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Equine Recurrent Uveitis
 By EmeraldEagle   •   16th Sep 2010   •   6,085 views   •   4 comments
Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU) or Moonblindness can strike at any time and with any horse. Would you know what to look for? I didn't, until recently.

We had just purchased my Arab mare, Dancer, in the end of May. Perfectly sound & healthy mama to be. About a week or so after bringing her home, we started noticing a white spot on her eye & it was quite weepy. We began rinsing with saline & it seemed to be helping. We also kept a fly mask on her to keep the flies off. After about a week, we noticed that the white started covering her entire eye turning it cloudy. The vet came out a couple of days later (very busy time of year with foals) & put a stain in it to see if there was an injury to it, but it showed nothing. He diagnosed her with ERU & said that there really isn't much to do except watch it for any swelling, pain, itching, etc.


She is currently in remission. We just have to watch for flareups. We have to keep a fly mask on her day & night to keep the bright sun & flies out of her eyes. After much research, I found that ERU is a permanent condition and will come & go and eventually she will be blind in that eye and may have to have it removed. There is no cure for ERU & it is not contagious to other horses. It is caused by a number of things such as bacteria, virus, parasites, or trauma. Depending on the cause, there are different treatment options. We don't know the cause yet, we are waiting for the bloodtests to come back. Appaloosas seem to be the most prone to it, followed by Arabians and then other breeds. An excellent article I found is: Equine Recurrent Uveitis: Information for the Horse Owner

Signs of ERU:
Increased tearing (clear)
Squinting or light sensitivity
Redness or swelling of surrounding tissue
clouding of the eye

If you see any of these symptoms, don't wait to call your vet. Get your horse examined quickly! While not a dire emergency, it most certainly is an urgent situation & should be seen within a day.

Most horses can live long & happy even if they are blind or partially blind. There are a lot of competitive horses that are blind. We plan on doing endurance with Dancer and I have attached a youtube video of a blind horse doing 2nd level dressage.


Hope you enjoyed reading & learned some new information.

Emerald Eagle Farms
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Eye,
Horse News More In This Category:  Equine Disease and Prevention      Horse News More From This Author:  EmeraldEagle
Ruffians Stable  
Great article. I would have never known what Equine Recurrent Uveitis was, but now I do.
  Sep 16, 2010  •  4,231 views
 
HPH Polo  
Very well written, great article Emmy!
  Sep 17, 2010  •  4,212 views
 
EmeraldEagle  
Thanks guys. I am trying to get pics of Dancer's eye, but it's hard.
  Sep 17, 2010  •  4,173 views
 
Seven Sins  
great article
  Feb 4, 2011  •  4,071 views
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