September 11, 2007

A thoroughbred suffering from blindness caused by glaucoma can now see after Florida doctors performed laser surgery on the horse earlier this year.

The 11-year-old horse, Ego-Trip, was already blind in his left-eye due to a previous trauma. Owners Lisa and Larry Dahl and their 15-year-old daughter Victoria noticed Ego's right-eye becoming cloudy as his behavior began to change. "Ego was bumping into things and not acting the same," said Lisa Dahl. "We realized he was going totally blind."

Their primary veterinarian from Odessa Equine recommended they see an ophthalmologist for horses. They met with Dr. Franck Ollivier at Surgi-Care Center for Horses in Brandon for their first meeting in March, 2007.

"We saw Ego for the first time, as he suddenly lost most of his vision. We diagnosed him with Glaucoma or high pressure in the eye that causes blindness." said Ollivier.

"Glaucoma is also the number one cause of blindness in people, which is significant. We treated him with a Diode laser to decrease the production of liquid inside the eye, and therefore decrease the pressure. Since then, he is visual and comfortable."

The Diode laser used in the surgery was from Florida Veterinary Specialists and Cancer Treatment Center in Tampa, a state-of-the-art specialty veterinary facility where Dr. Ollivier also practices ophthalmology for pets.

"The next day after surgery, Ego returned home was back to acting like his old-self again." said Lisa. "We're very thankful."

The Dahls have been working with Ego, schooling him for a dressage career. "Sight is not as important in dressage as it is for jumping," says Lisa. "We've been working with him in dressage for about a month and he's doing great."

Opened in 1996, the services at Florida Veterinary Specialists and Cancer Treatment Center include acupuncture, behavioral medicine, cardiology, dermatology, neurology, oncology/radiation, ophthalmology, rehabilitation, and surgery.

Surgi-Care Center for Horses is a referral hospital treating horses that require specialized surgical and medical care. Surgi-Care performs routine and elective surgeries and outpatient examinations, including pre-purchase exams, lameness exams (including IRAP and Stem Cell injections), ophthalmic consultations, internal medicine consultations, dermatology consultations, gastroscopy, endoscopy, radiography and ultrasonography.