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Anterior Uveitis in Dogs

By: Dr. Jennifer Welser

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Diagnosis

Diagnostic tests are needed to recognize anterior uveitis and exclude other diseases. Immune-mediated diseases may be difficult to diagnosis if they are confined only to the eye. All other causes of uveitis must often be excluded first. Tests may include:

  • Complete medical history and physical examination

  • A complete examination of the eye with an ophthalmoscope, including the external portion, the front segment of the inside of the eye, and the back part of the eye

  • Tonometry to measure the pressure within the eye

  • General blood tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC) and serum biochemical profile

  • Specific blood tests for immune diseases, infectious agents or other systemic diseases

  • Ultrasound, X-rays or aspirates, which are samples of fluid taken from inside the eye via a small needle

    Treatment

    Treatments for anterior uveitis may include symptomatic, specific therapy and/or surgical intervention:

  • Symptomatic therapy, regardless of the cause of the anterior uveitis, is usually indicated. Topical treatments, like drops or ointments placed on the eye and medications taken by mouth, are designed to reduce pain and inflammation – like treating a headache with aspirin regardless of what is causing the headache.

  • Specific therapy is directed if a cause for the anterior uveitis has been determined. Appropriate topical and/or oral drugs are prescribed and may include an antibiotic, an anti-fungal drug, or a drug that reduces immune-mediated inflammation.

  • Surgical intervention. In situations where a tumor or secondary complications (such as glaucoma) are present and cannot be controlled with medications, it may be necessary to remove the eye surgically.

    Home Care and Prevention

    It is important that you follow your veterinarian's instructions and learn to medicate your pet properly. It is not always easy to put medications into an animal's eye, but it is imperative that the medications be given.

    Examine your pet's eyes every day and look for subtle changes. See your veterinarian for follow-up appointments to re-examine eye.

    You have some control over your pet's environment. Ask your veterinarian about your residential area so if ticks or fungal diseases are common, you will know what to look for.

    Prevent trauma to eye; use caution when throwing balls or other objects.

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