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Is there any reason to keep this eye? Enucleation

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  • Is there any reason to keep this eye? Enucleation

    Just a bit of background. My 12 yr old POA mare was diagnosed with Uveitis AND a Cataract in her right eye several years ago.
    She had occasional flareups which I was able to control.

    I dewormed her on 2/16 and the eye started to look uncomfortable since then. I treat it with Flurbiprofen per my Vet, but it still looks uncomfortable.

    I've had her up at Tuft's when she was first diagnosed and they said she only sees shadows. They wouldn't perform surgery as they said, the eye would have too much inflammation with both a Cataract and Uveitis.

    She wears a "Horsey shade" mask 24/7, except while riding and I use a Cashel mask.

    Now here is my dilemma.... trying to convince DH who loves her dearly and is squeamish when it comes to discussing Enucleation.

    She only sees shadows out of the right eye and even with a mask, I've sewn fabric over the right side to keep sunlight out.
    Here is a pretty good picture of what I'm describing:
    http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...o/DSC00313.jpg

    I'm trying to explain to him, the eye is essentially *gone* and *unusable* as it is covered 24/7 anyway. So, why keep dealing with flair ups, most importantly - I don't want her in pain..

    Up until this point, I was trying to preserve it just in case (and hoping) a new procedure would soon be in place to deal with a Cataract and Uveitis.

    DH tells me to call the Vet, but it still doesn't solve the long term problem.

    The eye is being treated, but if after the week is over and she is still in pain, I'll make the appointment with Tuft's.

    Any advice for DH??? Stories that will make him feel better about Enucleation?
    He is not a horse person but loves her dearly and yet somehow feels we would be maiming her??? Not his words, but that is what I gather.

    She did have the Cyclosporine Implant on her left eye this fall at Tuft's and it is doing wonderfully... (knock on wood)

    Thank you!
    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
    http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

  • #2
    Since her vision is so impaired already, having it removed will not be a big deal to her. Plus, there will be no more pain from uveitis flare ups and less on you both, since you won't be worrying constantly about "the next time."

    To remove it would be a gift to the mare
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

    Comment


    • #3
      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=343336

      I am hopeless at posting links but I posted this a few weeks ago, as my 21yo gelding is having this done in a week and a half. I got very helpful responses here, and everyone I have spoken with has been very encouraging. My situation is a bit different from yours, (and,as I am on the east coast taking care of my mom, DH is tending to the herd there and will be doing follow up) but still, have been trying to get all the info I can. It all points to: DO IT! I am sure you will get some very helpful feedback. If I remember there are also several very good threads on uveitis as well! Good luck to you and DH as well!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
        Since her vision is so impaired already, having it removed will not be a big deal to her. Plus, there will be no more pain from uveitis flare ups and less on you both, since you won't be worrying constantly about "the next time."

        To remove it would be a gift to the mare
        This.

        My first horse, an appy mare, developed ERU, and I ended up having the eye removed after several years treating it. I only wish I had done it sooner.

        She was so much more comfy not having those occasional flare-ups, and it was a lot easier for me too. It didn't affect her ability to negotiate the pasture, barn, or out riding on the trails at all. She was a LOT happier!

        BTW, your POA is gorgeous!
        Equus Keepus Brokus

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Liberty View Post
          This.

          My first horse, an appy mare, developed ERU, and I ended up having the eye removed after several years treating it. I only wish I had done it sooner.

          She was so much more comfy not having those occasional flare-ups, and it was a lot easier for me too. It didn't affect her ability to negotiate the pasture, barn, or out riding on the trails at all. She was a LOT happier!

          BTW, your POA is gorgeous!
          Thank you for the compliment... She is my little girl for sure.

          I was racking my brain while driving to the barn today, trying to figure what could have triggered off this flare. Normally, two days on Flurbiprofen and she is back to normal.

          But, I did start Probiotics a few weeks ago and wonder if that could have triggered the flare... I told the BO to discontinue it for now and see if that helps while I still medicate.

          If she still looks in pain over the next few days, I'll have no choice but to call my Vet and have her send the info. to Tuft's.

          As you all said, why keep putting her through this for an eye that she cannot see out of anyway.

          Thank you.....
          MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
          http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

          Comment


          • #6
            Good on you.... just gently explain to hubby that "We put the horse first." and then schedule the appointment.
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

            Comment


            • #7
              My horse had ulcers for years that were mostly well-managed, but he did have occasional flare ups. The final episode resulted in enucleation ... I felt awful after the procedure only because I saw immediately that he had been suffering with the irritation and pain at a level that wasn't observable. He was immediately SO much more comfortable. Do it for the horse ...

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a dog with glaucoma that developed very quickly and severely. She was blind before the vet could even diagnose her. I was told that enucleation was the only reasonable solution for her and I was devastated.... until I picked her up after the surgery. She was like a new dog. She had been sleeping a lot and I thought it was because she was getting older. It was because she was in pain all the time. After removing her eye, she ran and played like a puppy again. Best thing I could have done for her.
                Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse!
                Anonymous Bedouin legend

                Comment


                • #9
                  If she currently can't see out of the eye, she isn't going to miss it!

                  And she definitely won't miss the pain it causes her.

                  My Appy's ERU became almost non-existant after the eye "died" and shrunk up, but I was ready to have it removed if it started causing pain again.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks everyone... My Vet is coming out Friday afternoon to rule out anything else, such as a scratch, etc.

                    Then we'll proceed from there...
                    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                    http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I know you've gone through a lot trying to keep the eye, but it may be time to have it removed.

                      There's a great textbook, "Equine Ophthalmology" published in 2010 so it's pretty current. It has all the information that you and your husband need to know. And lots of pictures. Author is Brian Gilger.

                      Enucleation will mean no more pain in that eye for Twinkle. And she'll adjust quickly and happily.

                      Good luck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Huntertwo! I am sorry you and Twinkie are going through this again. I just wanted to let you know that Bruin is doing amazing without his left eye. He and Gina jump courses and he is actually feeling better and is happier working than ever before. Gina might even show him this spring! I wish I had known how easy it was for him to adjust before I put him and myself through 10+weeks of agony and thousands of $$$. She will be much happier. The relief is so immediate

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