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May 21, 2018: Tinni’s Eyelid Surgery

When under duress or tired, details escape me, and are seldom found again. I actually admire those who keep their wits about them when faced with uncertainty or hardship. I am not one of them.

Tinni had his long-awaited eyelid surgery. He had entropion, a portion of his lower eyelid turned under, and this was irritating his cornea. He also has had considerable lacrimal discharge. This winter he seemed to me to be somewhat miserable. We waited until spring, warmer weather, to get this taken care of.

Dr. Zach Kaiser did the honors. He’s been Tinni’s veterinarian for a few years and was quite familiar with the situation. He decided to do the surgery on his last visit – he’d never did anything like this before, so he spent some time thinking what and how he should do this.

We got the call, that he would do this today, last night. This was good because had it been tomorrow, as scheduled, I would have had more time to fret.

Dr. Kaiser showed up mid-morning – and from the get go it was a laid back environment. I’d brushed Tinni beforehand, and while he and Pete and his assistant Sarah talked, I pulled Tinni’s forelock into a topknot and groomed his face and around his eye Tinni knew something was up – he saw Dr. Kaiser and turned his butt to him. We called it resting bitch butt.

I knew what the procedure would entail and therefore thought it would take a few minutes. It ended up taking about three hours. The work area was set up and the proper tools were laid out. Tinni was given a general anesthetic and a local anesthetic in his lid area. Dr. Kaiser then shaved around the eye, and after, with a sharpie, marked where he was going to make the incision.

He made two cuts, into the skin and muscle, and then he removed a section of skin and muscle that was in between. Then he sutured the upper eyelid in such a way that the lid would no longer turn under. His assistant Sarah had gauze squares on a pair of hemostats. She drabbed at the blood that fell in drips.

I didn’t want to be involved in any of this. I could have handled it if it was someone else’s horse, but Tinni is my horse and I am very fond of him, so I was more squeamish than I might have been otherwise. I did assist in holding him up – he was a bit wobbly. And I went and got my pink agility umbrella when it started to sprinkle.

Finally, I did watch the final stages of the cutting and the suturing. Tinni did start to come to once – so he was given more anesthetic.

Dr. Kaiser and Sarah hung around for some time after, just to make sure Tinni was okay. We finally put him in his stall and put a fly mask on him. He stood quietly the rest of the afternoon.

Tinni's eye lid with slice removed

Umbrella Surgery

Alys is squeamish

Tinni is all stiched up

I checked him carefully this evening, after Pete and I went on a lengthy ride. Tinni was bright and chipper, and it appeared as though the surgery was a success.

I have left out far too many details. Suffice to say, I am relieved that Tinni, a very special horse, is going to be okay.

Next: 142. 5/22/18: Older Woman, Older Horse

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