Uveitis is a common cause of blindness in horses, but in some ways it remains mysterious. In its recurrent form, it also can be intractable. There’s no cure for it yet, but it also need not be a death sentence for a horse.
How is uveitis treated in horses?
Uveitis is treated with a combination of systemic and topical anti-inflammatory medications. Banamine and Bute are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that also have pain relieving properties. Banamine is considered more effective than Bute and aspirin.
How long does horse uveitis last?
Types and Signs of ERU
Classic, or anterior, ERU is the most common type, and is characterized by concurrent bouts of pain and inflammation which last approximately two weeks.
What causes recurrent uveitis in horses?
Equine recurrent uveitis is hypothesized to be a complex autoimmune disease influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Appaloosa horses are particularly susceptible to ERU, and in particular to bilateral disease, which suggests that genetics plays a significant role in ERU risk in this breed.
How do you treat uveitis permanently?
Even though there may not be a permanent cure for Uveitis, each attack can be treated, depending upon the cause, severity and location of the inflammation. The treatment may include eye drops, injections under the eye or oral medication.
What triggers uveitis?
Uveitis is caused by inflammatory responses inside the eye. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to tissue damage, germs, or toxins. It produces swelling, redness, heat, and destroys tissues as certain white blood cells rush to the affected part of the body to contain or eliminate the insult.
Does uveitis ever go away?
Anterior uveitis will typically go away within a few days with treatment. Uveitis that affects the back of the eye, or posterior uveitis, typically heals more slowly than uveitis that affects the front of the eye. Relapses are common.
How do I know if my horse has uveitis?
Diagnosing Equine Recurrent Uveitis
The diagnosis of ERU relies upon finding signs of inflammation within the front of the eye with no other detectable primary cause. Signs of active uveitis include pupil constriction, aqueous flare (protein in the aqueous humour) and hypopyon (pus in the aqueous humour).
Can a horse live with one eye?
The decision to remove an eye is inevitably based on the need to remove pain and, as such, is rarely a difficult one to make. If a horse loses the sight in one eye but is not in pain, there is no point in removal because it would not be a welfare issue.
Is uveitis in horses contagious?
Equine recurrent uveitis is not considered contagious, meaning that it cannot be spread from one horse to another. The underlying cause for ERU is controversial and has been debated for decades. Historically, exposure to a bacterium called Leptospira has been implicated as an infectious cause.
Can a horse recover from moon blindness?
Recovery of Moon Blindness in Horses
This condition is progressive, as is the eye damage. The veterinarian will need to take action and do the best he can with aggressive methods of treatment. Recovery depends on your horse and the severity of his moon blindness.
What is recurrent uveitis?
Recurrent: when the inflammation flares up and settles down over months and years. Anterior uveitis is usually recurrent with acute episodes. Chronic: when the inflammation is longer lasting and also comes back within three months of stopping treatment. Intermediate and posterior types of uveitis are usually chronic.
Can moon blindness be cured?
There is currently no cure for ERU. Episodes of redness, tearing, and squinting may be early indicators of eye issues. Equine recurrent uveitis can affect one eye or both eyes, and may cause more severe signs in one eye than the other.
What is the best treatment for uveitis?
Most cases of uveitis can be treated with steroid medicine. A medicine called prednisolone is usually used. Steroids work by disrupting the normal function of the immune system so it no longer releases the chemicals that cause inflammation.
Can you go blind from uveitis?
Uveitis can be serious and lead to permanent vision loss. That is why it is important to diagnose and treat uveitis as early as possible, ideally before irreversible damage has occurred. Uveitis causes about 30,000 new cases of blindness each year in the United States.
Is uveitis a serious disease?
Possible causes of uveitis are infection, injury, or an autoimmune or inflammatory disease. Many times a cause can’t be identified. Uveitis can be serious, leading to permanent vision loss. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent complications and preserve your vision.