What is equine recurrent uveitis?

What is equine recurrent uveitis?

Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) refers to a reoccurring pattern of inflammation in the eye of a horse.  Another name for this disease is “moon blindness,” which comes from when it was believed that the phases of the moon correlated to the condition. [emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]

The major characteristic of this disease is the frequent recurrence of eye discomfort and inflammation, with each subsequent episode, causing further damage to the equine eye. Chronic ERU can lead to corneal scarring and eventually worsening vision in the horse with blindness resulting.  The inflammation caused by ERU can be ongoing even during periods of quiescence, or when there is no physical appearance of eye discomfort.  It is important to have regular eye exams for your horse, especially if ERU has been diagnosed.

Some signs of ocular discomfort are squinting, tearing, redness, rubbing, discolored iris, constricted pupil and clouded cornea.  A thorough eye assessment is advised if your horse shows any of those signs, because eye ulcers, foreign bodies, infections or even fly eggs can appear very similar to ERU and need to be treated rapidly, before irreversible damage occurs. ERU is a serious disease and will need maintenance care for the life of the horse. The earlier you notice signs and get treatment, the better chance you have of preserving your horse’s vision.

CREDITS

column by DR. KATIE HENNESSY

BIO: Dr. Katie Hennessy graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008 with a degree in large animal health and equine medicine. After completing an advanced internship and working as an Associate Veterinarian, she is currently practicing at Polk Equine, LLC. Her expertise ranges from small and exotic creatures to large animals, specializing in equine medicine. [/emember_protected]