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Chronic superficial keratitis in dogs

Published: 2/6/2018

Refine your skill in identifying and managing this potentially vision-threatening condition in this article by Anja Welihozkiy, DVM, DACVO, BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Sarasota, Florida. Chronic superficial keratitis (CSK)—also known as German shepherd pannus, Überreiter’s syndrome, or degenerative pannus—is a progressive, usually bilateral, and potentially vision-threatening disease of the canine cornea.¹,²  It is characterized by chronic inflammation of the corneal epithelium and anterior stroma, which results in neovascularization, pigmentation, and opacification.¹ Atypical pannus (ie, plasmoma), an inflammatory process of the nictitating membrane, has also been described.²

Clinical History & Signalment
Large breeds—in particular German shepherd dogs, shepherd crossbreeds, border collies, and greyhounds—are predominantly affected; however, CSK can occur in dogs of any size and breed.²  Age of onset is an important prognostic indicator. The condition typically progresses rapidly in young dogs (ie, 1-5 years of age); lesions may be less severe in animals affected later in life (ie, >4-5 years of age).²

Explore the characteristic features and treatment options of German shepherd pannus now.