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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Equine uveitis: Outcome and adverse effects after one or two intravitreal low-dose gentamicin injections

Moren, S.; Kallberg, M.; Strom, L.


BackgroundUveitis is common in horses, potentially turning chronic (persistent or recurrent) resulting in impaired vision or blindness. All mainstay therapeutics aims at controlling inflammation, but long-term or lifelong treatment is often needed with possibly severe side effects. Therefore, intravitreal injections with low-dose gentamicin (IVGI) have been used in attempt to give a long-lasting result with potentially less side effects.ObjectivesTo retrospectively assess outcome and long-term complications following one or two low-dose IVGI in Swedish horses with chronic uveitis.Study designRetrospective case series.MethodsMedical records of horses diagnosed with uveitis examined at the Equine Clinic of the University Animal Hospital of Sweden between 2016 and 2021 were reviewed. Inclusion criteria were horses with a diagnosis of chronic uveitis that were treated with 4 mg IVGI. After injection, tapering doses of anti-inflammatory medications were administered. Due to persistence or recurrence of uveitis despite IVGI, some horses received a second injection. A positive outcome was defined as controlled uveitis, despite no or minimal anti-inflammatory medication.Results32 eyes (29 horses) were included. Based on clinical evaluation, uveitis was classified as anterior (91%) or panuveitis (9%). 10 eyes were treated with IVGI twice. A positive outcome was observed in 13/32 eyes (41%). Inflammation in 9/32 eyes was controlled after the first, and in 4/10 eyes after the second IVGI treatment. Long-term complications included retinal degeneration in seven eyes, and mature cataracts in five eyes. Enucleations were performed in 14/32 eyes, due to lack of favourable response of IVGI, or due to complications, that is, glaucoma, corneal ulceration, and/or corneal mineralisation. One horse was euthanised due to painful bouts of inflammation in both eyes despite treatment.Main limitationsSmall sample size, retrospective design with no control group, no histopathology performed, infrequent sampling for Leptospira and no standardised treatment protocol after the IVGI.ConclusionsIn this group of Swedish horses, predominantly diagnosed clinically with anterior uveitis, a positive outcome was observed in 41% of eyes following one or two low-dose IVGI. Retinal degeneration in the visual streak was observed in 22% of eyes, which is a higher proportion of this complication than previously described.


equine ophthalmology; equine recurrent uveitis; gentamicin; horse; intravitreal injection

Published in

Equine Veterinary Journal
Publisher: WILEY