Cataracts of the Horse
Cataracts “an abnormality of the eye, characterized by opacity of the lens.” (Dictionary.com). Cataracts are a clouding over the lenses of the eye which can occur with any creature with fully developed eyes. In equines, there are multiple causes of cataracts. Cataracts can be hereditary, caused by trauma or secondary to a disease contacted by the horse in adulthood.
The least common cause of cataracts is congenital. Congenital is when a horse is born with cataracts, juvenile is when they are developed at a young age or as an adult. Most cataracts are hereditary but some are formed inside the mare during pregnancy. Signs of cataracts include: bumping into things and or having a hard time finding them, facial injuries, and hesitant with movement and moving.
“The University of Liverpool is offering a new form of equine cataract removal surgery on a routine basis, which could save the sight of thousands of horses.” (Biology News Net)
To operate on the eyes to regain almost too full sight they owner must apply drops to the horse’s eye to prevent inflammation starting months before the surgery and all recovery time after. “During the first few weeks several medications (usually eye drops) need to be applied up to four times daily to the operated eye(s).”(Central Texas Veterinary Ophthalmology) The team of The University of Liverpool has developed a new technique for the surgery.
The team adapted a human phacoemulsification machine for equine use, which breaks up a cataract through ultrasound. They combined this with a technique commonly used in remote Indian Eye Camps to dislodge the cataract via the anterior eye chamber using a jet of saline. The teams remove the lens using an
ultrasound probe and administered an injection of intravitreal steroids to control postoperative inflammation of the eye. (Biology News Net)
Because of the adult horse having a much thicker lens then a foal the outcome of the operation...