My German has been acting really weird on her walks lately. She’s been uncharacteristically aggressive and ill-disciplined. I’ve had to apologize to a couple of people when I’m holding back my 90lbs German Shepherd by her harness when its looks like she wants to hew their Pomeranian in two.
We initially notched it up to some sort of reaction to lockdown when we weren’t allowed to walk her for two months. Then we noticed a red film thats begun to creep over her eyes. Took her to the vet yesterday afternoon. We already had our suspicions, but she has now been diagnosed with Pannus. Or Chronic Superficial Keratitis if you prefer long chain adjectives.
Basically she’s going blind. Blood vessels and scar tissue are invading the cornea… usually caused by the sun. She is likely stressed out going for walks now because she can’t see exactly whats going on in unfamiliar surroundings, hence the behavior change.
Our families first German shepherd went blind from this condition, despite at least two operations where they scrapped her eyeballs. The Vet says while he used to do this procedure in the past, his experience is that it will just come back with vengeance. We’re going to try and treat it in other ways first.
Initially eyedrops which will be administered twice a day. Mornings and midday when the sun is at its highest and most vicious. This will have to administered for the rest of her life. If that doesn’t yield results he will inject some drugs directly into her eyeballs.
Interestingly Pannus is often treated with Dexamethasone which is the steroid that has been touted at the latest Corona virus ‘wonder’ drug.
Our blind German was amazingly functional. She could navigate the garden with uncanny precision and never fell into the pool. Dogs are amazing, they just get on with it. To quote DH Lawerence.
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself