Uveitis

The uvea is the part of the eye which supplies blood to the retina. It is made up of three parts:

  1. Iris
  2. Ciliary Body
  3. Choroid

Uveitis is when any of these parts become inflamed. There are 3 types of uveitis:

  1. Pan-uveitis: inflammation of all three parts
  2. Anterior uveitis: inflammation of the iris and ciliary body
  3. Posterior uveitis: inflammation of the choroid

Uveitis is painful and can harm your dog’s vision. If left untreated, uveitis can lead to other conditions like glaucoma, cataracts or retinal disease.

CAUSES:

  • Infection: viral or bacterial
  • Diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Tumors
  • Injury to the eye
  • Autoimmune diseases: the immune system attacks the dog’s own cells

SIGNS:

  • Cloudy eye
  • Red eye
  • Bleeding eye
  • Squinting and avoiding bright lights
  • Extra tearing
  • Loss of vision
  • Puss

DIAGNOSIS:

In order to properly diagnose your dog with uveitis, most veterinarians will perform the following:

  • Physical examination: a lot of illnesses include uveitis, so your veterinarian will need to rule out any other conditions
  • Eye exam: with an ophthalmoscope or ultrasound
  • Blood tests: to check for any underlying diseases
  • Measure eye pressure:With uveitis, eye pressure will be low; with glaucoma, eye pressure will be high
  • Aspirates: fluid samples taken from the eye with a needle for testing

TREATMENT:

Most veterinarians will recommend the following treatment for a dog withuveitis:

  • Steroids and antibiotics: eye drops, ointments and oral tablets (for pain relief, to reduce inflammation and to prevent glaucoma)
  • Surgery: to repair the eye or to remove any foreign object
  • Follow up visit: to monitor the eye

PREVENTION:

For cases of uveitis that are preventable, it is best to avoid eye trauma and exposure to ticks and fungal diseases.

PROGNOSIS:

Simple cases of uveitis that you treat quickly and properly usually improve within 24 hours. Cases that are more complicated take a few days to get better.

Severe cases can sometimes result in irreversible blindness.

Uveitis can recur, often with further complications.

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