Is uveitis the same as moon blindness?

Horses

What percentage of horses with uveitis go blind?

A US study 2 found almost 30% of horses with ERU were blind in the affected eye by the time they were first seen by a vet. Around 30% of horses with uveitis had to be retired due to the condition, and another 30% performed at a reduced level than before the disease started.

What is moon blindness in horses?

Moon blindness, or iridocyclitis, is an immune-mediated eye disease which is painful to horses. It is commonly referred to as equine recurrent uveitis (ERU). This is a very common eye disease in horses and can lead to blindness. The name moon blindness refers to the fact that the disease goes through stages of waxing and waning.

What is Equine Recurrent Uveitis?

It should only be termed equine recurrent uveitis when two or more episodes occur. It is a complex condition, which is the most common cause of blindness in the horse worldwide and a very common cause of chronic eye pain in horses. Patient outcomes are improved by early diagnosis, appropriate therapy and clear understanding of the disease.

Why are Appaloosa horses more susceptible to equine uveitis?

For reasons unknown, Appaloosa horses are more susceptible to equine uveitis. Sensitivity to light, horses will squint or hold eyelid only half open

What is recurrent uveitis in horses?

Equine recurrent uveitis (moon blindness or periodic ophthalmia) is one of the most common eye problems in horses and the leading cause of blindness. It’s an immune-mediated disease, which means the body’s immune system attacks its own eye tissues.

What percentage of horses with uveitis are euthanased?

This study also showed that around 30% of horses with uveitis had to be retired due to the condition, and another 30% performed at a reduced level than before the disease started. Sadly, 15% of horses had to be euthanased due to bilateral blindness or chronic, uncontrollable pain.

How common is blindness in horses?

“Equine recurrent uveitis is the leading cause of blindness in horses, and it’s a progressive condition,” Bozorgmanesh said. The prevalence varies some according to a horse’s breed and geographical location, but, generally speaking, in the United States between 2% and 25% of the equine population is affected.

Are Appaloosa horses more likely to get uveitis?

Appaloosas are 8.3 times more likely to get uveitis than all other breeds combined. ERU can reduce your horse’s quality of life and cause cataracts, eye cancer and blindness.

What is the most common cause of blindness in horses?

Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU), also known as moon blindness, is the most common cause of blindness in horses worldwide. It affects 2 to 25 percent of horses globally, with 56 percent of affected horses eventually becoming blind. More than 60 percent of affected horses are unable to return to previous levels of work.

What is the difference between Moon blindness and eye conditions?

Typically, eye conditions that are common in horses have the same or similar symptoms to moon blindness, with the main difference being that moon blindness comes and goes for no apparent reason other than the immune-mediated response your horse’s system is having.

Is your horse at risk of moon blindness?

There are some breeds which tend to be more at risk than others. Moon blindness in horses is a disease of the eye which is immune-mediated. It can occur in one or both eyes and can be painful. This eye disease is also known as equine recurrent uveitis, or ERU.

What can be mistaken for an eye infection in a horse?

Equine Recurrent Uveitis, periodic ophthalmia or ERU can be mistaken for an eye infection. Moon blindness, a painful condition of the eye, was so named because it appeared to occur with the phases of the moon.

Is uveitis a death sentence for horses?

Here’s What You Need To Know Uveitis is a common cause of blindness in horses, but in some ways it remains mysterious. In its recurrent form, it also can be intractable. There’s no cure for it yet, but it also need not be a death sentence for a horse.

Can corticosteroids make uveitis worse in horses?

Because uveitis treatments like corticosteroids will suppress the eye’s immune response, it’s important to be certain before treatment that your horse doesn’t have an infection or an ulcer that might be made worse by the treatment, Bozorgmanesh cautioned. “Otherwise the treatment might make things 100 times worse,” she said.

Are Appaloosas prone to night blindness?

Hold Your Horses: Appaloosas are eight times more likely to contract Equine Recurrent Uveitis, a disease that causes moon blindness. Fortunately, ERU is treatable. Horses homozygous for the leopard-complex gene may develop Congenital Stationary Night Blindness.

Is it possible for a horse to have recurrent uveitis?

Also called subclinical ERU, this type of equine recurrent uveitis can be difficult to notice until the eye is already blind. Affected horses do not generally show signs of being in pain until signs of chronic ERU start to present. Insidious ERU is common in Appaloosa horses and Draft horses.

Are Appaloosa horses prone to uveitis?

Classic ERU is common in Appaloosa horses. Also called subclinical ERU, this type of equine recurrent uveitis can be difficult to notice until the eye is already blind. Affected horses do not generally show signs of being in pain until signs of chronic ERU start to present.

How common is eru in Appaloosa horses?

Insidious ERU is common in Appaloosa horses and Draft horses. This is the least common type of equine recurrent uveitis. Inflammation develops behind the lens of the eye making retinal detachment, degeneration and vitreal opacities common.

What causes inflammation of the uvea in horses?

The cause of the inflammation is not always determined but should always be investigated. Known causes of uveitis in horses can include infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic, protozoal), immune-mediated disease, and trauma. Not all horses with uveitis will develop recurrent episodes, but every horse with uveitis is at risk of recurrence.

Can horses go blind from uveitis?

Uveitis in horses or intraocular inflammation is a leading cause of blindness in horses. Uveitis may be acute or frequently recurrent. In horses subjected to recurrent uveitis, the uveal response may be exaggerated or maybe lacking in the suppression of T cells.

Why do we euthanase horses with uveitis?

Sadly, 15% of horses had to be euthanased due to bilateral blindness or chronic, uncontrollable pain. The main purpose of the treatment in a case of acute uveitis is two-fold: treat the ocular pain and control the inflammation. To treat the pain we use painkillers (such as bute or flunixin) and also a drug called atropine.

What causes a horse to go blind?

The most common cause of blindness in horses is equine recurrent uveitis (ERU), also referred to as moon blindness, a condition most owners have at least heard of, particularly in the Appaloosa world. Uveitis itself is defined simply as inflammation of the uvea, which comprises several tissues inside the eye, including the iris.