Monday, May 23, 2011

COW: Keep an Eye Out For...

Wow, I did not realize it has been well over a month since my last posting. I will try to make up for it over the next week or so.

Here is an eye that was presented to me recently. What do you think?

This is a tumor, more specifically a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), involving the nicitans, or more commonly refered to as the third eyelid. The nicitans is a structure that, when the eye is open, hides is the front corner of the eye. In fact, most people do not even realize it is there. It acts as a third eyelid and can slide over the eye. It is mostly made up of conjunctiva with a cartilidge frame that gives it its shape and structure. Below is a picture of the retracted third eyelid. Sorry that it is a little out of focus, but I think you can get the idea.

SCC's are not uncommon tumors of the eye. They have a strong propensity to develop in nonpigmented skin. Horses with white skin around the eye are at higher risk. They rarely spread to other parts of the body, but they can become locally invasive and will rapidly expand into adjoining tissues. This can become a significant problem especially when the eye becomes involved.

Fortunately, this SCC only involved the third eyelid, so we were able to surgically remove it before it invaded the eye itself. Here is what it looked like immediately following surgical removal.

This was a big horse. This last picture pretty much explains why we have such substantial stocks at the clinic.

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