Uveitis is a type of eye condition that can develop in dogs, which can lead to a range of changes in the appearance and functions of your dog’s eyes and that may also be painful. Left untreated, canine uveitis is distressing for dogs and can result in permanent, irreversible blindness, and so it is a good idea for all dog owners to learn a little bit about uveitis in dogs, its symptoms, and what can be done about it.
In this article we will talk about uveitis in dogs in more detail, and explain more about the condition and its effects. Read on to learn more.
In simple terms, uveitis is classed as an inflammation that affects any or all of the parts of the uvea of the eye – the pigmented part of the eye underneath the cornea, which includes the iris, ciliary body and choroid. Uveitis comes in different variants depending on the parts of the uvea involved, and if all three of the iris, ciliary body and choroid are involved, this is known as pan-uveitis. If the choroid is unaffected, this is usually known as anterior uveitis, whilst if the choroid alone if affected, this is known as posterior uveitis.
There are a great many different underlying causes that can lead to uveitis in dogs, and your vet may not be able to tell you for sure which led to the problem in your own dog. However, finding and diagnosing any underlying root cause can be important when your vet treats your dog’s uveitis, as sometimes resolving the original issue will correct its secondary complications too.
Some of the most common causes of uveitis in dogs include:
There are quite a large number of different eye conditions that can affect dogs, either as a result of an underlying health condition, as a secondary complication of another illness, or as a result of damage or trauma to the eyes.
Many canine eye conditions can be hard to spot because they tend to develop gradually over time, which means that for people who see a dog every day like their owners do, small, subtle and gradual changes over time can be easy to miss.
Additionally, a lot of very different eye conditions that can affect dogs may present with similar or overlapping symptoms, which means that the only way to find out for sure what is going on is to arrange a veterinary eye examination with your vet if your spot something amiss.
Some of the most common symptoms of uveitis in dogs to watch out for include:
In order to reach a formal diagnosis of uveitis in your dog, your vet will need to arrange an appointment to give them a thorough eye examination, and they may also consider consulting an expert veterinary ophthalmologist if they are at all uncertain about their findings.
Because uveitis in dogs can occur as the result of an underlying health condition, your vet may also wish to run some blood tests or other investigative procedures to get to the bottom of the issue.
How your vet decides to treat your dog’s uveitis will depend on what they find upon examination, and this may depend on finding the root cause of the issue. Treating the cause will often resolve uveitis too, but in many cases, your vet will prescribe topical eye lotions or drops to soothe your dog’s eyes, clear up any infection, and ease their symptoms.
Left untreated, uveitis in dogs will potentially cause your dog a lot of pain and discomfort, as well as affecting their vision. Canine uveitis can even lead to permanent, irreversible blindness too, and so this is not a condition that will benefit from a “wait and see” approach, and you should ask your vet to investigate if you spot any changes or problems with your dog’s eyes, even if it appears minor and does not seem to be causing your dog any pain.