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Horse Health 101 : Horse Health Library : Illnesses & Injuries

Enucleation - Equine Eye Removal Surgery

There are several reasons that may result in the removal of your horse’s eye: recurrent uveitis (moon blindness), cataracts, trauma, rupture of the eye, ulcers, or cancer to name a few. If an eye is no longer functioning, has severe damage, or has chronic eye disease, enucleation (eye removal surgery) may result in the best quality of life for your equine and prove to be the least painful.


A horse with an eye removed looks like a horse with his eye shut. A prosthetic eye is inserted into the eye socket to prevent the skin from eventually sinking in and creating a deep depression in the eye socket making the horse look unnatural.

Eye removal surgery is often more traumatic for the owner than the horse. Owners will be happy to know that the horse experiences very little pain and adapts very quickly to having just one eye. Many performance horses go back to full and successful performance carriers and your trail buddy may never miss a step.

The procedure takes 30-45 minutes to perform and requires an overnight stay at the hospital. Your horse will be sent home with pain medications and antibiotics. Stitches are to be removed in 10-12 days.

If your horse is experiencing chronic eye problems, Mid Rivers Equine Centre will be happy to complete an evaluation.

View more Enucleation photos.

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