pannus in dog

Pannus in Dogs Eye? Signs and treatment

Dog Care Dog information

What is Pannus?

Pannus is an immune-mediated condition that affects the cornea or clear part of the eye. It mostly occurs in middle-aged German Shepherds and Belgian Tervuren, but other breeds can be affected.

 Pannus is a disease that affects the cornea, which is the transparent part at the front of the eye. It occurs when the dog’s own immune system attacks the surface of the cornea causing inflammation and scarring. We don’t know why the immune system starts attacking normal parts of the body.

Pannus in Dogs Eyes

This disease is most common in German Shepherds, but it can also affect other breeds. It is thought to be related to ultraviolet light, but it is not a clearly understood condition. It seems to be worse at high altitudes and in very bright places. Pannus is considered an autoimmune disease, which simply means that your dog’s body is overreacting to what is happening to the cornea. Starting with a pink tinge to the eye, the disease takes hold and causes the eye to become opaque and dark. Vision can suffer from blindness, which occurs if not treated.
German Shepherds pannus

Pannus in Dog’s Symptoms

A symptom of pannus is a visual representation of blood vessels directed to heal the damage caused by ultraviolet light. When this happens, the pupils become red at 3 am and 9 am. Pigmentation, haze, and vascular changes begin to form at the outer edge of the cornea and move inward.

Early Signs of Pannus in Dogs

  1. A grayish-pink film on the eye(s)
  2. Thickening
  3. Redness and tearing.
  4. Bilateral color changes with scarring
  5. Scarring will spread over the cornea
  6. Cornea pigmentation (dark brown)
  7. The opacity of the cornea.


Top causes of pannus in Dogs

Pannus is believed to be a genetic disease that develops with the age of pets. Breeds such as the German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd, and Border Collie are the most affected breeds, but Pannus can occur in any breed. Here, we explain some main reasons for Pannus.

1. Genetically

There is evidence that some breeds are genetically predisposed to developing virginity. We don’t know exactly what causes the autoimmune disease, but we do know that pannus in dogs is not contagious.
2. UV rays

We agree that increased exposure to UV rays makes the disease worse and could be an initiating factor in the disease. Dogs living at higher altitudes tend to be more susceptible to the disease due to the increase in UV exposure. UV rays are harmful with continuous effects.

3. Hereditary condition 

Genetic conditions are often called hereditary because they can be passed from parents to their children. Pannus is also a Hereditary condition.

4. Sunny climates

It is also the reason for pannus in dogs. Sunny climates have high light. so it is harmful to our eyes or dog’s eyes. It is a reason for dog pannus early age.

How to Pannus diagnosed in Dog

Diagnosis is totally based on medical history and signs of disease. It is also based on the condition of the dog or which stage of pannus. Our vet writes some Pannus diagnosed produced.

1. Intraocular pressure testing (IOP)

It is a medical diagnostic technique. here vet checks the dog’s eyes and the condition of Pannus. After checking the vet treats the best treatment.

2. Biopsy of the cornea

A corneal biopsy is widely used as a diagnostic procedure in the treatment of complicated keratitis. This is necessary when the patient responds poorly to conventional antibiotics. A biopsy of the cornea is used as a diagnostic procedure.

3. Conjunctival scrapings

Conjunctival scrapings can be performed with topical anesthetic and gentle use of a platinum spatula or similar blunt metallic object.

4. Corneal staining with fluorescein

This is a test that uses orange dye (fluorescein) and blue light to detect foreign bodies in the eye. This test can also detect damage to the cornea. The cornea is the outer surface of the eye.

Pannus treatment

Reaction in the cornea. With treatment, the blood vessels and granulation tissue often resolve, while scarring and pigmentation will likely improve but may not resolve completely. If medical management is not successful, a keratectomy, or surgical removal of the superficial layer of the affected cornea, may be discussed as a treatment option.

Pannus is considered an immune disease. This means that there are cellular changes in the cornea that the immune system recognizes as abnormal, resulting in an immune-mediated attack on the cornea, similar to what happens when the cornea is foreign or transplanted tissue. German Shepherds are believed to be genetically predisposed to the disease, but it is possible that the corneal damage it caused was related to the UV rays. First, pannus case reports from Austria to the United States – from Colorado, two areas higher. Today, pannus is diagnosed worldwide, however, cases of Pannus are known to be worse and more difficult to treat at higher altitudes, which supports the UV theory. Ozone depletion is predicted to result in greater exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Then it makes sense to treat Pannus with topical medications that dampen the immune response. Steroids (such as dexamethasone and prednisolone) are anti-inflammatory drugs that provide immunosuppression as a side effect. Cyclosporine, a drug with immunosuppression as its primary mechanism of action, applied topically alone or in combination with steroids often results in better control of Pannus than the use of steroids alone.

Cyclosporine has been used by veterinary ophthalmologists to treat Pannus for 12 years. Usually, a 1%, 1.5% or 2% solution is used, which is based on oil, usually olive, corn, or vegetable oil. About five years ago, a 0.2% cyclosporine-based eye ointment called Optimmune (Schering Plow) became available to all veterinarians for the treatment of another eye disease—keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or day’s eye—where it was very effective. However, in cases of pannus, I have found the 0.2% ointment to be less successful than the 1% solution. With treatment, the active vessels and granulation tissue usually disappear, but scarring and pigmentation may progress relatively slowly or not at all.

A related disease in which a similar immune response is present only in the conjunctiva and third eyelid is called PLAZMOMA, or plasmacytic lymphocytic conjunctivitis of the third eyelid. This type is also more common in German Shepherds. Compared to pannus, plasma is less threatening to vision, causes more discomfort, and is somewhat resistant to the same treatment as pannus.

The good news is that pannus can be managed successfully with the application of eye drops.  The frequency of medication can usually be decreased from twice daily to once daily or every other day over time.



Is pannus in dogs painful?

At first, Pannus is non-painful for dogs, elevated pink mass appears on the cornea, most commonly on the lateral or outer side. Both eyes are usually affected but one may appear worse than the other. A lay veterinarian may examine a dog’s eyes and suspect pannus. A veterinary ophthalmologist can confirm this. Not all clients can go to a specialist doctor, but the treatment of this complication is very simple. Since this is considered an immune-mediated inflammatory condition, the goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation as much as possible. High-dose eye drops are prescribed and continued until improvement is observed. The frequency of medication is reduced as the condition decreases.

Pannus is not painful to dogs. But It is very difficult to dog. We can treat pannus with the help of a vet and expertise.



Pannus, also known as chronic superficial keratitis, is a common eye condition in dogs. It is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and tissue growth in the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye. This growth can cause vision problems and discomfort for the dog.

Symptoms of pannus include redness and cloudiness in the eyes, squinting and excessive tear production. The condition is typically seen in German Shepherds, but it can occur in any breed. Pannus is also more common in dogs that live in areas with high levels of pollution and exposure to ultraviolet light.

The diagnosis of pannus is made by a complete eye exam by a veterinarian. Treatment options include topical and oral medications to reduce inflammation and prevent tissue growth on the cornea. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove the tissue growth.

It is important to detect pannus early and start treatment as soon as possible to avoid vision loss and other complications. Regular eye exams and monitoring for any ocular changes are crucial to the successful management of pannus in dogs.

In conclusion, pannus is a common eye condition in dogs that can cause vision problems and discomfort. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to controlling the condition and preserving your dog’s eyesight. If you suspect your dog may have pannus, make an appointment with your veterinarian for a complete eye exam.


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