Question: My cat was diagnosed with uveitis when I noticed that the iris of one eye was red, the pupil was small, and the front of the eye was usually cloudy. My veterinarian prescribed steroid eye drops and sent a blood sample to the lab for further testing. What is uveitis, and what causes it?
A: Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea (YOU’vee-uh), the structures of the eye that are filled with blood vessels.
By weight, the eye has the highest blood flow of any organ in the body. Light focused on the retina through the lens creates heat inside the eye, and 90% of the blood flowing through the eyes cools them.
The uvea contains the iris, the colored part of the eye that you can see, and two additional structures that you can’t: the ciliary body, which produces a fluid that keeps the front of the eyeball clear and round, and the choroid. , the layer of blood vessels between the retina and the white sclera.
Uveitis has many causes, including viral, bacterial, parasitic and other infections; an overactive immune system that targets the eye; Eye injuries, corneal ulcers and cataracts; And even cancer and diseases of other body systems.
Common infectious causes include feline infectious peritonitis, feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, Bartonella and Toxoplasma. In a recent study of 120 cats, despite a thorough diagnostic workup, the cause could not be determined in 40.8% of cases.
Steroid drops prescribed by your veterinarian can help reduce inflammation. Additional therapy is directed at controlling pain and treating the underlying cause, if one can be identified.
Inadequately treated uveitis can lead to blindness, so consider requesting a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist. Follow your veterinarian’s guidance, and return as recommended for continued care.
Question: Fire ants have invaded my yard, and I am thinking of buying some bifenthrin to kill them. Before I do, I want to make sure it’s safe to use around my dogs.
A: Bifenthrin is a pyrethroid insecticide, a synthetic version of the pyrethrins that occur naturally in chrysanthemums. It is the active ingredient in more than 600 granular, spray, and aerosol products sold in the United States.
Bifenthrin is a nervous system toxin. It is particularly lethal to bees and other insects, as well as fish and other aquatic species.
Dogs and cats are less sensitive to its effects. However, if your dog disturbs a treated fire ant mound and ingests bifenthrin, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, tremors, or seizures. A death has been reported.
If you are lucky enough to have a fenced yard and your fire ants are outside the fence, your dogs will be fine if they are on a leash for walks.
Question: I have been diagnosed with COVID-19, although my symptoms are mild. My pets seem fine, but I’m wondering if I should get them checked.
A: No, it is not recommended. The virus is easily transmitted from person to person. In rare cases, infected people have spread the virus to their pets, although some of these pets have become ill. Those who experienced only mild clinical symptoms that resolved quickly.
Additionally, there is no evidence that pets can transmit disease to humans.
To protect your pet during your illness, do not kiss them, sleep with them or let them lick your plate after eating. Ask another family member to look after them when you are sick.
Editor’s note: Dr. Lee Pickett has retired, but the creator continues to distribute columns from his archive.