The Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine is seeking donation of horses afflicted with equine recurrent uveitis (ERU)--also known as moon blindness--to participate in a study investigating the role of bacterial infection in the development of ERU.

ERU is an inflammatory disease of all parts of the uvea that can affect one or both eyes. It represents the most common cause of blindness in horses. The disease has been previously reported to affect 8-25% of the U.S. horse population; however, field observation suggests that 1% to 2% of American horses have clinical disease serious enough to threaten vision.

ERU is characterized by recurrent or persistent episodes of ocular inflammation. Each attack is associated with progression of irreversible ocular damage. Horses can have ERU at any age, but the initial episode frequently occurs in horses 4 to 8 years of age. In the acute phase, common clinical signs for ERU include:

  • Squinting;
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light);
  • Lacrimation (tearing);
  • Chemosis (swollen eyelids)
  • Conjunctival hyperemia (redness)
  • Miosis (pupilary constriction);
  • Aqueous flare (small "floaters" in the front chamber of the eye);
  • Corneal neovascularization (excessive growth of blood vessels in the cornea);
  • Hyphema (blood in the eye);
  • Hypopyon (yellow eye); and
  • Corneal edema (cloudy or white eye).

If you have an interest in donating a horse for this study or for more information, please contact Mike Keowen at 225/578-9500 from the Equine Health Studies Program.

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