Uveitis is an inflammation of the medium tissue layer of the eye. Symptoms are usually most obvious on and around the iris.
Uveitis can affect one or both eyes at the same time. The first symptom is soreness. Affected animals rub their head against objects or paw at the affected area. The eyelid is held closed most of the time. The eye is often blood-shot and the third eyelid may be prolapsed. In more advanced stages discoloring of the iris occurs. This is the most obvious if the condition is affecting only one eye. If the inflammation extends to the muscles controlling the size of the pupil, the diameter of the pupil is usually small, and does not respond to direct light. The pupil may lose its roundness and assume an asymmetrical shape. Without treatment the inflammation will spread to other parts of the eye. A common complication is adhesion with the lens, which may impair drainage of the intra-ocular water and cause glaucoma.
Uvetis may form as the result of trauma caused to the eye and damage done to the iris. This damage causes the iris to become inflamed. Uveitis also develops as a side effect of other systemic conditions such as diabetes mellitus and chronic renal failure. Degeneration of the lens as seen in older animals and infections can also cause uveitis.
The condition can be diagnosed after a thorough examination of the eye. Treatment is based upon underlying causes. If a degenerated lens is involved in the process, extraction of the lens is usually the method of choice.
If uveitis is suspected, a veterinarian should be consulted as soon as possible.