The medical records of 32 horses treated for iris prolapse (IP) during an 8 year period, at the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, were reviewed. Iris prolapse was associated with perforated corneal ulcers in 15 horses (47%), ruptured stromal abscesses in 2 horses (6%), and full thickness corneal lacerations in 15 horses (47%). Initial ophthalmic examinations revealed IP with severe iridocyclitis in all eyes and keratomalacia in 8 eyes with corneal ulcers, one with a stromal abscess and 1 with a corneal laceration. Hyphema was present in 7 eyes with corneal lacerations.
Thirty horses were managed with combined medical and surgical therapy. Two horses were only treated medically with topically administered antibiotics. Of the 24 perforations surgically repaired, 21 were closed primarily and 13 were then covered with a conjunctival graft. After combined therapy and a minimum of 4 months of follow-up, vision was retained in 6 of the horses (40%) with perforating corneal disease and 5 of the horses (33%) with perforating corneal lacerations. Post operatively, of the 11 (37%) horses blind at discharge, 6 (55%) subsequently developed phthisis bulbi. Enucleations were performed in 4 cases with extensive keratomalacia and/or endophthalmitis, 2 cases with limbal rupture and total hyphema, and one case with a chronic IP. One horse was subjected to euthanasia after 3 surgical treatments failed to stabilise stromal melting.
Horses presented with ulcerative keratitis of fewer than 15 days duration, or horses with corneal lacerations less than 15 mm in length, tended to have a favourable visual outcome. Keratomalacia, hyphema, corneal lacerations longer than 15 mm and lacerations extending to, along, or beyond the limbus, adversely influenced visual outcome. Iridectomy did not appear clinically to exacerbate anterior uveitis or adversely affect visual outcome. Ocular survival following combined therapy was 80% (12/15) in horses with corneal lacerations and 67% (10/15) in horses with ulcerative keratitis.