*UPDATE* I will be keeping track of Spiker’s progress on this blog! Click on the link at the top of the page to read about his updates after his enucleation surgery.
After 13 long months of battling uveitis, my 11-year old gelding “Spiker Bain” is had his right eye removed (enucleated) on Monday October 19th, 2009.
He has recovered well from surgery, however is now facing secondary challenges with mild colic. He was supposed to return home on Wednesday but has been kept longer for observation. Despite feeling gastrically uncomfortable, he seems to be handling his modified eyesight very well so far, and clearly is ready to go home and get out of the hospital.
While eye removal (properly known as enucleation) is a squeamish topic for many owners of horses with Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU), glaucoma and other serious eye conditions, it can provide permanent relief to reoccurring pain. Many horse owners have reported improved attitude and health of their equine friend once the surgery has been performed. There are many options for showhorses, such as special prosthetics that can be painted to match the healthy eye. After an adjustment period, many horses are able to return to work and competition. I myself hope that my gelding will be one of the successful ones!
To learn more about enucleation and equine prosthetics, visit Saving Face When a Horse Loses an Eye and the very detailed Equine Ophthalmology (it is a PDF file, so you will need Adobe Reader or Preview to download and read it) that outlines various enucleation methods in horses.