To evaluate intraoperative and postoperative complications and outcomes following subconjunctival enucleations with and without third eyelid removal in domestic rabbits.
18 client-owned rabbits with ocular disease confined to the globe that underwent 20 subconjunctival enucleation procedures at a veterinary teaching hospital.
Records were retrospectively reviewed for all enucleations performed at a veterinary teaching hospital from 2014 to 2022. A standard subconjunctival enucleation procedure was performed in all cases, with third eyelid removal in 2 surgeries and without third eyelid removal in the remaining 18 surgeries. Outcomes were assessed on the basis of observations in medical records and owner follow-up.
20 total enucleations were included. Reported reasons for enucleation included suspected or confirmed ocular Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection in 9 rabbits, refractory glaucoma in 4 rabbits, and various intraocular diseases in 5 rabbits. The only intraoperative complication reported was hemorrhage during the third eyelid removal in 1 surgery. Postoperative complications included serous to mucoid discharge from the surgical site in 8 of 20 surgeries and swelling at the surgery site in 2 of the 8 cases that had discharge. Postoperative swelling spontaneously resolved within 3 months of surgery; postoperative discharge spontaneously resolved within 10 months of surgery.
Subconjunctival enucleation with or without third eyelid removal in rabbits may be a viable enucleation technique to reduce the risk for intraoperative hemorrhage, but it can result in postoperative complications, including transient discharge and swelling at the surgical site.
PROCEDURES After collection of baseline clinical and historical data, dogs were randomly assigned to receive topically applied undiluted heterologous serum (n = 22) or isotonic saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (19) along with tobramycin and atropine. Epithelial debridement (at all visits) and grid keratotomy (at visits 2, 3, and 4) of SCCEDs were performed. Ophthalmic examination including fluorescein application was performed once weekly for 4 weeks or until corneal reepithelialization. Clinicians and owners were masked to treatment group.
RESULTS No differences in baseline data were detected between treatment groups. No difficulties with medication administration, noncompliance, or adverse reactions were noted. All SCCEDs in both groups healed by 4 weeks after treatment began. Median time to reepithelialization (2 weeks) was not significantly different between serum-treated and placebo-treated eyes. Irrespective of treatment group, median time to reepithelialization was not significantly different for Boxers versus non-Boxer breeds. Direct correlations were detected between time to reepithelialization and vascularization score at study entry, vascularization score at time of reepithelialization, and ulcer area at study entry in both groups. Time to reepithelialization was not correlated with age, sex, or duration of signs in either group.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Topical application of undiluted heterologous serum was well tolerated by dogs with SCCEDs but, as an adjunct to standard treatment, did not reduce time to corneal reepithelialization.