Equine Eye Problems Discussed by Veterinarians

Ophthalmology in horses was declared such an important topic at the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention in early December that two Table Topics were held. In one session approximately 175 veterinarians attended,

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Ophthalmology in horses was declared such an important topic at the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention in early December that two Table Topics were held. In one session approximately 175 veterinarians attended, and in the second session about 120 practitioners were in attendance.

The discussion in the first Ophthalmology Table Topic started with a review from Ann Dwyer, DVM, on the AAEP-sponsored Focus on Ophthalmology Meeting that was held in Raleigh, N.C., in October 2009. Dwyer reported the attendance for the Focus meeting was excellent, and the veterinarians attending the meeting found the conference to be very helpful in improving their abilities to diagnosis and treat equine ophthalmic disease.

Amber Labelle, DVM, then gave a brief overview of the suspected causes and mechanisms of equine recurrent uveitis (ERU or moon blindness), including a novel surgical therapy using suprachoroidal cyclosporine A implants.

Dwyer and Labelle agreed ERU is a very frustrating disease to treat. While progress has been made in treatment options and understanding of the pathophysiology and various risk factors of the syndrome, ERU is still a major cause of blindness in horses. Both veterinarians repeatedly emphasized the need for routine eye exams, especially as part of annual or bi-annual wellness exams, careful documentation of all findings, and aggressive therapy for intraocular inflammation

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