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Hi, this is my first time here and am glad to be.

My girl, Footprints, is 8.5 years old. She is a gsd. She has had watery eyes for about a year now, I believe she has allergies but from what, I am not sure. We took her to the vet for this issue in May of 2012. They did a Fluorescein stain, a schirmer test and a Tonometry test. All of these results came back normal. At that time, the vet said she has allergies and gave me ointment to put in her eyes (which is very difficult to do) and prescribed benedryl 75mg every 6 hrs or as needed. This seemed to help a little but did not cure the excessive watering.

She now has a sore on the outside corner of her right eyelid from her eyes constantly watering. The other eye waters the same but for some reason, does not have any sores. She paws at her eyes which doesn't help. We tried having her wear a large dog cone/collar for several weeks with a short break from it now and then but that also didn't seem to do anything except make her miserable.

We recently took her back to the vet for same issue and were given eyedrops instead of ointment to help with the inflammation and irritation. She has an appt March 27th to get stitches for the sore so it will hopefully start to heal and close up.

She does not have cataracts and from what I can tell, she stills sees perfectly fine. She is still in very good health aside from getting up from sleeping a tad slower nowadays.

So apparently, it is allergies. I try to keep her inside the house as much as possible but she loves the outdoors. We also have all tile in our home, as it helps keep the dust build up down. What is it she could be allergic to? We thought it was her food maybe so a couple years ago we switched from Purina to Pedigree. After researching and realizing that neither of those foods are any good, we now have had her on Authority for a few weeks, which she likes much better but doesn't appear to have had any effect on her eyes. She doesn't sneeze or cough either.

I don't know what to do to help her or how to go about figuring out what she is allergic to.

Any suggestions? Please help!
 

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It might just be environmental. I give my dogs a benadryl everyday, because if I don't the eyes water and the licking of the paws starts.
 

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This is a picture I took right now. It breaks my heart to see her like this. I clean her eyes with a warm wash cloth a few times a week. It doesn't bother her when I do that then I give her the drops, when she lets me. Sometimes, I need my husband to help, she doesn't like the drops but they do help with the redness temporarily. It's that extra eyelid that is swollen and irritated. I don't know what to do and I'm afraid the surgery is also another temporary fix, as the root of the issue is the watering and her allergy to something.

 

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Ok, I will continue the benedryl and a bit more often then. It does help a little. I don't give it to her everyday, as I probably should. We have also lived in the same area since we got her, at 4 weeks old, which I know now is too early to get a pup. I just hate to see her once beautiful eyes look so awful now. Besides the itching and redness, she doesn't appear to be in pain but then again, how can she not be by the looks of it. :(
 

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Are the eyes the only thing affected? Does she chew her feet? Lick her bum?

Lots of things can cause allergies.

If its environmental, wiping her feet with ins enter baby wipes every time she comes inside can reduce the allergens she may lick off

If its a food allergy, you need to do a true food elimination diet. Pick a food with a very novel protein, and grain free. That has to be the ONLY thing she eats for at least 8-12 weeks. The ONLY thing. No treats, now chew bones, no people food.

I would also start her on a fish oil supplement with Onega 3 and 6 fatty acids. They have anti inflammatory properties.

The Vet can do a blood test and send it to Heska to check for allergies to common environmental things. But you may need to go to a Dermatologist.

I would clean her eyes multiple time a day with a warm water wipe.

And get those drops in her eyes. If you give her a treat after each time she may get better about letting you do it. But the treat should be of the kibble you chose for the elimination diet.

Good luck


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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, it is only her eyes affected. No itching or licking anywhere else at all. Her coat and skin are fine.

I will start cleaning her eyes more often. And I have also been wanting to get her on a supplement because she is older so will def look into what you suggested for that.

As far as a possible food allergy, is it possible that it can start up randomly with no change to diet? I will look for a better food and commit to feeding her only that for the 3 months and hope for a change.

Next vet visit, I can inquire about the allergy testing. And will continue the drops, attempting to get them in her eyes as much as possible. A lot of them don't make it in, as she moves her head around a lot during that time.
 

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The vet ruled out Pannus? It is too common in the GSD...I didn't do a search on the tests the vet ran, so that is probably what ruled it out? Hope you can find relief for her. A friend just returned to MI from AZ and said the air is so dry, her sinuses are still irritated. Pannus - Animal Eye Care
 

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I've never heard of Pannus nor heard the vet speak of it. I'm not sure if they have ruled it out. I read that article you linked and sounds a lot like what's going on with her. I am going to call the vet tomorrow morning with a few questions, now that I am a bit more informed on what to ask.

Thank you all for the help thus far. I need it and so does Footprints!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The Schirmer test tests for tear production and dry eye, which in her case, was normal. Not sure if Pannus is different altogether or related.

Found this, http://www.royalair.org/pannus.htm

"The diagnosis of pannus is almost always made based upon the clinical history and the appearance of the eye. Your veterinarian will usually perform a complete eye exam that includes:

* Schirmer tear test to rule out tear deficiency (dry eye)
* Fluorescein staining to look for ulceration of the cornea
* Thorough examination of the eyelids and adjacent structures of the eye"

With that said, I do not believe she has Pannus.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Update:

I do have treats that go with her new dog food so I tried using them to get her to let me put the drops in her eyes. My goodness, how smart these dogs are.

I showed her the treat first, which put her attention on that and I quickly got a drop in the first eye, which she didn't like. Then I gave her half of the treat.

Showed her the other half and then was much easily able to get the drop in the other eye. She didn't whine after this drop, she knew a treat was incoming. Gave her the treat and bingo! Hardly any fuss and successfully administered her eyedrops.

Why didn't I ever think of that?! But thanks lol, it's a good start. Old dogs love new tricks. :)
 

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I thought possibly pannus with mine and the vet said that it is unlikely that it affects only one eye. It can happen, but its not common. Are both of the eyes affected? Mine did not have that redness, she just gets eye boogers on the inner part of her eye.
 

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It looks a lot like Pannus. She should probably see a veterinary opthamologist. Our dog had very similar symptoms and it took the OD Vet just a few minutes to diagnose the problem. I didn't think it was Pannus either, but it was.

We did a round of prenisone drops to reduce the inflamation and now we maintain clear eyes and normal 3rd eyelid conditions with Lacrimor drops twice a day.

Untreated, Pannus can lead to blindness, so it should at least be ruled out. High UV (sunlight) tends to make the problem worse, so dogs in sunny places seem to get it more.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I thought possibly pannus with mine and the vet said that it is unlikely that it affects only one eye. It can happen, but its not common. Are both of the eyes affected? Mine did not have that redness, she just gets eye boogers on the inner part of her eye.
Yes, both eyes are equally watery, with third eyelids red and inflamed. Only one eye has the sore (from constantly being wet, Chinese water torture if you will).
 

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I agree, it does sound more like Pannus than an allergy. With allergies usually more than the eyes are affected. I would not let her go out in the bright daylight or see if you can get her use to wearing the doggles.
Your vet should have brought that up as the first thing ~she is a GSD which are prone to it.
The link I posted wasn't very informative, research it some more and maybe the dots will connect?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
It looks a lot like Pannus. She should probably see a veterinary opthamologist. Our dog had very similar symptoms and it took the OD Vet just a few minutes to diagnose the problem. I didn't think it was Pannus either, but it was.

We did a round of prenisone drops to reduce the inflamation and now we maintain clear eyes and normal 3rd eyelid conditions with Lacrimor drops twice a day.

Untreated, Pannus can lead to blindness, so it should at least be ruled out. High UV (sunlight) tends to make the problem worse, so dogs in sunny places seem to get it more.
Yes, I think I should seek out an ophthalmologist for her since it is only an eye problem. Will call around tomorrow. If that is it, I would be so happy if she returns to normal with just specific drops for that. Her current drops are needed three times a day and don't even resolve the issue.
 

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Yes, both eyes are equally watery, with third eyelids red and inflamed. Only one eye has the sore (from constantly being wet, Chinese water torture if you will).
Ahhh the poor doggie:(Do you have a doggie eye doctor you can take her to? They might be able to diagnose her faster then a regular vet.
 

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Ahhh the poor doggie:(Do you have a doggie eye doctor you can take her to? They might be able to diagnose her faster then a regular vet.
Well, I've been reading a lot more about Pannus and it def sounds possible. I called the vet where she had the tests done (when the results were all normal) to ask about Pannus and he said there wasn't anything in the notes about it. Referred me to an ophthalmologist and I called them and left a message. We'll see what they say when they call me back, probably tomorrow.
 

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I agree, it does sound more like Pannus than an allergy. With allergies usually more than the eyes are affected. I would not let her go out in the bright daylight or see if you can get her use to wearing the doggles.
Your vet should have brought that up as the first thing ~she is a GSD which are prone to it.
The link I posted wasn't very informative, research it some more and maybe the dots will connect?
I thought about that. Anything I researched on allergies always seemed to include symptoms involving more than the eyes, which isn't the case with her. It's just her eyes.

I will def keep her inside during the day, it is terribly bright here in AZ most days, as it's usually clear and sunny.
 

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Google doggles and see if you can get her a pair or two...it may help give her some relief when she's outside until you can get her issue under control. Poor baby!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So glad I came here to this forum. I appreciate the responses!

My Footprints has given us 8 years of great love and companionship, loyalty and protection. I want so much to get her back on the right track ASAP and feel I'm now heading in the right direction. Only wish I had done it sooner.
 
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