Lens-induced uveitis is an ocular inflammation resulting from damage to the filmy layer that covers the eye. It occurs in dogs, humans and other animals. The condition's severity depends on the source of the irritation and the presence of other medical issues. Uveitis is manageable, but addressing underlying issues is the only path to a permanent cure.
The Cataract Connection
Lens-induced uveitis is linked to the development of cataracts. Some dogs go their whole lives with developing cloudy pockets in their lenses, but they are common in old animals. Poodles, cocker spaniels and several other breeds are predisposed to the condition. Cataracts may expand and warp the fragile tissue that covers your dog's eye. These abnormal pockets can eventually shrivel and rupture the lens, which lets fluids flow back into the eye itself. The vulnerable inner-workings of your dog's eyes become inflamed when exposed to the liquid mixture of water and protein.
Dogs often put their faces directly in harm's way. Getting scratched by the cat or running into a thorny bush are a couple of the ways your pet can hurt his eyes. Penetrating or abrasive wounds to the lens produces sudden and serious inflammation, according to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine website. Get your pup to the vet if he sustains an injury to his eyes or face.
Some Telltale Symptoms
A severe case of uveitis may look like a scene from a horror movie. Pronounced blood vessels bulging from bloodshot eyes are a strong sign that your pet's eyes are inflamed. Your dog's lenses should be completely clear. A cloudy or opaque development suggests cataracts. Check your dog's eyes if you catch him pawing at his face or if has trouble moving around. The chronic pain and itchiness associated with uveitis will likely irritate your pet into messing with the area.
A Vicious Cycle
While lens-induced uveitis is a symptom of other problems with your dog's eyes, it's a serious condition in its own right. The inflammation has a notable negative impact on the success of corrective surgery to fix cataracts and other eye problems. It also leads to glaucoma and unnatural movements of the lens. Inflammation of the eye increases the risk of additional cataracts, creating a dangerous pattern that could lead to permanent blindness.
Stop the Source
Your veterinarian may prescribe eye drops or oral medication in the form of tablets to help deal with the uveitis. These solutions are adequate for managing inflammation in most cases, although surgical procedures may also be appropriate. Surgery to mend damaged tissue and remove cataracts may offer the only long-term solution to your pet's uveitis. However, uveitis can return along with other eye issues even if the current operation is successful.
Quentin Coleman has written for various publications, including All Pet News and Safe to Work Australia. He spent more tan 10 years nursing kittens, treating sick animals and domesticating semi-feral cats for a local animal shelter. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.