Keratitis (Cloudy Eye) in Dogs
Pigmentary keratitis results when melanin pigment is deposited in the
cornea. This is a separate process, but is often associated with vascular
keratitis. Both conditions interfere with vision and may progress to
Vascular and pigmentary keratitis may, in some cases, be the result of a
chronic corneal irritation such as that caused by entropion or
lagophthalmos(inability to completely close the eyes). Removing the initiating
process may reverse the keratitis.
Pannusis a specific type of nonpainful pigmentary keratitis found in German
Shepherd Dogs and their crosses, and also in Belgian Tervurens, Border Collies,
Greyhounds, Siberian Huskies, Australian Shepherds, and other breeds. It occurs
in dogs over 2 years old. An immune-mediated disease is suspected to be the
cause. Pannus may be associated with dogs who live at high altitudes, due to
the decreased ozone layer. A distinguishing feature of pannus is redness and
thickening of the third eyelid, but this may not always
Treatment: Vascular and pigmentary keratitis that are not related to chronic
eye irritation are progressive and incurable. The goal of treatment is to
arrest the disease and maintain remission.
Neovascularization responds well to high-dose topical corticosteroids. These
preparations must be monitored closely by your veterinarian, because prolonged
use of corticosteroids in the eyes can lead to a mild form of Cushing’s
syndrome and other problems. Improvement begins in two to six weeks. Treatment
is life-long. Stopping the eye drops even for a short time is followed by
relapse. Only a low dose may be needed for maintenance.
Ophthalmic cyclosporine instilled into the eyes twice daily may reduce the
deposition of melanin pigment.