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Equine Practice
Equine recurrent uveitis - an update
  1. Andrew Matthews

    Andrew Matthews qualified from the University of Edinburgh in 1976 and gained a PhD at Edinburgh in 1981. He has since been in practice, for the past 15 years in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, where he is a partner with responsibility for the equine side of the practice. He gained an FRCVS for studies in equine ophthalmology in 1994. His clinical interests lie in all aspects of equine ophthalmology, in particular corneal disease and applied ocular immunology. He is coauthor of ‘Colour Atlas and Text of Equine Ophthalmology’ published by Mosby- Wolfe.


UVEITIS may arise from a number of causes, including blunt or perforating injury to the globe and, rarely, haematogenous spread of bacterial pathogens such as Streptococcus equi var equi or Rhodococcus equi. Occasionally, uveitis may be seen in cases of neonatal septicaemia. However, horses may be presented with an apparently endogenous form of the disease, usually referred to as equine recurrent uveitis (ERU). This term is synonymous with the obsolete nomenclature of 'moon blindness' or 'periodic ophthalmia'. ERU is typically a non-granulomatous anterior uveitis or panuveitis affecting any age, type or sex of horse, and is a potential cause of blindness. Both eyes may be affected, although not necessarily simultaneously, and the disease is potentially, but not inevitably, recurrent. ERU is relatively uncommon in the UK, but is an important differential diagnosis in cases of acute ocular pain.

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