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Equine Uveitis
 By Fantasy Farms   •   19th Nov 2010   •   5,072 views   •   2 comments
One of the most common eye problems in horses is uveitis or moon blindness.

The real name for Uveitis is Equine Recurrent Uveitis or ERU for short.

Uveitis is a disease that comes and goes. Uveitis refers to the inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. It can be very painful for the horse. Permanent blindness has been known to occur as a result of uveitis. Taking care of a fully blind horse a poses a challenge too. Uveitis can cause the secondary glaucoma to develop. If it develops, the eye will most likely require surgery. Uveitis can affect all breeds, genders and ages of horses. Your veterinarian may refer you to go see an equine ophthalmologist (eye doctor) to help diagnosis your horse. Your vet may take some blood tests too. There is no cure for uveitis, but there are treatments that can help.

Causes of Equine Uveitis


The causes for uveitis are currently under discussion with scientists. It does not have single cause. Scientists think that the body creates antibodies for certain bacteria and parasitic infections. The antibodies may mistakenly attack tissues in the eye creating inflammation. Even after the infection or parasite has left the horses body, the antibodies continue to attack the eye. Genetics play a big role in the causes of uveitis. Appaloosas with antibodies to Leptospira (type of bacteria) are eight times more likely to have uveitis and four times more likely to become blind as a result of uveitis.

Symptoms of Equine Uveitis


Watch for these signs. If you suspect your horse has uveitis, contact your veterinarian right away.
• Increased tearing
• Squinting
• Sensitive to dust and sunlight
• Redness or swelling of the tissues surrounding the eye
• Cloudiness or discoloration of the eye
• Cataract formation

Treatment of Equine Uveitis


Treatment can be effective in helping alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with uveitis. Common treatment options include topical ointments, eye drops and steroid injections. Bute may be prescribed to help with the inflammation. Since uveitis randomly attacks the eye, it is advised to keep your horse on a regular schedule for his or her medications. With each uveitis attack, more damage occurs.

If you suspect your horse has uveitis, contact your veterinarian right away. Each attack does more damage, so it is important to get started on medications and a treatment plan. Horses with uveitis can still be ridden and shown depending on how bad the uveitis has progressed. They may need a little help learning where things are in new environments. Horses with uveitis are just like a regular horse, but they have a vision impairment.
Equine Uveitis
Equine Uveitis
Equine Uveitis
Equine Uveitis
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