Pets and eye health

In patients with uveitis or patients with special scars in the retina, we may ask if there is any history of pets.

Previous ocular toxocariasis may cause retinal scars and even tractional retinal detachment. Recent exposure to puppies in a uveitis patient may go along with active ocular toxocariasis.

A recent cat scratch in a patient with neuroretinitis or a young patient with a branch vein occlusion may represent cat scratch disease. These patients may even be systemically ill, with fever, neurological problems, and/or lymph node swelling.

Old ocular toxoplasmosis may be the etiology of dormant-appearing scars in the retina. An active area of retinal inflammation (retinochoroiditis) may represent active ocular toxoplasmosis. Patients may have a history of cleaning out the kitty litter box, having a sandbox that cats frequent, or eating undercooked meat.