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Case Study: Third Eyelid Removal

third-eyelid-removal-0697 Andy arrived at our 120 Nichols Rd. clinic in the morning and was placed in our stocks. A catheter was placed in Andy’s left jugular vein and he was maintained on a slow drip of sedation throughout the procedure. Local nerve blocks were performed around Andy’s right eye to numb the whole area.
We could then retract and examine the entire third eyelid which showed multiple tumor infiltrations. We therefore decided to remove the entire third eyelid to ensure complete tumor removal. To remove the third eyelid, we placed clamps along both edges to decrease bleeding and cut along these clamps.


After we removed the third eyelid, we place a subpalpebral lavage (SPL) catheter in Andy’s right eye to enable us to deliver medications to the eye without having to place them directly in the eye. This photo (08.jpg) shows the catheter tube coming out of the upper eyelid. The footplate of the catheter sits under the upper eyelid so medications drip from the catheter onto the eye. The remainder of the catheter tube is run up between the ears and along the mane (30.jpg), and is accessed through a port at that end.


00 Andy was able to return home about an hour after the procedure. The tissue from the third eyelid was sent out for histopathology , which confirmed the tumor to be a squamous cell carcinoma, the most common type of third eyelid tumor in the horse.Horses typically do quite well after third eyelid removal. Because the third eyelid is part of the protective mechanisms of the eye, we encourage owners to minimize these horses’ exposure to dust and debris, and to equip them with a fly mask for turnout.