Editor’s note: This article is part of TheHorse.com’s ongoing coverage of topics presented at the 2012 Western Veterinary Conference held in February.

When equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) develops, it often looks inconspicuous at best. Maybe your horse’s eye is a little watery, or he’s squinting in the bright sunlight. It’s nothing to worry about, right? Wrong. At a recent veterinary convention, one veterinarian discussed just how serious ERU is if left untreated.

During a presentation at the 2012 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 19-23 in Las Vegas, Nev., Jacquelin Boggs, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, discussed equine recurrent uveitis with a veterinary audience. Following are the top seven things horse owners should know about this potentially blinding disease:

1. Uveitis is the leading cause of blindness in horses. "While data on the incidence of uveitic horses is lacking, uveitis is the leading cause of blindness in horses worldwide," said Boggs, an equine technical services veterinarian for Pfizer Animal Health.

2. ERU has a variety of presentations and subsets of disease. The disease can be caused by a variety of factors, and often has an insidious onset, Boggs relayed. "Under the ‘umbrella’ of ERU are several clinically recognizable syndromes based upon either observed inflammation or the stage of ocular disease in the horse at the time of examination," Boggs said. She noted that ophthalmologists have developed two terms used to describe ERU subsets: classic uveitis and insidious uveitis. "Classic uveitis cases demonstrate bouts