German Shorthaired Pointers – chronic superficial keratitis

German Shorthaired Pointers – chronic superficial keratitis

Chronic superficial keratitis is also known as Pannus, and several dog breeds are prone to developing this condition, including the German Shorthair. The ending “itis” in a word means inflammation. Pannus is an inflammation of the cornea of ​​the eye that may be related to the dog’s very sensitive immune system, which is the physiological body system in humans and animals that helps fight infection. The exact cause of this chronic disease is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by exposure to both UV light and altitude. Although the cause has yet to be proven, those who study its progression believe that the German Shorthaired Pointer is genetically predisposed to developing pannus. As mentioned earlier, it is widely believed that there is something wrong with this breed’s immune system that leads to pannus. For the most part, dogs that develop this disease are older dogs, but it can also occur in younger adult dogs.

Pannus is a progressive disease in which parts of the dog’s eye (cornea, conjunctiva and third eyelid) become severely and chronically inflamed. The condition is also painful for your pet. Some of the things that can occur in the eye include changes in the cornea, pigmentation of the eye, cholesterol deposits in the eye, development of dry eye and granulation tissue. The disease usually affects both eyes, but it can appear in different places in each eye. The owner may first notice something like a pink film on the eye that spreads and affects vision. Your pet may water and have red eyes. This can move into cells that begin to cover the cornea, thicken and eventually lead to blindness if left untreated.

Chronic pannus disease will require treatment for the rest of the German Shorthaired Pointer’s life. Treatment is usually steroid eye drops and ointment, but there is no actual cure for this disease. Other treatments such as steroid injections into the eye can sometimes be used to prevent excessive corneal scarring. In some cases, a veterinarian may suggest surgery and possibly radiation therapy to maintain the best possible vision and slow the progression of the disease as much as possible. Also, as previously mentioned, these treatments may be less effective if affected dogs are exposed to frequent UV light and live at high altitudes. With proper care and a watchful eye, your dog will be fine.

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