Phacoemulsification and +14 diopter intraocular lens placement in a Saddlebred foal


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R. J. McMullen Jr.
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A 2-month-old, 110-kg Saddlebred filly presented for evaluation of bilateral cataracts. A hypermature cataract in the left eye (OS) and an incipient nuclear cataract in the right eye (OD) were diagnosed. Electroretinography and ocular ultrasound revealed no contraindications for surgical removal of the cataractous lens OS. Phacoemulsification and implantation of a +14 diopter (D) intraocular lens (IOL) OS were performed at 4 months of age without complication, with the exception of a partial iridectomy performed on a small iris section that prolapsed through the corneal incision. Complete ophthalmic examinations, including ocular ultrasound and streak retinoscopy, were performed 1, 2, 6 weeks, 4 months, 1, and 2 years postoperatively. Diffuse corneal edema and a superficial corneal ulcer developed OS during the early postoperative period and resolved without complication. Dyscoria was identified owing to anterior synechia of the dorsomedial iris at the incision site. Two years after surgery, menace response, palpebral reflex, dazzle reflex, and pupillary light reflexes were present in both eyes (OU). The IOL remained centrally positioned within the capsule, with mild anterior tilting of the superior portion of the IOL and mild fibrosis of the lens capsule. The postoperative net refractive error was +0.31 D OS. Based on this report, a +14 D IOL may be the appropriate choice following lens extraction in a foal to achieve refraction near emmetropia at maturity. To our knowledge, this is the first report of phacoemulsification and IOL implantation in a foal with long-term follow-up.