This disease is caused by an inflammation of the iris and ciliary body. The
iris is the shutter that controls the size of the pupil. The ciliary body
produces the fluid that nourishes the structures in front of the lens and
maintains intraocular pressure.
Most cases of anterior uveitis are caused by autoimmune complexes that gain
access to the anterior chamber. Thus, anterior uveitis may occur with a long
list of bacterial infections and systemic diseases in dogs. Local diseases
associated with anterior uveitis include corneal ulceration, rupture of the
lens, and trauma to the eye. In some cases of uveitis the cause is unknown.
Otodectic mites are tiny insects that live in the ear canals and
feed by piercing the skin. They are highly contagious to cats and dogs, but not to humans. Ear
mites are the most common cause of ear symptoms in puppies and young adult
dogs. Suspect ear mites when both of the dog’s ears are involved.
Ear mites should not be confused with the mites that cause sarcoptic mange. This is an entirely
different disease, but one whose signs can include crusty ear tips (see
Scabies, page 126).
Anterior uveitis is painful and is accompanied by a red eye, severe
tearing and squinting, avoidance of light, and protrusion of the third
eyelid. The pupil is small and reacts sluggishly to light. It may appear
hazy or cloudy due to inflammation in the anterior chamber. A distinguishing
feature of anterior uveitis (but one that is not always present) is that the
affected eye feels softer than the normal eye.
The diagnosis is made by a complete veterinary eye examination. It is
important to measure intraocular pressure to rule out glaucoma.
Treatment: Any systemic or local disease must be identified and treated. The
treatment of uveitis is complex and involves the use of local and systemic
immunosuppressants, and drugs that dilate the pupil. Problems that can occur
along with or after an episode of anterior uveitis include secondary glaucoma,
cataracts, sunken eye, and blindness. The likelihood
of such complications can be minimized by early diagnosis and treatment.
WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"