Uveitis is an inflammatory eye disease affecting the middle layer of the eye. This layer, called the uvea, is made up of the iris, ciliary body and choroid. It is located between the outer layer of the eye, made up of the cornea and sclera, and the retina. Uveitis is a relatively common pet eye disease, and it has a number of possible causes.
How Uveitis Affects Your Pet
Possible causes of uveitis in pets include trauma, bacterial or viral infection, fungal disease, certain genetic conditions, cancer, metabolic disease, circulatory problems, toxins, certain medications and other pet health issues. Sixty percent of uveitis cases in cats and 70 percent of cases of uveitis in dogs have no known cause. Whatever its cause, uveitis is a painful disease that can permanently damage the affected eye. The pet condition can be acute or chronic depending on its cause and the general health of the affected pet, and it has the potential to cause many complications. Complications that can result from inflammation of the uveal tract include detached retina, bleeding into the eye, cataract formation, lens luxation, iris adhesions, degeneration of the retina, blindness, glaucoma and other eye issues. Because of the potential for permanent eye damage and the significant pain caused by this cat and dog health problem, uveitis should be considered a medical emergency.
Common Symptoms of Uveitis
Possible symptoms of this dog and cat health problem include the following: Eye pain, Swelling of the eye, Redness of the eye, Squinting, Protrusion of the third eyelid, Changes in the shape or color of the iris, Watery eyes, Vision problems, Sensitivity to light, White areas in the eye, Cloudiness of the eye, Constriction of the pupil and Uneven pupils.
Treatments for Uveitis
Treatment for all cases of uveitis is aimed at reducing pain and decreasing inflammation to prevent permanent eye damage. In most cases, treatment involves the use of topical and systemic anti-inflammatory medications. If there is no infection involved, topical corticosteroids are often used. In cases where topical steroids cannot be used, topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed. Systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also commonly prescribed, especially in dogs, to decrease inflammation and help control pain. If there is an infection in the eye, the affected pet will also require topical antibiotics. In cases where the the underlying cause of the uveitis is known, the attending veterinarian will address this disease in addition to treating the eye itself.
Canine breeds predisposed to certain conditions that can cause uveitis include the following: Golden retriever, Akita, Siberian husky, Samoyed and Doberman pinscher.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.