Equine eye implants increase infection risk

Research shows that horses who had implants placed at the time an eye is removed had seven-fold greater odds of infection.

An implant that fills out the hollow socket after a horse’s eye is removed may provide cosmetic appeal, but a new study from the Netherlands suggests that it increases the risk of infection at the surgical site.

An implant can remove the “hollow” left by a removed eye, but increases the risk of post-operative infection.

Researchers at Utrecht University reviewed the records of 107 horses who had an eye removed, 49 of which had implants put in place during the same procedure. They found that, overall, 7.5 percent of the horses developed surgical-site infections, but those who received implants had seven-fold greater odds of infection. In all of those cases, the infection necessitated a second surgery to remove the implant.

Horses who had an eye removed because of uveitis, a too-large or too-small globe, or tumors inside the eye had a lower risk of surgical site infection than did those who underwent the removal procedure as a result of corneal perforation or rupture, infected ulcers or tumors on the exterior of the globe. Seventeen percent of horses in the latter group who received an implant developed infection that led to its removal.

Reference:A retrospective analysis of the risk factors for surgical site infections and long-term follow-up after transpalpebral enucleation in horses,” BMC Veterinary Research, June 2017

This article first appeared in the EQUUS Volume #481

Don’t miss out! With the free weekly EQUUS newsletter, you’ll get the latest horse health information delivered right to your in basket! If you’re not already receiving the EQUUS newsletter, click here to sign up. It’s *free*!




Related Posts

Gray horse head in profile on EQ Extra 89 cover
What we’ve learned about PPID
Do right by your retired horse
Tame your horse’s anxiety
COVER EQ_EXTRA-VOL86 Winter Care_fnl_Page_1
Get ready for winter!


"*" indicates required fields


Additional Offers

Additional Offers
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.