Optimizing Chances of Equine Recurrent Uveitis Treatment Success

Equine recurrent uveitis, or ERU, remains a timely, expensive, and unrewarding disease to treat due to recurrence, loss of vision, and loss of use.

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equine recurrent uveitis treatment
Equine recurrent uveitis remains a timely, expensive, and unrewarding disease to treat due to recurrence, loss of vision, and loss of use. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Dennis Brooks

Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) is a nasty disease, causing searing pain and loss of use. Adding insult to injury, the disease keeps coming back, often resulting in blindness.

This disease frequently frustrates veterinarians such as Mary Lassaline, DVM, PhD, MA, Dipl. ACVO—even to the point of despair, she said—because ERU remains an expensive and unrewarding disease to treat. But as researchers learn more about the ins and outs of the disease, they’re finding ways to improve treatment.

“ERU is the number one cause of blindness that comes with important emotional and economic strings attached,” said Lassaline, a large animal ophthalmologist at the University of California, Davis, during her presentation at the 2017 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Nov. 17-21 in San Antonio, Texas. “In one retrospective study, approximately 15% of affected horses are euthanized, and by the time many horses are referred to a specialist, the horse’s disease is already at an advanced stage. Up to 25% of horses are already blind by the time they are referred

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Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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