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Equine uveitis in the UK: a retrospective study (2008–2018)


Background Uveitis appears to be less prevalent in the UK compared with other parts of the world and studies characterising the disease in the UK are lacking. The objectives of this retrospective study were to describe acute and recurrent cases presenting for management of uveitis in a referral hospital on the North West of England and compare the signalment of horses presenting with uveitis with the equine hospital population during the same period.

Methods Medical records of horses presented to the referral Equine Hospital, University of Liverpool with signs of uveitis between 2008 and 2018 were reviewed and clinical details extracted.

Results Seventy horses presented with uveitis; 33 were classified as acute and 37 as recurrent cases. Sixteen of the horses were affected bilaterally. More bilateral cases were classified as recurrent than acute (P=0.04). No differences in age or sex were noted between acute and recurrent cases, or between cases and the general hospital population. Warmbloods and Appaloosas were over-represented when compared with the general hospital population (P<0.001). Twenty-one horses (30 per cent, 95 per cent CI 20.5 to 41.4) underwent surgery for the control of the uveitis. Fourteen of the 70 horses (20.0 per cent, 95 per cent CI 12.3 to 30.8) underwent enucleation.

Conclusion While relatively uncommon in the UK, uveitis can affect horses from a relatively young age. The disease appears to have a relatively higher frequency than expected in Warmbloods and Appaloosas. It is more likely that a recurrent case will have both eyes affected.

  • horse
  • eye
  • intraocular inflammation
  • enucleation
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