| (Pannus Syndrome)
Pannus is a syndrome that causes a "fleshy" type of tissue to accumulate in and on the surface of the eye, the cornea. The disease is seen more commonly in certain breeds, including the German Shepherd, other Shepherd breeds, Greyhounds, and Dachshunds. Frequently corneal pigmentation and cholesterol dystrophy (deposition of cholesterol within the cornea) are associated with “Pannus”
The cause of pannus is unknown but certain risk factors, namely, ultraviolet light, altitude, and breed are thought to be involved. Most patients respond to steroids or other drugs which suppress the local immune reaction; therefore, “pannus” is considered an "immune-mediated" disease where the body is producing antibodies directed against the cornea.
Control is the key word with this potentially blinding disease since most patients with pannus MUST continue with some frequency of topical medications for the remainder of their lives. Frequency of the treatment may be decreased over time but we will always have to use the medications will always be necessary to some degree.
Follow-up visits are very important with this disease so that we can carefully monitor the patient's progress. If the medication is not effective, other medications and treatment modalities to suppress the local antibody reaction are used.