Can a cataract be successfully healed in a horse? If so, does their eyesight return to normal?
Cataracts in horses are classified by age of onset, cause, location and severity. Many cases of cataracts in horses only partially obstruct vision making the risks and consequences of surgery unwarranted. Even in cases of severe cataracts that do obstruct vision significantly, surgical removal of the lens is rarely done, largely because of the size of the animal and the risks of surgery There are few studies that document the visual perception of horses without lens, so we don’t know how well they see following lens removal. Many ophthalmologists consider absence of a lens an “unsoundness.” So, while it is possible to remove the lens of the eye in horses, it is rarely performed and would only be possible at referral hospitals where access to a ophthalmology specialist was available.
David Sauter, DVM
Dave Sauter is a Minnesota native and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1987. Following graduation he interned at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. After this internship, he continued to work exclusively with horses for another five years in Kentucky before moving out West and joining Kulshan Veterinary Hospital in Lynden, WA. He is a member of the AAEP, AVMA and the WSVMA. For more information about Kulshan Veterinary Hospital call 360-354-5095 or email [email protected]. www.KulshanVet.com