This disease is fairly dramatic; the surface of the eye has what looks like flesh growing over the clear part of the eye (cornea). You can see little blood vessels growing across the surface of the eye. If not treated, the surface of the eye will end up being covered in pigmented scar tissue
The exact cause of this problem is not known but we think it involves an auto-immune reaction where the body's immune system attacks it's own tissue...in this case the cornea of the eye.
The disease usually affects dogs of middle age.
Apparently there is a genetic predisposition to this disease because this is mostly a problem with German Sheperds.
Note: It's easy to confuse this disease (Pannus) with another disease associated mostly with German Sheperds (Panosteitis or "Pano") Panosteitis is also a mystery disease, but of the bones. For more information about this disease; go to my arthritis and lameness page.
Other breeds that sometimes get pannus are Greyhounds and
Border Collies, as well as Greyhound and Border Collie mixes.
Despite looking God-awful, this problem doesn't seem to cause too much discomfort and unlike many other corneal diseases there usually isn't an infection or discharge on the eye.
Immune related diseases can be frustrating to cure, but we can usually get a great deal of improvement using topical and/or systemic steroids.
Cyclosporin ophthalmic drops can also be helpful.
Sometimes it's necessary to surgically strip off the inflammatory tissue over the cornea. This surgery is called a superficial keratectomy.
Pannus of the Eye
Also know as Chronic Superficial Keratitis
On This Page:
A short discussion about Pannus, a fairly common problem where inflammatory tissue grows on the surface of the eye
Cardiology Heart disease in Cats, Cardiac Hypertrophy, Valvular disease, Cardiac Insufficiency, Congestive Heart Failure, Heartworm Disease, and a little history about the milestones in treating heart disease
Cats: general information page and directory of diseases and problems specific to cats including vaccine recommendations, leukemia, feline viral infections, feline upper respiratory disease and cats that just aren't feeling well.