Canine Health Menu

Uveitis

Issue Description
Uveitis is a condition where the part of the eye that supplies blood to the retina, becomes inflamed. The inflammation causes proteins to leak out resulting in cloudiness in the eye.


Causes
  • Injury or trauma
  • Cataracts
  • Infections:
  •             Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
                Lyme disease
                Ehrlichia (bacteria spread by ticks)
                Infected uterus in females
                Hepatitis virus
                Systemic fungal infections
  • Tumors

  • Symptoms
    The clinical signs of uveitis occur as a result of inflammation within the vascular coat of the eye, which causes breakdown of the blood-aqueous barrier and blood-retinal barrier. Many infectious and noninfectious causes can incite episodes of uveitis. Although a complete diagnostic evaluation is highly recommended to identify any underlying etiologic agent, many cases remain idiopathic in nature.

    Dogs with uveitis show symptoms such as light sensitivity, excessive tear production, and eyelid spasms.


    Diagnosis
    Many of the signs of uveitis are similar to glaucoma. With uveitis, IOP is reduced whereas with glaucoma it is elevated. Measurement of IOP is often performed to differentiate between the two conditions and is a simple, painless procedure. A complete and thorough physical examination of the pet must be performed since generalized illnesses can have uveitis as one of their signs. Often there is a color change of the iris, which may remain permanent. Special procedures such as ultrasound may be used to examine the eye.

    Treatment
    Treatment of uveitis must be aggressive and immediate. The primary treatment is directed at alleviating or substantially reducing the inflammatory response, and concurrently treating the underlying cause of the inflammation. Topical corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs remain the most effective class of drugs to treat uveitis. Inflammation of anterior uveal and collateral ocular tissues is best treated by topical administration. Inflammation of posterior uveal and collateral ocular tissues is best treated by oral anti-inflammatory drugs. Severe anterior uveal inflammation may also be treated by subconjunctival injection of repositol corticosteroid drugs.

    Prognosis
    The specific prognosis for uveitis is dependent upon the specific underlying cause, severity of clinical signs, collateral ocular tissue damage resulting from the inflammatory response, and the initial and sustained response to anti-inflammatory treatment.

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