Last week, I had the privilege of meeting Bruno, a six week old German Shepherd. With his adorable face and sweet disposition, this little guy had me wrapped around his paw in an instant. What a charmer! I can’t wait to watch him grow into those paws.
German Shepherds are prone to an eye problem that usually develops between three and eight years of age. The disease causes a fleshy-like material to grow over the cornea obstructing vision. Name this disease.
Pannus is an autoimmune disease found in many breeds. Pink, granulation tissue spreads over the eye in response to antigens in the environment. Although German Shepherds seem to be predisposed to this condition, no specific inheritance pattern has been established so genetic testing is unavailable. If diagnosed early, the condition can be controlled with topical steroid therapy. The tissue slowly disappears leaving a clear cornea behind. In chronic cases, corneal scaring can impact vision.
Unfortunately, pannus usually requires lifelong therapy to control it. I had one patient with pannus that resolved when the dog moved with her family from Minnesota to Florida.
As you can see from the photo, Bruno has beautiful clear brown eyes. He was rewarded for his good behavior with a chew that kept him busy for the entire visit.