Eye Removal

Q. I was just informed that my 2-year-old Quarter Horse needs to have his right eye removed. He is a rescue that I received through the court, and when I got him he was blind in his right eye. My veterinarian says that it looks like he was hit with some type of blunt force, leaving him with no chance of sight. I need to know what the procedure consists of. His eye seems to be very painful and drains terribly.


A. Enucleation refers to surgical removal of the eyeball, conjunctiva, and third eyelid. The remaining orbital contents undergo severe atrophy and contraction such that pitting of the skin covering the orbit (eye socket) occurs post-enucleation. This procedure might be recommended to remove a painful, blind, diseased eye, and can be necessary for severe diseases of the globe, adnexa, conjunctiva, and nictitans. It sounds like the humane thing to do in this case.

About the Author

Dennis E. Brooks, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVO

Dennis E. Brooks, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVO, is a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Florida. He has lectured extensively, nationally and internationally, in comparative ophthalmology and glaucoma, and has more than 140 refereed publications. He is a recognized authority on canine glaucoma, and infectious keratitis, corneal transplantation, and glaucoma of horses.

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