ideas.


          • Original Poster

            He has one of those nifty hoods with a cup over the healing eye, so the light isn't an issue - the only time it's off is for me to medicate.

            He's on SmartGut already and I may get some UlcerGuard from my vet when I see her this week. So far he's hoovering his free choice hay and snarfing down what little grain he's getting, which is making me happy.

            I heard back from the opthamologist last night and Newt's level of discomfort seems pretty normal for this stage (and this morning he was actually holding his eye half open - an improvement! yay!)

            Thanks Meghan, I appreciate your thoughts!