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Serious eye inflammation in dogs

[From Tufts March 2010 Issue]

My 6-year-old Australian Shepherd, Candy, who was born deaf, was recently diagnosed with uveitis. She is on steroid and atropine drops and pain medication. Can you please discuss the outcome for treatment?
Susan Hudachek
Pittsburgh, PA

Uveitis means inflammation inside the eye, causing pain, redness and cloudiness of the normally clear cornea. Uveitis must be carefully distinguished from similar diseases, such as glaucoma (increased pressure inside the eye), conjunctivitis (redness of the lining of the lids), keratitis (infection of the front of the eye) and retrobulbar abscess (infection of the tissues behind the eye).

True uveitis can have many different causes. Bacterial infection is actually uncommon, but infections from organisms like toxoplasmosis, tick-borne diseases and fungi may occur. Lupus-like diseases can also be associated with uveitis. Cancer can even appear with uveitis. Inflammation of unknown cause is diagnosed after other tests fail to reveal an underlying cause. Despite extensive medical work-ups, more than 50 percent of cases of uveitis in the dog are of uncertain cause.

Treatment with eye drops is essential, along with additional therapy for an underlying disease if present. Unless the underlying cause can be identified, weeks to months of treatment are often necessary, and some dogs require medication indefinitely.

Consultation with a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist may be helpful. He or she has extra training in the field and can work with your veterinarian.
Michael Stone, DVM
Cummings School

Comments (4)

I have a little Shih-Tsu who had hairs growing in the corner of his L eye causing constant irritation. I should add that he lost his R eye due to an attack by another dog in the dog park. We no longer take him there. As to the hairs, his veterniary Ophthalmoligist recommended surgical removal. I agreed and it was done. Unfortunately, all the folicles were not removed and he still has the problems. I have heard that these could be removed with electrolisis but the Ophthalmoligist tells me this is no longer used. True or False. I hurt for my little one, as he is constantly plagues by matter in that eye and needs eye dropps 2X a day for "dry eye". If there is anything that can resolve this, I would gladly have it done. Susan Quinn

Posted by: Asuetoo | February 27, 2017 9:56 AM    Report this comment

I have a little Shih-Tsu who had hairs growing in the corner of his L eye causing constant irritation. I should add that he lost his R eye due to an attack by another dog in the dog park. We no longer take him there. As to the hairs, his veterniary Ophthalmoligist recommended surgical removal. I agreed and it was done. Unfortunately, all the folicles were not removed and he still has the problems. I have heard that these could be removed with electrolisis but the Ophthalmoligist tells me this is no longer used. True or False. I hurt for my little one, as he is constantly plagues by matter in that eye and needs eye dropps 2X a day for "dry eye". If there is anything that can resolve this, I would gladly have it done.

Posted by: Asuetoo | February 27, 2017 9:55 AM    Report this comment

I have a little Shih-Tsu who had hairs growing in the corner of his L eye causing constant irritation. I should add that he lost his R eye due to an attack by another dog in the dog park. We no longer take him there. As to the hairs, his veterniary Ophthalmoligist recommended surgical removal. I agreed and it was done. Unfortunately, all the folicles were not removed and he still has the problems. I have heard that these could be removed with electrolisis but the Ophthalmoligist tells me this is no longer used. True or False. I hurt for my little one, as he is constantly plagues by matter in that eye and needs eye dropps 2X a day for "dry eye". If there is anything that can resolve this, I would gladly have it done.

Posted by: Asuetoo | February 27, 2017 9:54 AM    Report this comment

My beautiful Cavalier came to me as a rescue, and I was told two stories about his eye, which he cannot use. During rescue activities I was told he had an eye infection generated by his Mother who had an infection and passed it on. However further discussion revealed by a Veterinary exam that there was a scratch on his cornea which led everyone to conclude non treatment of the infection may have contributed to the non functioning eye. My heart goes out to this little guy, he is 3 years old and gorgeous. Your article let me to this posting, as I am alert to any and all problems concerning the eye. Great article, thanks so much.

Posted by: Donald J Furcillo | February 27, 2017 8:44 AM    Report this comment

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