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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have experience with Ocular Squamous Cell Carcinoma? My vet thinks that a spot on my 25-year-old Haflinger's eye looks suspicious. She sent pictures to an opthalmologist, who said I should have the area removed and biopsied "if I want to be overly cautious." I have contacted them for more information. I haven't found any information online about how fast Squamous Cell Cariconoma spreads in the eye. I'm debating how much I want to put a 25-year-old through if the carcinoma will spread slower than the years he has left. On the other hand, he is very healthy for his age and could have many years left.
 

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You're right, there really isn't much information on how fast it spreads.
Hooey had squamous cell carcinoma on his third eyelid. I opted to have it removed. Pathology came back, clean borders. Vets and I both thought we were out of woods.

Fast forward 6-8 months I notice his eye looks small and dark. I haul him back up to the vet hospital. Three different vets looked at him and weren't positive on what's going on.
Ophthalmologist was out of town, made a seperate appointment.

Ophthalmologist confirms he had a tumor growing behind the eye and attached itself to it. Pictures looked as there was a possibility of the cancer being in the bone of the skull as well.

I'm not trying to freak you out. This was just my experience and it is uncommon to have outcome I did.
I'd say have the spot checked and keep an eye on it for any changes. If he is out in the sun a lot, I'd buy a UV mask like the Equivisor.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for sharing your advice and experience. Was there a treatment option for Hooey after the cancer spread? How is Hooey doing now?
 

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Just wondering, do either of these horses have a white blaze or marking that extends into the eye area? Cancer eye is common in white face Hereford cattle, that is why I ask.
 

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Thank you for sharing your advice and experience. Was there a treatment option for Hooey after the cancer spread? How is Hooey doing now?
The option was to take the eye out and hopefully get all of the tumor out with it.
Because the possibility of the cancer being in the bone and in sinuses and there was a chance it would spread to his brain. I opted not to take the eye but let him live until he was no longer comfortable. A friend put him down for me.
The ophthalmologist and vet had wanted to take the eye as a lot of horses adjust well to one eye. Hooey wasnt that type of horse and it became quite obvious as he lost sight. He was unhappy, even jumpier than normal and was becoming aggressive to his pasture mates.

Just wondering, do either of these horses have a white blaze or marking that extends into the eye area? Cancer eye is common in white face Hereford cattle, that is why I ask.
Hooey had a small star, stripe and snip. The left that had the issue, the third eyelid wasnt pigmented like the right eye. That on top of us living at a high elevation along with snow on the ground for several months out of year contributed to the issue. At the end he started to look like a cancer eye cow. I am familiar with that in cattle and didnt want my horse to endure the pain that goes with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@COWCHICK77, I'm sorry you had to make that difficult decision.

Just wondering, do either of these horses have a white blaze or marking that extends into the eye area? Cancer eye is common in white face Hereford cattle, that is why I ask.
My Haflinger doesn't have white extending into the eye area, but I have read that cancer is more common with white skin. Haflingers can have a genetic defect that makes them more prone to Squamous Cell Carcinoma. From what I read, it seems like the genetic defect prevents their body from repairing UV damage. I wish I had learned about this earlier because I would have consistently used a fly mask if I had known.
 

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Is it on the eyeball itself or the lid/third eyelid? I just had a spot biopsied on my guy's lid and it was a very easy procedure done on farm. SCC and eyes aren't something I want to mess around with. My biopsy came back as non-neoplastic, thankfully. I would do the biopsy at minimum so you know what you are dealing with. I've seen SCC on the eye move quite aggressively, for one horse it went from a spot on the third eyelid to enuculation in only a month or two.
 

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Is it on the eyeball itself or the lid/third eyelid? I just had a spot biopsied on my guy's lid and it was a very easy procedure done on farm. SCC and eyes aren't something I want to mess around with. My biopsy came back as non-neoplastic, thankfully. I would do the biopsy at minimum so you know what you are dealing with. I've seen SCC on the eye move quite aggressively, for one horse it went from a spot on the third eyelid to enuculation in only a month or two.

It is actually on the eye (on the limbus). I wish the opthalmologist could come out to my farm. I think I'm as stressed about the idea of having someone transport him to a big city an hour and a half away as I am about surgery.
 

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It is actually on the eye (on the limbus). I wish the opthalmologist could come out to my farm. I think I'm as stressed about the idea of having someone transport him to a big city an hour and a half away as I am about surgery.
I know it's stressful. I had to haul 4 hours one way to get to good enough facility that could handle the eye lid removal and the ophthalmologist there is very respected.
I suggest going and do it soon before winter hits hard, the roads get bad and the sooner the better for his eye.
I really hope it turns out to be nothing for you and your horse. I'm jingling for you guys :)
 
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