Buddy's Enucleation Surgery (WARNING: Graphic Photos!!!)

This teenaged bay Arabian gelding is in rehabilitation. Watch his progress as he goes through eye surgery, gains weight and returns to his original beauty!

Buddy's Enucleation Surgery (WARNING: Graphic Photos!!!)

Postby Juliane on Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:10 pm

What a long day!!! I took Buddy in for his enucleation surgery today. I got there at 12:30pm and left around 5:30pm. Pretty much all of that time was prep, surgery or recovery. Mr. Buddy-Man was a champ! He loaded in the trailer perfectly and was quiet when we arrived!

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When we unloaded at the vet's office, he stood quietly as I took off his blanket and brushed him down. Even being in a new environment, he stood tied quietly.

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As soon as the vet assistants and the doctors were ready, I took Buddy inside the operating stall. Once inside, the assistants prepped him for his IV.

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Then, after a quick sedative, one of the vet students started clipping the area around Buddy's injured eye.

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Once the area was clean and prepped, one of the vet students numbed the area, then clipped Buddy's eye lashes off and sewed his eye lids together.

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Now it was time for Dr. Latimer to take over. He started with applying a much heavier pain killer in the areas deep behind the eye.

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As soon as the area was numb, he started the removal process. He made two incisions, one above and below the eye.

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He then spent the next 45 minutes working to remove the eye. This was a very time consuming process as he removed all of the old tissue and disconnected the nerves and blood vessels. Buddy was very good for most of this, but for some reason, was extremely bothered by any type of pressure put on his optical nerve. Dr. Latimer had to work hard to numb the area enough in order to disconnect the optical nerve from the eye.

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He was finally able to remove the eye in it's entirety, leaving a clean, open cavity. He immediately placed a prosthetic eye inside the cavity.

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He and his vet student worked to sew the skin shut over the prosthesis. Dr. Latimer said that once it healed, Buddy would look like a normal horse that just had his eye closed. :)

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And, being the Dr that he is, he played with Buddy's damaged eye while his student finished stitching Buddy's wound. Dr. Latimer was able to show me where Buddy's eye had been damaged. He said that Buddy has been in an extreme amount of pain for a very, very long time.

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One of the assistants worked to clean Buddy's face off once the eye was sewn shut. Then, they wrapped his wound to protect it. By this time Buddy was waking up and ready to be done with the whole thing! LOL

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I was very, very happy with the quality of work and attention to detail that NW Equine put into Buddy's enucleation. Buddy was somewhat of a superstar, with all of the called in donations he'd gotten. There were 10 people in the operating area, 3 vets, 5 assistants, 1 student and the office secretary. LOL Buddy was famous!!

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Afterwards, Buddy and I hung out on the grass while we waited for our bill to be written up. He grazed on the grass while I enjoyed being off my feet! :P

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Per the doctor's orders, Buddy is to be in a stall for 2 weeks for his recovery. This was something I hadn't anticipated and threw a wrench in my Quarantine program. So, when I got home, I had to do some rearranging. All of the horses at home are now kicked out of the barn for a couple of weeks while Buddy heals. I'm trying not to feel too badly about it - they have a very large sheltered area that has very deep, soft and dry hogs fuel to keep them dry. However, they were none too happy when I didn't let them in the barn tonight for dinner. I hope they get over it soon.

Buddy, on the other hand, settled into his stall quite quickly and seemed content knowing there were horses nearby.

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When I expressed my concern about Buddy being in the barn, and the risk of spreading the Strangles disease, Dr. Latimer was much less concerned that I expected. His thoughts were that if Buddy was not actively sick within 14-21 days of being removed from his old property, that he would likely not be contagious or sick. He felt it would be fine to bring my horses back into the barn in another week, if Buddy is not displaying any sickness symptoms. I am not convinced as of yet. I need to get some more second opinions first.

I will still be practicing a strict quarantine while Buddy is in the barn, though this makes things a bit tougher. No more bringing ponies into the barn to use the cross ties for grooming and such. Argh! :P

Buddy is to have his stitches removed in 2 weeks. He is to be on SMZ's for the next two weeks and Banamine for the next 3 days. And stall confinement for the next 2 weeks. Poor Buddy! I am to remove his bandage in two days - so I am thinking Saturday evening or Sunday morning. :)

I wanted to send out a HUGE Thank You to everyone who donated towards Buddy's cause! His vet bill came to $1,113.56. With everyone's donations, the only outstanding remaining amount is $113.56! I will pay the remaining amount :) Thank you SO much to everyone - your support has been incredible!
Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
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Postby Jellybelly on Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:26 pm

This is great news! YAY for Buddy. He may have headache now but he will be feeling better in no time!
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Postby shireluver on Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:46 pm

How wonderful for Buddy. Now his new life can begin pain free, well, as soon as he heals :D
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Postby schwung on Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:57 pm

Wow, while I cringed looking at the photos, I have to say...his eyeball is a LOT bigger than I thought it would be! I guess there is a lot more back there behind what we could see....UGH.

I am very sad to hear him confirm that he has been in so much pain for so long, but very, very glad to hear he will not be in any pain any longer.

Crossing fingers it doesn't rain or get really cold for the next two weeks!
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Postby Altanera on Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:15 pm

COOL!! Anyways are you sure buddy is an Arab?? He looks a lot like the morgans at my barn. Espically this one named Rollie, built almost exactly alike.
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Postby kidholly on Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:34 am

I'm so happy to hear the procedure went well. I'm not a squeamish person, but the picture of the vet's finger deep in Buddy's eye socket made my toes curl in sympathetic reaction.

What a nice horse he is; so well behaved. Glad he's with you now.
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Postby RockinCircleC on Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:10 am

Altanera wrote:COOL!! Anyways are you sure buddy is an Arab?? He looks a lot like the morgans at my barn. Espically this one named Rollie, built almost exactly alike.


He's an Arab. You can tell when you see him in person.
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No horse will ever teach you as much as your first horse.
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Postby cat_67 on Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:21 am

It's always amazing to me how well horses suffer. I'm so glad he finally got the vet care he needed.
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Postby seahorse on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:43 am

Yes - I have to agree with Cat. When I went from working for an equine practitioner to managing small animal clinics the most difficult thing was the NOISE> I actually went on a call where the horse was walking on its own guts and suffering very stoically and silently.......and then you get a nordic breed dog in and they SCREAM at the top of their lungs over a toe nail trim! Horses do indeed suffer silently and we are not always aware of the level of pain they are in.
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