Overview of Canine Anterior Uveitis
Anterior uveitis, commonly referred to as just “uveitis”, is inflammation that affects the front or anterior part of the eye called the uvea, which is the dark tissue of the eye that contains blood vessels that can occur in dogs. The iris – the tissue that makes up the pupil – is typically involved. The posterior part of the eye may or may not be affected.
The causes of anterior uveitis include:
Older animals are more likely to have tumors, and indoor/outdoor pets are more likely to be exposed to infectious causes than pets housed strictly indoors. Also, in certain regions of the world specific infectious diseases are more common. Certain breeds of dogs are more likely to have immune-mediated anterior uveitis.
Anterior uveitis can be painful for your pet and may threaten vision. Just as important, this problem can also be a sign of a disease that is affecting the rest of the your dog’s body.
What to Watch For
Diagnosis of Anterior Uveitis in Dogs
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:
Treatment of Dogs with Anterior Uveitis
Treatments for anterior uveitis may include symptomatic, specific therapy and/or surgical intervention:
Home Care and Prevention
It is important that you follow your veterinarian’s instructions and learn to medicate your dog 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 dog’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 dog’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.
Information In-depth for Dogs with Anterior Uveitis
A diagnosis of anterior uveitis simply means there is inflammation inside the eye. Numerous diseases can manifest as uveitis, so it can be difficult to diagnose the underlying cause. Several diseases mentioned below may be confined to the eye. However, in other cases, the condition may affect multiple parts of the body and the eye is but one aspect of disease. A dog may have either predominately ocular signs (those pertaining to the eye) or other signs such as weakness, lethargy, decreased appetite, coughing, fever or other problems.