German Shorthaired Pointer – Chronic Superficial Keratitis

Chronic Superficial Keratitis is also known as Pannus and several dog breeds are prone to developing this condition, including the German Shorthaired Pointer. The ending “itis” in one 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 body’s physiological system in humans and animals that helps fight infection. The specific cause of this chronic disease is unknown, but it is speculated that it could develop due to the influence of both ultraviolet light and altitude. Although the cause is not yet proven, those who study its progression believe that the German Shorthaired Pointer is genetically predisposed to developing pannus. As mentioned above, it is widely believed that there is something wrong with the immune system of this breed that leads to pannus. For the most part, dogs that develop this disease are older dogs, but it can also occur with 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 to 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 can occur in different places in each eye. The owner may first notice a kind of pink film over the eye that spreads and affects vision. His pet may water and have red eyes. This can happen to the 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. Therapy is usually steroid eye drops and ointments, but there is no real cure for this disease. Other treatments, such as steroid injections into the eye, may sometimes be used to help prevent excessive scarring of the cornea. In some cases, a veterinarian may suggest surgery and possibly radiation therapy to help maintain as much vision as possible and slow the progression of the disease as much as possible. Also, as mentioned above, these treatments may be less effective if affected dogs are frequently exposed to ultraviolet light and live at high altitudes. With proper care and a watchful eye, your dog will do just fine.

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