Antibiotic Eye Injections Halt Lepto-Related Equine Recurrent Uveitis

Intraocular gentamicin injections might be less costly and less invasive alternatives to vitrectomy in horses with early stage ERU, also known as “moon blindness.”
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Antibiotic Eye Injections Halt Lepto-Related Equine Recurrent Uveitis
ERU has different causes, including a possible genetic origin that seems to be linked to breeds or colors, appearing more frequently in Appaloosas and Warmbloods, said Kleinpeter. | Photo: iStock

Stopping some forms of equine recurrent uveitis might soon be as easy as … sticking a needle in the eye.

Intravitreal (directly into the vitreous, the jellylike part of the eye behind the lens) injections might sound unpleasant. When performed correctly, however, veterinarians can diffuse low doses of the potent antibiotic agent gentamicin into the eye to halt the destruction caused by repetitive bouts of uveitis, said German researchers.

Effective only in cases of leptospirosis-related uveitis, the local injection of low-dose gentamicin is a promising, low-cost alternative to surgical removal of the vitreous—a procedure known as vitrectomy, said André Kleinpeter, Dr.Med.Vet, of the Tierklinik Alt Sammit regional referral equine hospital for northeastern Germany

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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