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What Is Pannus In German Shepherds

Can Pannus Be Removed

Cloudy Eye in a German Shepherd:Pannus

A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the pannus excess skin and tissue from the lower abdomen. This excess skin is sometimes referred to as an apron. Unlike a tummy tuck, the panniculectomy does not tighten the abdominal muscles for a more cosmetic appearance, disqualifying it as a cosmetic procedure.

What Tests May My Vet Recommend To Diagnose Pannus

Your vet will likely recommend a Schirmer tear test to assess the tear production, fluorescein eye stain to ensure there is no scratch or ulcer present, and may also recommend an intraocular pressure test to be sure glaucoma is not present.

There is no specific test for pannus. If the above-listed tests are normal and the changes to the eyes are consistent with pannus, treatment will likely be started.

Treatment Of Pannus In Dogs:

Pannus is controllable but can not be cured entirely. Treatment will stop the disease from developing to more advanced stages and may reverse some of the damage.

Treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics: Medications to treat any secondary bacterial infections or drugs to suppress the immune system
  • Surgery: Only in cases where your canine companion is blind, the top layers of the cornea can be removed
  • Cortisone: A steroid, either applied on the skin or injected by your veterinarian
  • Radiation: may be an option for chronic and advanced Pannus
  • Eye Drops: Veterinarians may prescribe eye drops such as dexamethasone, prednisone, or cyclosporine.

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How Can My Dog Be Treated For Pannus

Topical steroids or immunosuppressive eye drops are the most common treatment. Some dogs need 2 types of eye medications to get relief. These are long-term medications and your vet will recommend rechecks every few months to assess response to treatment and help formulate a plan for finding the lowest effective dose of medications to keep the eyes healthy.

Occasionally, steroid injections below the conjunctival tissue are needed to reduce inflammation.

Veterinary ophthalmologists can implant a long-acting immunosuppressive medication like cyclosporine that needs to be repeated every 8 to 12 months.

Cryotherapy and radiotherapy are additional treatments if the more common treatments are not working for your dog.

UV protective doggy goggles can be worn to reduce further UV exposure. Keeping dogs indoors and out of the sun as much as possible can help limit symptoms of pannus.

How Is Pannus Treated

Pannus: German Shepherd Dog 4 years illustration

Treatment involves using topical corticosteroids or other immune modulating drugs such as cyclosporine. On occasion, an injection of steroids under the conjunctiva may be done. Antibiotics are sometimes required in cases that have developed a secondary infection. Due to the influence of UV lighting on pannus, your veterinarian may suggest dog sunglasses to help give extra protection

“Treatment will not cure the condition but will halt the progression and may reverse some of the changes.”

Treatment will not cure the condition but will halt the progression and may reverse some of the changes. The treatment of pannus is for life. It is important that your veterinarian’s instructions are followed carefully, and medications are consistently administered. Regular check-ups and vigilance are imperative since the condition often relapses throughout life.

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Other German Shepherd Eye Diseases

Being a large dog breed doesnt mean that GSDs are not susceptible to eye diseases. Furthermore, they are genetically more prone to some known canine eye disorders.

  • Plasma Cell Conjunctivitis is a known German Shepherd eye infection. It is also an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the eyes moist tissues.
  • Acromatopsia is a retinal abnormality in GSDs. Also known as day blindness disease, GSDs vision becomes blurred and may lose sight of color in bright light.
  • German Shepherd eye allergies are usually caused by irritants in the air like pollen, weed and some chemicals.

What Signs Give It Away

The disease causes the cornea to become inflamed and discolored.

One eye may be more affected than the other. It starts off with a pink tinge usually on the outer edges of each eye, then moving inwards.

When looking directly at a dogs eyes, changes will be noticeable at the 3 oclock and 9 oclock positions.

The tinge is due to tiny blood vessels that eventually spread out to cover the entire surface of the cornea.

This turns the eye opaque and eventually, the cornea becomes dark and pigmented.

Scarring and tissue accumulate on the surface of the eye, and cholesterol forms inside the cornea. Discharge may sometimes be present. In some cases, small white deposits will appear in other areas around the cornea.

Dogs have a third eyelid in the bottom corner of the eye, this protects the cornea by clearing mucus and produces a third of the dogs tears.

This third eyelid may also become affected with a Pannus variation called Nictitans Plasmacytic Conjunctivitus or Plasmoma. Each form may or may not be present at the same time.

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What Is The Prognosis For A Dog Diagnosed With Pannus

The majority of cases respond well to topical medications. Some dogs will require referral to a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist for more aggressive treatments. In severe cases, surgery to remove the scar tissue associated with pannus may be recommended to improve the pet’s vision. Failure to give the recommended medications as prescribed can make the condition worse.

Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM

Pannus Or Chronic Superficial Keratits In Dogs

Pannus, A Common Eye Problem Seen in The German Shepherd

What is Pannus and what causes it?Pannus is an inflammatory, and potentially blinding disease of the cornea in dogs. Early in the disease, blood vessels and pigment invade the cornea, from the ear-side of the eye at first, and heads towards the nose-side of the eye. As it spreads, the inflammation can appear pink and fleshy. This is typically quite painful and irritating for the dogs afflicted with it. Eventually, the entire corneal surface can be covered, and this will render the dog blind, and can cause permanent scarring if left to develop so completely. This disease often affects both eyes, but may be asymmetrical in its presentation.

Pannus is believed to be an auto-immune condition, with a genetic basis. German Shepherds, Shepherd crosses and Greyhounds are most at risk. Ultraviolet radiation is believed to be a large predisposing factor, with the radiation altering how the immune system recognises the cornea. Once this occurs, then a large inflammatory reaction directed against the cornea occurs.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Pannus In Gsds

According to vets, Pannus usually starts at the very edge of the transparent part of the eye known as the cornea. The corner edge of the cornea becomes cloudy with very small, visible blood vessels which will eventually cover the whole cornea. Fortunately, Pannus is not painful.

Here are other visible symptoms of Pannus eye disease in German Shepherds:

  • Symmetrical cloudy pink mass on the cornea with obvious blood vessels
  • Dark brown or sometimes black pigmentation of the cornea
  • German Shepherd bloodshot eyes
  • German Shepherds eyes watering or may appear weeping
  • Thick cloudiness of the cornea
  • Tiny white spots may appear around the eyes

Pannus An Eye Disease Is Common In German Shepherds

Seeing as May is National Service Dog Eye Exam month, I thought it would be a very good time to discuss one of the eye diseases experienced by one of the most common breeds of service dogs.

It’s important to note that the term Service Dog refers to a variety of different working dog classes. According to the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, these are the qualifying service dogs:

  • Guide Dogs
  • Service Dogs for People with Disabilities other than Blindness
  • Therapy Dogs

The top 3 most popular breeds in the US, according to the AKC, that are commonly used as service dogs for many of the above categories are: Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, and Golden Retrievers. Today, we would like to focus specifically on the most common eye disease experienced by German Shepherds, but first, we need to establish why eye health is so important in dogs.

In my experience as a veterinary assistant, I can tell you that eye issues are most commonly considered emergencies, or situations of immediate concern. The eye is made up of such delicate tissue that its important to act quickly to avoid long-term damage and loss of sight. As a pet parent, it is crucial to be aware of the diseases that threaten your pet AND know the signs and symptoms of those diseases so that you can act immediately.

Pannus in German Shepherds

Pannus is defined by Animal Eye Center as:

What are the signs of Pannus?

How is Pannus treated?

What can you do for your pet?

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Prognosis Of A Dog With Pannus

Most cases respond well to medication, but lifelong treatment is necessary. Some dogs will need a referral to a board-certified veterinary opthamologist for more advanced treatment. In severe cases, advanced surgery may be recommended to remove the scar tissue associated with the Pannus to improve the pets vision. Failure to give the prescribed medication can worsen the condition.

You should always follow your veterinarians instructions in the case of Pannus.

Signs & Symptoms Of German Shepherd Pannus

  • Pink tinge on outer edges of eye/s
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Symmetrical cloudy pink mass on the cornea
  • Corneal color change from clear to a whitish pink, brown or black
  • White fatty growths on the cornea / tiny white spots around the eyes
  • Thickened tissue over the eye
  • Visual impairmentThe selected Optin Cat form doesn’t exist.

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Treatment Of Pannus In Dogs

There is no permanent cure available yet for this disease but it can be managed by topical medications. This treatment will be lifelong with constant care keeping the condition under control. Topical steroids suppress the immune system response that triggers pannus. Your veterinarian may prescribe injections of subconjunctival steroids into the growth on the cornea and this treatment can last for up to a month, but you will need to continue it afterwards or use another topical treatment as pannus will flare up again if left alone.

Surgery can be used to remove parts of the diseased tissue and may include the use of extreme cold to freeze it off . In severe cases, radiation is effective. As there is no actual healing or cure for this condition, you must continue to treat your dog& rsquo s eyes to contain it. If caught in the early stages and cared for immediately, your dog will retain most of the eyesight and will live a normal life.

German Shepherd Pannus Recover & Prognosis

The severity of the condition will determine the outcome. But most dogs with mild to moderate Pannus responded well to topical medication.

With regular clinical checkups, a German Shepherd with Pannus can still have good vision and lead a good quality of life.

The condition is more difficult to treat in dogs that live or work at high altitudes

For example, Military dogs in mountainous regions .

Avoiding a dogs exposure to sunlight will be necessary after diagnosis and treatment. Shelters should be provided in the home away from sunlight

Dogs are best exercised during the very early morning or much later in the evening.

Special doggy sunglasses/goggles with UV protection are available.

Pets may resist wearing them initially, but with gentle encouragement, a dog will adapt.

They will also look very cool too!

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How To Treat C Onjunctivitis In Dogs

Because c onjunctivitis in dogs is usually the result of an irritant and not a contagious infection that can spread from dog to dog, treatment will most of the time involve flushing the eyes and reducing inflammation with eye drops and ointments. If the irritant is an allergen, this may be followed up with antihistamines.

What Are The Different Treatment Options

Pannus In Dogs [2.10]

There is no cure for pannus, but there are several ways to treat the condition.

  • The most common treatment is through medications that keep the blood vessel growth and cloudiness under control. These anti-inflammatory medications commonly include corticosteroids, tacrolimus, or cyclosporine and are administered most often through eye drops, but can also be administered through ointments or even injections. While these medications have to be given for the lifetime of the animal, over time the amount can usually be decreased.
  • Shout out to us! Many vets are now recommending that Rex Specs be used in conjunction with medication as a way to keep the condition from worsening over time. See below for more information on dog owners who have used Rex Specs and seen a dramatic impact on the amount of eye drops necessary to keep pannus under control.
  • In the most severe cases, your dog may need surgery to decrease/remove the scarring and pigmentation in the cornea that is causing the vision impairment. Again, this will not cure the disease, and the condition will recur if other treatment measures are not continued after surgery.

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How To Protect Your Dogs Eyes From Dangerous Ultra

Pannus is not avoidable, but you can try to prevent some relapses or help ease your dogs discomfort. Affected dogs should have limits on their exposure to bright sunlight. Walks should be reserved for evening, early mornings, or in shaded areas.

Use UV sunglases: Some veterinarians are now recommending that Rex Specs goggles be used in conjunction with medication to keep the condition from worsening over time.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pannus

The disease generally manifests itself in dogs between the ages of three and five. It first appears in the outer regions of the cornea and, in almost all cases, affects both eyes simultaneously. Vascular granules and connective tissue establish themselves at the border between the sclera and the cornea, which is often variously pigmented, and grow into the top-most layers of the cornea. This results in the formation of an opaque, cherry-coloured spot with an uneven surface often ringed by a fatty, grayish-white band.

As the disease progresses, pigment forming cells migrate from the outer edges into the afflicted area, giving the spot, which expands toward the center of the cornea, a gray-pink to a variegated brown and black appearance. Frequently there will be a concurrent inflammation dependent reddening of the conjunctiva. Without treatment, the inflammation will progress to cover the entire cornea and can lead to total blindness.

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The Character Of Pannus In German Shepherd

The pannus in german shepherd, like many other large breeds, requires a lot of time and attention to it. pannus in german shepherd is better to live in a private house to have access to the street, garden or yard.

The pannus in german shepherd has a well-developed instinct to protect their loved ones. These dogs get along well with children and other animals, provided that the first acquaintance occurred in the puppy age. An adult pannus in german shepherd is unlikely to accept a new four-legged family member, although the intervention of a professional cynologist and this problem can be solved.

Chronic Superficial Keratitis In Dogs

Cloudy Eye in a German Shepherd:Pannus

Anja Welihozkiy, DVM, DACVO, BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Sarasota, Florida

Anja Welihozkiy, DVM, DACVO, is a veterinary ophthalmologist at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Sarasota, Florida. Originally from Germany, she earned her DVM in Berlin before coming to the United States to conduct veterinary research at University of California, Davis, and complete a rotating internship at University of Missouri and a residency at Tufts Cummings. Dr. Welihozkiys interests include glaucoma and corneal disease, especially cataract surgery and corneal grafting procedures.

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Corneal Ulcers In Dogs

The cornea is the transparent, shiny membrane that makes up the front of the eyeball. With a corneal ulcer, fluid is absorbed from the tears into the stroma, giving a cloudy appearance to the eye. The most common cause of a corneal ulcer is trauma. Less common causes of corneal ulcers include bacterial infections, viral infections, and other diseases.

How Do I Identify Pannus In My Dog

Although it’s helpful to be able to identify or at least suspect pannus to be the diagnosis of your dogs’ eye condition, the only way to be sure is to seek professional care through a vet or veterinary opthamologist. Pannus can easily be confused with other eye problems such as Keratoconjunctivitis , according to Dr. Cassandra Bliss, who runs a veterinary opthamologist practice, Bliss Animal Eye Care, based out of Central Point, Oregon .

There are some common signs that you can look for in your dog that may point to a pannus diagnosis. Because the disease affects the cornea, there is usually a change in pigmentation where a cloudiness will develop and often contain visible blood vessels. With pannus, this change usually begins at the outside of the cornea, moving inward. Looking at a dog’s face and imagining their eye as a clock, these changes will most often be noticeable at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions.

If you didn’t already know, dogs have a third eyelid that serves multiple purposes from clearing mucus off the cornea to protecting the cornea to producing a third of dogs’ tears. Looking closely at your dog’s eye, you’ll see this third eyelid in the bottom corner of the eye .

Dr. Bliss points out on her blog, “Reddening, thickening, and pigment loss of the third eyelid characterize a subclass of CSK , called plasmoma.” Excessive mucus discharge from the eye may be a sign that your dog has plasmoma, so again, get it checked out by a professional.

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