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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
Firstly sorry for the long post and this is my first time using this website in hopes of finding someone with a similar unfortunate experience. We have a 2 year old purebred german shepherd who we bought from a breeder as a puppy and she got diagnosed with pannus in both but mostly her left eye a few months ago and now I’m noticing in her right eye in the middle there seems to be a CLOUDY AREA so I of course started panicking thinking she has a cataract and what was I going to do. I’m not too sure if it’s the breeder and issues with the breeding or just common german shepherd health issues or maybe even her diet (she’s on kibble and we were thinking of transitioning to a raw diet as we’ve heard AMAZING health related stories). I would love to hear everyone’s insight on whether you guys think this is something with bad breeding as she is only 2 years old and maybe it’s worth having a chat with the breeder or are these just common german shepherd health issues and what are your experiences with transitioning from a kibble to a raw diet. I’m heartbroken that she has so many eye issues she’s the sweetest dog ever and doesn’t deserve to be going through any of this.
 

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Welcome and I am sorry this is what brought you to us.
We have been dealing with the atypical version, which affects the membranes of the eye.
Hans was diagnosed when he was 4. We have been putting in steroid eye drops, followed by cyclosporine. You wouldn’t guess he has it, but we have to put it in daily, without skipping any doses.
What are you treating your girl with?
I’m always for feeding a correctly done raw diet. Doubt that if it will make any difference in the pannus, though, as this is an autoimmune disease.
 

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First, Pannus (aka Chronic Superficial Keratitis) is not uncommon in German Shepherds, usually showing up about 4-6 years of age. It is extremely treatable if caught early. My current 7 year old is on a drop of Prednisolone and a rice size piece of Optimmune daily. First GSD of previous 5 that had it. The cloudiness pretty much cleared right up after a dbl dose for a few weeks and he'll now be on it for life. I think there's a degree of compromised vision that won't go away though. Your vet should refer you to a specialist.

It's not the breeder's fault per se (unless they knew) but which ever dog carries the issue should never be bred again obviously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Welcome and I am sorry this is what brought you to us.
We have been dealing with the atypical version, which affects the membranes of the eye.
Hans was diagnosed when he was 4. We have been putting in steroid eye drops, followed by cyclosporine. You wouldn’t guess he has it, but we have to put it in daily, without skipping any doses.
What are you treating your girl with?
I’m always for feeding a correctly done raw diet. Doubt that if it will make any difference in the pannus, though, as this is an autoimmune disease.
The vet gave us tacrolimus eye drops for the pannus, but I’ve read that these eye drops can cause burning and hair loss around the eyes, how is your boy tolerating cyclosporine?? I’m trying to get a referral to a specialist as well to really get a good sense of how her eyes are. I feel like this is so odd for a young dog to have these eye issues unless this is more common than I think unfortunately… if you don’t mind me asking for the raw diet that you feed your boy do you do it all at home or go with a company where it’s premade and frozen, I’ve heard of Big Country Raw but not too sure what the quality is like
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
First, Pannus (aka Chronic Superficial Keratitis) is not uncommon in German Shepherds, usually showing up about 4-6 years of age. It is extremely treatable if caught early. My current 7 year old is on a drop of Prednisolone and a rice size piece of Optimmune daily. First GSD of previous 5 that had it. The cloudiness pretty much cleared right up after a dbl dose for a few weeks and he'll now be on it for life. I think there's a degree of compromised vision that won't go away though. Your vet should refer you to a specialist.

It's not the breeder's fault per se (unless they knew) but which ever dog carries the issue should never be bred again obviously.
Thank you so much for all that info and yeah I’m trying to get a referral to a specialist to get a good sense of how my dogs eyes are, i find it so odd that she has it so young… My dog is currently on tacrolimus for the pannus and I’ve been doing some reading and i’ve read that it can cause burning to the eyes and hair loss around the eyes, how is your boy tolerating the prednisolone?
 

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no pannus here but i do have a dog with an autoimmune disease. i made the decision to switch to raw after his second relapse in hopes to reduce any inflammation in his body and hopefully including the areas that his disease affects/targets. initially i was doing about 50/50 of DIY and premade commercial raw…. i have since gone to primarily commercial. although i believe DIY provides the potential for more benefits and is much more cost effective, the HPP gives me some added peace of mind since he’s immunocompromised following some extended steroid treatments. i’m certain there are at least some flaws in my logic…, but this is the longest he’s gone without relapse (3.5yrs), so i’m hesitant to change anything that appears to be working.
 

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Thank you so much for all that info and yeah I’m trying to get a referral to a specialist to get a good sense of how my dogs eyes are, i find it so odd that she has it so young… My dog is currently on tacrolimus for the pannus and I’ve been doing some reading and i’ve read that it can cause burning to the eyes and hair loss around the eyes, how is your boy tolerating the prednisolone?
Zero issues with the Prednisolone so far. A raw diet can be healthy but I doubt any help with Pannus.
Where are you located? If close enough, try and get a referral to the animal hospital at the University of Guelph, They have a specialist there who is awesome.
 

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Here are his prescriptions.
I put in the steroid first, wait 10 minutes, then, cyclosporine.
I have found that keeping some calendula tea in the refrigerator and wiping his eyes about 10 minutes after the second set of eye drops eliminates any eye irritation from the drops. I just put some of the cold tea on a cotton pad, clean off the oil from his eyelids, then dry gently.
Can’t tell you about raw for Hans, he eats homemade cooked. He can’t tolerate raw.
As you can see, his eyes look good.
Brown Liquid Bottle Bottle cap Cosmetics

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Jaw German shepherd dog
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here are his prescriptions.
I put in the steroid first, wait 10 minutes, then, cyclosporine.
I have found that keeping some calendula tea in the refrigerator and wiping his eyes about 10 minutes after the second set of eye drops eliminates any eye irritation from the drops. I just put some of the cold tea on a cotton pad, clean off the oil from his eyelids, then dry gently.
Can’t tell you about raw for Hans, he eats homemade cooked. He can’t tolerate raw.
As you can see, his eyes look good.
View attachment 581790
View attachment 581789
I’ve never heard of wiping their eye lids with calendula tea, I’m definitely going to give this a try… Thank you so much for sharing his prescriptions as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Zero issues with the Prednisolone so far. A raw diet can be healthy but I doubt any help with Pannus.
Where are you located? If close enough, try and get a referral to the animal hospital at the University of Guelph, They have a specialist there who is awesome.
I’m located about 2 hours away from the University of Guelph but there’s also a specialist near me at Lola Animal Hospital, I’m not sure if any one has had any experiences with the specialist there, would honestly be willing to drive the 2 hours for a good specialist. Have you seen the one at University of Guelph?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
no pannus here but i do have a dog with an autoimmune disease. i made the decision to switch to raw after his second relapse in hopes to reduce any inflammation in his body and hopefully including the areas that his disease affects/targets. initially i was doing about 50/50 of DIY and premade commercial raw…. i have since gone to primarily commercial. although i believe DIY provides the potential for more benefits and is much more cost effective, the HPP gives me some added peace of mind since he’s immunocompromised following some extended steroid treatments. i’m certain there are at least some flaws in my logic…, but this is the longest he’s gone without relapse (3.5yrs), so i’m hesitant to change anything that appears to be working.
That’s amazing, it’s incredible what raw diets can do, I’ve heard so many stories of raw diets reversing illnesses/diseases in dogs. If you don’t mind me asking what commercial company did you go with for the raw food??
 

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Luna is presently 5 years old and diagnosed at an early age but i had suscpected this much earlier. Seeing some tiny dots of the bottom of her eye lid concern me but was told it to be something else. Luna has been gets tacrolimus drops and a steroid eye ointment - dexamethasone eye ointment daily for awhile. Her eyes not so much get cloudy but one yet had tiny amount of scar tissue and now scar tissue in both eyes. I had trouble getting tacrolimus drops was a shortage of tacrolimus drops and decided to try something different eye drops /ointment from the vet. With the combo of this season winter allergy(dust mites or some allergy to do with home heating system) (cytopoint injection works for the winter allergy) but the start of the allergy seems to flare up her Pannus and the beginning of late fall/early winter developed an ulcer which since healed. Not to where its effecting her eye site but I am concerned about next winter’s flare up. Will be speaking to vet prior to this what else can be done perhaps prednisone tablets. Will looking into anything that boosts the immune system during winter. I noticed going out to beach effects her eyes as well so I keep that to a minimum as age always removing her eye goggles and later hours as she does love to swim. The scarring is not covering her cornea but has recently grown larger. She is back on the tacrolimus drops I did get a prescription for them. She hates the tacrolimus drops but they seem to work the best for her. Luna has very good breeding but issues can pop in the lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Luna is presently 5 years old and diagnosed at an early age but i had suscpected this much earlier. Seeing some tiny dots of the bottom of her eye lid concern me but was told it to be something else. Luna has been gets tacrolimus drops and a steroid eye ointment - dexamethasone eye ointment daily for awhile. Her eyes not so much get cloudy but one yet had tiny amount of scar tissue and now scar tissue in both eyes. I had trouble getting tacrolimus drops was a shortage of tacrolimus drops and decided to try something different eye drops /ointment from the vet. With the combo of this season winter allergy(dust mites or some allergy to do with home heating system) (cytopoint injection works for the winter allergy) but the start of the allergy seems to flare up her Pannus and the beginning of late fall/early winter developed an ulcer which since healed. Not to where its effecting her eye site but I am concerned about next winter’s flare up. Will be speaking to vet prior to this what else can be done perhaps prednisone tablets. Will looking into anything that boosts the immune system during winter. I noticed going out to beach effects her eyes as well so I keep that to a minimum as age always removing her eye goggles and later hours as she does love to swim. The scarring is not covering her cornea but has recently grown larger. She is back on the tacrolimus drops I did get a prescription for them. She hates the tacrolimus drops but they seem to work the best for her. Luna has very good breeding but issues can pop in the lines.
Thank you so much for all that info. That sounds exactly like my dog, she is currently only on tacrolimus eye drops and like your dog she doesn’t seem to like them just FYI I’ve done some research so thought I would share, these eyes drops can actually burn when you put them in (depending on the dog) and this can result in the dogs HATING the eye drops, but like your dog these eye drops work really well on my girl. My girl also had a small ulcer in one of her eyes but it has since completely healed. I’m debating asking my vet if we can try out a different eye drop for the pannus but the tacrolimus works so well I don’t want to mess with it.
 

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I’m located about 2 hours away from the University of Guelph but there’s also a specialist near me at Lola Animal Hospital, I’m not sure if any one has had any experiences with the specialist there, would honestly be willing to drive the 2 hours for a good specialist. Have you seen the one at University of Guelph?
Yes and she was great, very thorough and keeps in touch with your regular vet. Harley was diagnosed 2 years ago.
 

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Thank you so much for all that info. That sounds exactly like my dog, she is currently only on tacrolimus eye drops and like your dog she doesn’t seem to like them just FYI I’ve done some research so thought I would share, these eyes drops can actually burn when you put them in (depending on the dog) and this can result in the dogs HATING the eye drops, but like your dog these eye drops work really well on my girl. My girl also had a small ulcer in one of her eyes but it has since completely healed. I’m debating asking my vet if we can try out a different eye drop for the pannus but the tacrolimus works so well I don’t want to mess with it.
Yeah if it works best to keep her on it. It’s why I mentioned this. Talk to your vet. Yes it must burns I can almost feel the burn I hate putting it in her eyes but it does help the best for her. The ointment with pred does not burn she is both in tacrolimus and pred eye ointment after the drops. There is no hair loss around her eyes. The eye calendula tea sounds good for eye irritation and or burning like mentioned.
 

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I’ve never heard of wiping their eye lids with calendula tea, I’m definitely going to give this a try… Thank you so much for sharing his prescriptions as well
Works well for people, too! Very refreshing.
Just boil a couple cups of water, add a couple tablespoons of calendula tea, bring back to a boil, then pull it off the stove and let it cool.
Pour into a bottle and refrigerate.
I like to make a fresh batch every week.
Hans is older, so the drops were making his eyes run a bit ( maybe from the oil?) and he got dark tear stains. Once I started doing this, that problem was solved.

PS— the cyclosporine doesn’t burn,
 

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Just FYI, in case you're buying drops from the vet: some RX eyedrops are available from human pharmacies with a vet's prescription. I had a dog on dexamethasone drops for a different issue, and GoodRX.com saved me a lot of money on it. It was over $100/bottle from the vet eye doctor, and just twenty-something at the grocery store pharmacy with a printable coupon.

Generally I think eye issues are best managed by an eye specialist -- even if it's just to review treatment and make sure nothing else is going on. The extra cost is totally worth it if you can afford to see a vet ophthalmologist.
 

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Just FYI, in case you're buying drops from the vet: some RX eyedrops are available from human pharmacies with a vet's prescription. I had a dog on dexamethasone drops for a different issue, and GoodRX.com saved me a lot of money on it. .
I get mine from Chewy.com for half what the vet charges.
The cyclosporine has to be mixed by them, so no opportunity for a discount there. But the bottle lasts 3 months, so not that bad.
 
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