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  • Author or Editor: Stephanie M. Dray x
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To develop a protocol for subconjunctival enucleation and orbital implant placement in standing horses and to document short- and long-term complications, cosmesis, and client satisfaction.


20 horses with nonneoplastic ocular disease requiring enucleation.


A standardized protocol of surgical suite cleaning, patient preparation, sedation, local nerve blocks, surgical procedure, and postoperative care was performed. Owners were required to provide follow-up information at 1 year after surgery during a phone questionnaire. Additionally, some owners provided follow-up information at 1.8 to 4 years postoperatively.


11 mares, 6 geldings, and 3 stallions with a mean age of 9 years (range, 0.5 to 25 years) were included in this study. Reasons for enucleation included corneal lacerations (n = 3), perforated ulcers (4), end-stage uveitis (7), fungal keratitis (3), endophthalmitis (1), glaucoma (1), and stromal abscess (1). The mean surgery time was 64 minutes (range, 50 to 83 minutes). The most common implant size used was 45-mm diameter (range, 43- to 47-mm diameter). Complications included mild postoperative colic (n = 4), incisional swelling (1), and drainage from the surgical site (1) that resolved without implant removal. One-year follow-up information was available for 19 of 20 horses. Fourteen owners were very satisfied and 5 owners were satisfied with the cosmetic appearance. One horse was lost to follow-up.


Subconjunctival enucleation and orbital implant placement in standing horses was a safe and efficient alternative to general anesthesia when a standardized perioperative protocol was used. No horse developed clinically relevant complications, and owner satisfaction and cosmesis were good.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association