EQUINE UVEITIS

eye

EQUINE UVEITIS SOME FACTS

WHAT IS UVEITIS AND WHAT CAUSES IT?
Uveitis means inflammation of the uveal tract of the eye. The uveal tract consists of the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid. These are the vascular (blood vessel) and pigmented structures of the eye.

Uveitis can be caused by

Ocular trauma
Systemic bacterial or viral infection
Leaking of lens proteins from a cataract
Ocular tumors
Immune-mediated disease
WHAT IS EQUINE RECURRENT UVEITIS?
Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU), as its name implies, is a chronic, recurrent form of uveitis and is also known as

“Moon blindness”
Periodic ophthalmia
Iridocyclitis
We are unsure exactly what causes some horses to develop a recurrent form of uveitis and others to only have a single episode. If not treated aggressively, the repetitive bouts of inflammation can cause scarring and permanent damage to the eye, including blindness. ERU is one of the most common causes of blindness in the horse. The recurrent episodes of inflammation can occur in one or both eyes. It is impossible to predict when an episode will recur, however some owners have reported seasonal patterns or increased likelihood of an episode around vaccination or deworming.

SIGNS OF UVEITIS:
Common signs of uveitis you may observe include:
Redness and swelling of the eye
Tearing
Squinting or sensitivity to light
Cloudiness or blue-ish haze to the cornea
These are the most common signs that owners usually notice in the beginning stages of the disease. Signs of uveitis can be very similar to the signs of other eye problems. Therefore it is very important to consult with your veterinarian whenever you have concerns about your horse’s eyes.

 

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