Enucleation means removal of the entire eye. The eyelids are then stitched closed. This gives the appearance that the animal is “winking”. There is some discomfort for several days which is controlled with pain medication. Once the stitches are removed in 2 weeks and then the hair grows back, the appearance is not objectionable.
This procedure is indicated in situations where removal of a tumor is necessary or where the outer portion of the eye is not healthy enough to support a prosthesis. As this procedure is reserved for those eyes which are blind and (usually) painful, removal of the eye causes no additional handicap and is used to make the animal more comfortable.