Equine Ophthal Service Enhanced
June 07, 2007
COLLEGE STATION, TX - The "eyes" have it, especially when it
comes to horses and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary
Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
The Texas A&M CVM is now the only place in the southwest
United States that is equipped with the necessary technology to
perform the delicate operation necessary to remove cataracts from a
Horses have a special place in our society. They are not only
beloved as pets, but they are also considered high performance
athletes and workers. When a horse's vision is suddenly diminished
with cataracts, they are unable to function properly, and can even
develop problems with the other eye.
"Horses that work whether it is in the pasture, the arena, the
racetrack, or the polo field, have a great need to be able to see
well in order to do what they were trained to do," said Dr.
Millichamp. "A horse that can't see is at risk for injuring itself
or others. With the new equipment recently added to the Veterinary
Medical Teaching Hospital combined with the expertise we have on
staff, we are now able to treat these large animals safely and
successfully, and we are the only place in the state that can do
It is estimated that between five and seven percent of horses
are affected by some form of lens opacity with otherwise clinically
normal eyes. The only recourse many horse owners have is to take
the horse out of service, or take the horse in for treatment. In
this case, the only treatment is surgery.
Until now, cataract surgery was primarily reserved for dogs and
human beings. The incision required was large and led to an
increased risk for postoperative complications. A new procedure
developed at Texas A&M by veterinarians Dr. Joan Dziezyc and
Dr. Nick Millichamp called phacofragmentation uses much smaller
corneal incisions allowing for greater control and minimizing the
Over the past two years, CVM veterinarians treated 12 horses for
cataracts, and that number is expected to continue to increase.
Texas A&M CVM is home to two board certified veterinary
ophthalmologists. According to Millichamp, there are only a handful
of other places that are able to perform similar procedures in
Florida, Ohio, and Michigan.
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
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