Thermal cautery of the canine third eyelid for treatment of cartilage eversion
Objective To present a novel, minimally invasive technique for everted third eyelid cartilage correction in dogs that employs the use of low-energy cautery to remodel the cartilage. Procedures Twelve eyes of ten dogs had cautery performed under general anesthesia to correct everted third eyelid cartilage. The tip of a handheld cautery unit or an electrocautery handpiece was applied to the bulbar conjunctival surface of the third eyelid at the central location of cartilage convexity and treated to effect. This resulted in gradual conjunctival contraction and cartilage softening that remodeled the third eyelid to return to a more normal, physiologic position. When the tips of the cartilage bar were also curled, cautery was briefly applied to the convex surface to straighten the cartilage in a similar manner.
Results Blanching of the conjunctiva at the site of treatment occurred. Char was sometimes present and was gently removed with a scalpel blade to improve postoperative patient comfort. Mild conjunctival hyperemia was noted in a few patients for 1-2 days after surgery but there were no signs of discomfort or eyelid swelling. All dogs had good results in terms of cartilage correction with no recurrence; however, one of the Great Danes that had concurrent third eyelid gland prolapse required gland replacement surgery.
Conclusions Thermal cautery is a simple, inexpensive means of correcting third eyelid cartilage eversion in dogs with a high rate of success that preserves normal tissue while restoring function.