ERU- Equine Recurrent Uveitis - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old Yesterday, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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ERU- Equine Recurrent Uveitis

Hello! I have a draft cross yearling filly who was recently diagnosed with ERU. She had her first uveitis last year; it was bad, her eye was sealed shut and she had significant discharge. The vet rinsed her eye with iodine, we gave her Bute and treated her with the eye paste for a week and it cleared up.

Last week it happened again. The good news; it's in the same eye, and this time it is much less severe. He did not feel it was necessary to rinse it this time, so he gave us more Bute and ointment and told us to treat it for a week again. However, he did mention that it looks like she may have ERU.

Me being me, I immediately googled everything. I have read numerous articles about it, but I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone else who has fought this.

She seems to be through this round, but I'm still freaking out. She's my dream baby and the idea that she may lose sight in one eye is heartbreaking. I like to be proactive as much as possible, so my questions are these;

What did you do in between flare ups to try and prevent it?

Did you ever have a horse pull through without losing vision?

I know it's a very real possibility she will be blind in one eye, or maybe even have to have the eye removed. If that's the case I'll still keep her and do my best to make her handi-capable! Right now I have her wearing a UV mask to protect against sunlight and dust, but besides that I'm mainly just keeping her meds on hand in case it flares up again. I have noticed a supplement online but it's quite expensive, so I thought I'd see if anyone had luck with it first.

Do you use any supplements in between flare ups?

Do you leave the UV mask on in between flare ups or just during treatment?

I've never dealt with this before and I'm just trying my best to be proactive. Please be kind, and any help is appreciated!
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post #2 of 9 Old Yesterday, 04:31 PM
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Sorry to hear about this! Others will be along with more experience in this regard but one horse at my yard has this in one eye and has been dealing with it for years. She bought a fly mask with no nose/removable eye holes. She removed the ears off it and keeps her good eye uncovered. But it means her susceptible eye is covered around the clock. She also disinfects it regularly (uses the spare eye cover to swap). Anytime she's left it off pony is guaranteed an issue within the week but as she boards isn't in full control of her environment. Also she has access to a kettle and clean (disinfected) bowl/cotton/saline to wipe eyes. Not skanky bucket water as I've seen some people use -.-. It's impossible to keep things sterile but definitely think people don't try hard enough sometimes... Do you board or keep your horse on your property? Waiting to see what other advice comes along!

edit: she was also telling me that with the above routine she has only about 2 episodes a year. Before that it was constant... but each situation is different I guess!
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post #3 of 9 Old Yesterday, 05:43 PM
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I thought we were facing this in the summer when one of out horses had two flare ups, both times after losing her face mask in the field.
Our vet prescribed terramycin because the eye was discharging, he couldn’t see any damage at all the the eye. It didn’t seem to help so I decided to go with some old fashioned saline solution and it was back to normal within a couple of days. The next time I went straight for the saline solution and it cleared up by the next day.
She’s never had a recurrence and I’m now wondering if it was just a bad reaction to bugs or pollens that she was exposed too without the mask.
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post #4 of 9 Old Yesterday, 06:10 PM
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A woman at the barn I board at has an appy mare with uveitis. She has two fly masks on at all times to further shield her bad eye. This past summer, it was flared up all summer, and needed two types of ointments applied twice a day. She had a dose of bute every morning to keep her comfortable. After months of fighting with it, the owner decided to get it removed and be done with it. The horse acted like it only had one eye its entire life, nothing changed pre and post eye removal. The only difference now is that the horse isn't in constant pain during flare ups.

This horse was in its late teens, and was already broke and very used to be around humans. If I had a young horse that had uveitis, I would focus on getting it as far as I could with two eyes, transition to one eye, and act like nothing ever happened. Horses are great at adjusting to having only one eye, and will figure it out quick.

In the case the other eye starts flaring, there are horses that exist with both eyes removed, most famously Endo. You can look him up on youtube and social media, his owner competes in working equitation and dressage, and he is VERY competitive, despite being blind.
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post #5 of 9 Old Today, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys! I'm definitely out of my element dealing with this:(

The filly is on my property with her mother and no other horses. She is dry lotted right now with it being winter, but my paddock is covered in lime and I clean it daily. The stalls are very clean also.

Some background I forgot to mention; her mother has COPD. I had every health check known to man done before breeding her and she passed all with flying colors. She had shown no symptoms before breeding, but about 3 months before foaling the cough started. She was diagnosed a few months later.

For this reason my property is cleaned religiously. They have top quality round bales; fresh, green, not a speck of dust or mold, and they are fed in nets. Stalls are bedded with hypoallergenic low dust bedding and are cleaned regularly, their dry lot is coated with lime to reduce odors and is cleaned daily.

With her mother's issues, my guess would be this is stemming from auto-immune issues. If I had known about this I obviously never would have bred her mother, but like I said none of her symptoms showed until late in the pregnancy and she passed every health check before that.

So what I'm getting so far; keep it covered 24/7, swap masks so they can stay sterilized. Do you feed any supplements during non-flare up time to prevent them? What do you use to sterilize masks and how often? She is grained daily so adding something wouldn't be too bad, and cleaning masks is easy too.

And luckily she's averaging only 1 flare up a year so far. The last one was bad with her eye even sealing shut, but this last one was just a little swollen and watery. Everyone who knows me thinks I'm overreacting but she's my princess and I'd rather be cautious!

*Attached a pic. I noticed her long pretty forelock kept getting in her eye so now she's rocking a man-bun*
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post #6 of 9 Old Today, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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https://www.equivont.com/a/special-f...RoCdOMQAvD_BwE

Does anyone know anything about this supplement? It doesn't have any reviews so I'm hesitant to buy it, just wondered if anyone had seen it/used it.
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post #7 of 9 Old Today, 01:22 PM
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Keeping it clean and protected is certainly very important, so I'd say keep the UV fly mask on her. It also may protect the other eye, if there are lurking issues with it that haven't presented yet, plus keeping bugs away from it is very helpful too. The horse I use to ride and loved dearly (profile pic) was blind due to ERU, which, at the end of the day, is caused by inflammation in the eye. Sometimes it can be treated, other times it cannot, but many horses do adjust well to being blind or partially blind. Keep a close watch on it, as I'm sure you're doing, and minimize irritation as much as possible. Also keep in close contact with your vet about any changes you note or concerns you have.

One thing I will warn you of that I haven't seen mentioned (forgive me if I missed it) is that her behavior may change if the flare ups begin affecting her vision. She may be more jumpy or spooky to things on that side (not all are), and if that seems to be the case, if you do find out it's going to keep progressing, be prepared to potentially have to cover that eye with something that keeps her from seeing (over the fly mask). This is not what's happening now, I know, and of course (we hope) it will never happen, but just a little advice from my experience if it ever comes to that. Good luck!
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post #8 of 9 Old Today, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HisMissus2013 View Post
Hello! I have a draft cross yearling filly who was recently diagnosed with ERU. She had her first uveitis last year; it was bad, her eye was sealed shut and she had significant discharge. The vet rinsed her eye with iodine, we gave her Bute and treated her with the eye paste for a week and it cleared up.

Last week it happened again. The good news; it's in the same eye, and this time it is much less severe. He did not feel it was necessary to rinse it this time, so he gave us more Bute and ointment and told us to treat it for a week again. However, he did mention that it looks like she may have ERU.
I myself have never had a horse with ERU, but it seems to be that *only* a week of treatment for her first episode is rather SHORT for what I know of ERU. Do you happen to remember what eye ointment he prescribed?


Did the vet examine the eye with yellow dye? (sodium fluorescen)


Not that it couldn't be ERU, but just kind of curious!

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post #9 of 9 Old Today, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=beau159;1970793303]
Quote:
Originally Posted by HisMissus2013 View Post
Hello! I have a draft cross yearling filly who was recently diagnosed with ERU. She had her first uveitis last year; it was bad, her eye was sealed shut and she had significant discharge. The vet rinsed her eye with iodine, we gave her Bute and treated her with the eye paste for a week and it cleared up.

Last week it happened again. The good news; it's in the same eye, and this time it is much less severe. He did not feel it was necessary to rinse it this time, so he gave us more Bute and ointment and told us to treat it for a week again. However, he did mention that it looks like she may have ERU.
I myself have never had a horse with ERU, but it seems to be that *only* a week of treatment for her first episode is rather SHORT for what I know of ERU. Do you happen to remember what eye ointment he prescribed?


Did the vet examine the eye with yellow dye? (sodium fluorescen)

He did, honestly I don't remember how long I treated it. I wasn't there for the exam because I had to work, but my husband was. This was also when I was 39 weeks pregnant so I had major preggo brain, it may have been for one week may have been for two (I didn't have my son till 41 weeks so I was doctoring her) but I have not slept in 8 months straight so I really don't remember lol
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