This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Note for Pet Owners:

  • Always give the medications that your veterinarian has prescribed at the correct dose and at the correct times
  • The condition may not be confirmed as genetically inherited in your animal - but you should assume that it could be, and so you must prevent your animal from mating and passing on the defect to another generation.

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Both eyes are affected with this condition which looks like a fleshy growth or pigmented growth on the surface of the cornea. Sometimes a lot of small new blood vessels can be seen growing across the cornea (called neovascularisation) . The growing lesion is slowly progressive and can become pigmented with black melanin.

Unknown but it is thought to be an autoimmune disease in which the animals own immune system reacts against something in the surface of the eye (the cornea) causing inflammation.

Breed Occurence
Pannus is most often seen in
German Shepherd Dogs, but it also occurs in Greyhounds and Border Collies, as well as crossbred offspring derived from these breeds. There may therefore be a genetically inherited predisposition for the condition in certain lines in these breeds.

The disease usually occurs during the middle of adult life - when the dog is 3-7 years of age.

The lesions look unsightly but many dogs show no signs of discomfort and there is usually no discharge from the eyes. Vision can be impaired if the lesion covers a large area of the corneal surface of the eye.

Because the underlying cause of the disease is not known the condition is likely to recur even if it responds initially to treatment. Initial treatment is usually medical involving the administration of anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids (by injection or administration onto the surface of the eye). or cyclosporin.

If the cornea becomes heavily pigmented the area may have to be removed by superficial keratectomy to restore sight.


Updated January 2016