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Anterior Uveitis in Dogs

By: Dr. Jennifer Welser

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Diagnosis In-depth

Diagnostic tests are needed to recognize anterior uveitis and exclude other diseases. These tests include:

  • Complete medical history and physical examination. Because anterior uveitis is commonly linked to a systemic disease, attention should be directed to the whole body, not just the eyes. The history that you give to your veterinarian can be helpful in determining exposure to infectious disease.

  • A complete examination of the eye. Your veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist will use various tools such as a direct and indirect ophthalmoscope, a tonometer, and a slit lamp. Among other things, an exam can determine if the inflammation affects one or both eyes; if the anterior and/or posterior segment of each eye is affected; if the lens is normal; and if there are any signs specific to the various causes, like pigment spattering in the eye of a golden retriever with pigmentary uveitis.

  • General blood tests to evaluate the red and white blood cells, platelets and general organ function like kidneys, pancreas and liver. These are basic tests to determine if the problem is confined to the eye or if it is affecting the rest of the body as well.

  • Specific blood tests directed toward finding an underlying cause. Blood tests can evaluate the immune system and specific organ function and can diagnose many infectious diseases.

  • Blood pressure measurement to determine if there is hypertension

  • Blood culture for bacteria if a widespread infection is suspected

  • Ultrasound of the eye. If an eye is so inflamed that an examination is difficult, an ultrasound of the eye can help locate a tumor or perhaps a lens that has either become a cataract or has fallen out of place in the eye.

  • An X-ray of the chest when the cause of uveitis can be traced to a tumors or fungal diseases

  • Ultrasound and X-rays of the rest of the body to identify and localize tumors that may be present in other organs of the body.

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