Tuckerman was diagnosed with Pannus three years ago at the age of two and a half. Though not a life threatening condition, it was difficult to see my pup’s once sparkling eyes grow dull and distant. In the beginning, his degrading eye sight startled him, he was increasingly on edge and apt to protect me from ominous trashcans and shadows of the trees.
When the vet quickly diagnosed Tuck with Pannus, we were living in Boulder, CO. Pannus (Chronic Superficial Keratitis) is an inflammatory disease of the cornea that can eventually lead to blindness and discomfort. The inflammation is aggravated by exposure to Ultraviolet radiation and more prevalent in certain breeds; German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, and Greyhounds. Tuck, a German Shepherd mix living in sunny, high elevation, mid latitude Boulder, Colorado was a text book case of Pannus.
The vet set us up with the usual treatment of Prednisolone Acetate – eye drops twice a day that helped but would never solve the issue. We have stuck to this regiment ever since, admittedly inconsistent with the drops at times. The drops sometimes seem futile – their use, without additional precautions, just fixes whatever damage was recently done. Tuck needed protection not just a Band-Aid.
It got to the point where I would leave Tuck at home if I wanted to do something outside for extended periods of time. For duo like us, that was heart wrenching, he didn’t understand why all of sudden I wasn’t grabbing the leash whenever I put on my running shoes.
I can’t say that Tuck loves to put on his Rex Specs, but I can say that he LOVES to be my partner – going with me whenever and wherever I go, regardless of the height of the sun. Now, when I put on my running shoes, I grab his Rex Specs and head out into the sun – happy and healthy.
Perhaps Tuck’s eyes have cleared up some, it’s tough to tell, but the scarring still won’t ever go away. If I had been told about this condition and Tuck’s susceptibleness, I would have done more to protect him from the start.