Uveitis (intraocular inflammation) refers to an inflammation of the part of the eye that supplies blood to the eye. When the blood vessels become inflamed blood cells and proteins leak out and result in cloudiness. Clinical signs of uveitis include: cloudiness, redness, tearing, squinting, occasional intraocular hemorrhage, and loss of vision.
There are many causes of uveitis such as trauma or cataract formation. Many types of infections and tumors can cause uveitis in the dog and cat. Some of the infections in dogs include: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, infected uterus in females, hepatitis virus, and systemic fungal infections. In cats the causes can include: feline leukemia virus, feline AIDS virus, FIP virus, Toxoplasmosis and Bartonella. However, patients may have idiopathic uveitis, with no identified underlying cause. We evaluate the entire patient to determine whether specific laboratory testing is necessary to identify the cause.
Uveitis can result in several eye complications such as cataract formation, scar tissue, retinal disease, and glaucoma. Treatment for uveitis is aimed at reducing the inflammation and preventing the complications. The treatment protocol will vary for each patient but often includes topical eye medication to decrease the inflammation, medication to alleviate the pain, systemic anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, and possibly medications to prevent glaucoma.