Transpalpebral exenteration in cattle: A retrospective study of 115 cases

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Objective: To describe the indications for exenteration and complications associated with the procedure. Animals studied: 115 cattle. Procedures: Medical records of cattle presented for unilateral exenteration evaluated at the University of California, Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital from January 1985 through December 2015 were reviewed. Results: Median (range) age at presentation for all cattle was 6 (0.2-30) years. The most prevalent (80.9%) indication for exenteration was squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Cattle >5 years had higher odds (OR = 11.2, 95% CI, 2.8-45.8) for undergoing exenteration due to SCC compared to cattle ≤5 years. Herefords had higher odds (OR = 4.6, 95% CI, 1.5-14.6) for undergoing exenteration for SCC compared to other breeds. Holsteins had higher odds (OR = 140.7, 95% CI, 7.5-2644) for undergoing exenteration for retrobulbar lymphoma compared to other breeds. Complications following exenteration were reported in 15 cases (13.0%). The postsurgical complications were orbital abscesses (6/15), recurrence of SCC (5/15), wound dehiscence (3/15), and excessive hemorrhage (1/15). Median (range) time to occurrence of postsurgical complications was 19 (5-205) days. There was no significant association (P > 0.05) between ocular diagnosis, age, anesthetic technique or the suture pattern used to close the skin postsurgically, and occurrence of postsurgical complications. Conclusions: Early clinical diagnosis of SCC by owners and veterinarians may prevent the need for exenteration. Owners should be made aware of the possible postsurgical complications following exenteration in cattle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVeterinary Ophthalmology
StateAccepted/In press - 2016


  • Cattle
  • Exenteration
  • Lymphoma
  • Orbit
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Transpalpebral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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