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Third eyelid removal

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    Third eyelid removal

    Hi all! My young ottb has pink third eyelids and I noticed a small white bump on his left third eyelid. I called my vet out and he does indeed have Squamous cell carcinoma of the third eyelid. He is having his left third eyelid removed in a week. I understand that the prognosis is good and there shouldn't be an issue. Has anyone had experience with this. (sorry my computer won't let me type a question mark Thanks!

    #2
    My guy has blue eyes and though he has some eyeliner, he has pink skin around his eyes. Before I bought him his previous owner had the 3rd eyelid removed from his right eye due to SCC...around 8 years ago or so. Though it tears more than his left eye, we haven't had any trouble with that one since. However, last year around this time he had some SCC spots removed from his upper and lower outer lids on his left eye. He healed well and we haven't had any issues since, thank goodness.

    I am very conscientious about protecting him from the sun - fly masks all year long, night turnout in the summer, sunscreen and sometimes a Cashel Quiet Ride mask when I ride him during the day in the sun. At the end of the day though, there's only so much you can do. You can't keep them in a bubble. Be diligent about his care and pray that you don't have recurring problems. Best of luck to you!
    "If ever I did not have a horse or dog in my keeping, I should feel I had lost touch with the earth." ~Beryl Markham

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      #3
      My clyde mare had to have her third eyelid removed - the surgery was several years ago and she is doing fine. She did develop a small nodule last year and that had to be removed. I'm constantly looking at her eyes.

      She developed another tumor on the cornea of her other eye and that was scraped off and she is still on chemo for that (just eye drops). We were supposed to continue with it in the other eye too, but she developed a sensitivity to it and we had to stop. She is mostly blind in her right eye (corneal tumor, although it is receding and looking good) and has full vision in her left eye (missing the third eyelid).

      As far as things to look out for/do: Any rough tissue, bloody or abrasive looking tissue. Not normal, even after surgery. Get a really good UV fly mask like Guardian. I've basically had to leave my mare inside during the day in the summer here in TX since she has so many eye issues. Learn how to properly put eye drops into your horse's eye. Will save you time and stress down the road!

      And I hope you have a good ophthalmologist doing the surgery!

      Good luck!
      Horse Feathers Farm

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        #4
        There is a whole article about this in a recent Equus... I can't remember the month, but it was in the last few months.

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          #5
          Originally posted by penguins33 View Post
          Hi all! My young ottb has pink third eyelids and I noticed a small white bump on his left third eyelid. I called my vet out and he does indeed have Squamous cell carcinoma of the third eyelid.
          Oh snap. My mare also has prominent, pink third eyelids and I've been debating having them removed for some time now for this very reason. When I was a kid, one of my horses had to be enucleated due to squamous cell carcinoma and I really want to avoid that again!

          She developed a tiny, light-ish bump on one a couple years ago that my vet told me not to worry about. I'm thinking maybe it's time for a second opinion to make sure I really don't need to worry...

          Question for those who've had it done-- I've seen the procedure done before when I worked in a vet clinic but am not familiar with how long the recovery time is. I'm assuming it's pretty quick. I'm just wondering if I should pursue this option ASAP or wait until after show season?
          Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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            #6
            It was the April 2011 edition of Equus.

            Nancy!

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              Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks guys! I'm just nervous about the chances of it happening again!

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                #8
                Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                Oh snap. My mare also has prominent, pink third eyelids and I've been debating having them removed for some time now for this very reason. When I was a kid, one of my horses had to be enucleated due to squamous cell carcinoma and I really want to avoid that again!

                She developed a tiny, light-ish bump on one a couple years ago that my vet told me not to worry about. I'm thinking maybe it's time for a second opinion to make sure I really don't need to worry...

                Question for those who've had it done-- I've seen the procedure done before when I worked in a vet clinic but am not familiar with how long the recovery time is. I'm assuming it's pretty quick. I'm just wondering if I should pursue this option ASAP or wait until after show season?
                Get a second opinion, preferably from an opthamologist and if you need to do it, do it now. Recovery time is rather quick, and your horse will be back to work quickly and ready for the show season - as long as nothing goes wrong.

                And again, I can't stress enough to have a specialist do it. Most vets may do a couple a year - not good practice odds in my book!

                Good luck with your horse!
                Horse Feathers Farm

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                  #9
                  Waking up an old thread, I have a lovely colt with prominent pink third eyelids and am worried about SCC. Does anyone have photos of what the eye looks like after the third eyelid is removed and everything is healed?
                  Trinity Farm LLC
                  Quality hunters and jumpers at Midwest prices
                  Like us on Facebook:
                  https://www.facebook.com/TrinityFarmLLC

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                    #10
                    See attached photo. My boy had one third eyelid removed (SCC) in 2012. Guess which one. That eye can get a bit weepy at times, but it is easy to clean and does not bother him.
                    Click image for larger version

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                      #11
                      I can’t tell! Mine has very big third eyelids and his dam had an enuchleation (old injury that flared up more and more the older she got) so I am a little worried about eyes generally. I’ve never seen one with such “big” third eyelids. He has human eyes as well so it’s hard to imagine what it would look like removed, but the high SCC risk has been noted by a couple of people.
                      Trinity Farm LLC
                      Quality hunters and jumpers at Midwest prices
                      Like us on Facebook:
                      https://www.facebook.com/TrinityFarmLLC

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                        #12
                        One of the lesson horses started having a weepy eye on one side with lesions on the third eyelid. When the vet saw it he said it probably was squamous cell but regardless, it would need to come out. He did it right there with quite a few observers. The horse is a bald-faced Paint mare with blue eyes. She wears a fly mask now to protect her eyes. If you look at the horse you can't guess which side was affected.
                        "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

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                          #13
                          My mare had her 3rd eyelid removed due to SCC. When I got her (not really a rescue but kind of) as a free older horse off Craigslist, the eye was persistently draining pus/nastiness down face, smelled terrible and the 3rd eyelid was very bumpy and raised. The previous owner said it was just from flies.

                          The surgery to remove the 3rd eyelid was no big deal. It came out while she was sedated for a much overdue dental. I DO NOT reccomend watching unless you have a strong stomach. I don't and whoa. They did say there was a risk of it having already spread due to her age (late 20's) but that it was still definitely worth taking out.

                          Had to give her triple abx eye ointment 2 x day for a week and keep a fly mask on it. Eye has healed absolutely fine and can't tell any different. I will try to take pics tonight.

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                            #14
                            One of my boarders just had this done last week and is doing super. He's 28 and you couldn't even tell from the day he came home. We live very close to New Bolton Center so it's a quick trailer ride over and he was back home the same day. We are following up with chemo ointment and would love it if he would keep a damn fly mask on!
                            "Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons"

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: my post up thread from 2011

                              The horse in question ended up having her third eyelid removed in 2018. That tiny bump grew in size... but, it did not appear cancerous. My vet monitored it for years and told me I shouldn’t worry about it. Then I moved, and the new vet FREAKED OUT when she saw it. Said it was undoubtedly cancerous, that it had gone on so long surely the cancer had gone to her brain, I’d probably need to euth her, etc.

                              Well, that got my butt in gear to head to the university ophthalmologist. The doctor LAUGHED at the referring vet’s gloom and doom diagnosis, but removed the third eyelid none the less. The bump was actually prolapsed fat from a conformational defect with the third eyelid, no cancer cells on the biopsy. The recovery was no big deal, I can’t remember the aftercare instructions well at this point, but they weren’t complicated. I think I had TAB ointment or similar I had to apply 2x a day or something. Bute or banamine for a few days. She was turned out and everything, though. I think was back riding her in two weeks or so.

                              I now have another mare with third eyelid issues. This time it probably is SCC, so I’ll be likely going through this all again soon.
                              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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