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  • Author or Editor: Jerald K. Ellis x
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To retrospectively evaluate the complication rate following dorsal placement of a commercially available 1-hole subpalpebral lavage system (SPL) at a veterinary teaching hospital.


102 client-owned horses with ophthalmic disease.


Medical records of horses (2010 to 2020) with ophthalmic disease were reviewed to determine whether a commercially available SPL system was dorsally placed. Data collected from the medical record included signalment, presenting complaint(s), diagnosis, ophthalmic procedures performed, SPL laterality, hospital service that placed the SPL, anesthetic technique for placement (general anesthesia or sedation with local nerve blocks), duration of SPL management while hospitalized or at home, type of enclosure for the horse, use of eye protection, duration of time the SPL was in place, location of SPL management (home vs hospital), types and numbers of medications administered, recorded complications, and outcome of the globe. Complications experienced during treatment were categorized as either ocular or nonocular. The χ2 test for independence test and Fisher exact test were performed to examine the relationship between the department that placed the SPL, method of anesthesia, antimicrobial administration, type of facial protection used, and complication type and rate.


Overall complication rate for SPL systems was 29.1% (37/127), with 21.2% (27/127) being ocular complications and 7.9% (10/127) being nonocular complications. SPL complication rate was not affected by any variable that was examined.


Commercially available SPL systems placed dorsally have a low ocular complication rate. These SPL systems may be placed by veterinarians with varied training backgrounds and managed at home without significantly increasing complication rate.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association