Pannus, also known as chronic superficial keratitis (CSK) and German Shepherd pannus, is a nonulcerative, noninfectious, inflammatory condition of the canine cornea. The disease is a rapidly progressive and potentially blinding. It begins as a red patch in the upper region of the conjunctiva that gradually spreads across the cornea. The patch is often intermixed with dark pigment. Both eyes are influenced, although the changes may be uneven. Occasionally pannus can affect the third eyelids. This is called atypical pannus, or plasmoma.In young German Shepherds this condition is usually severe, while in older dogs (4-6 years of age) the lesions appear to progress more slowly and are less damaging. The Greyhounds tend to be affected at younger ages, usually before 2 to 3 years, but show relatively mild lesions. The Australian Shepherd, Belgian Sheepdog, Border Collie, Dachshund, Dalmatian, Greyhound, Pointer, and Siberian Husky breeds seem to be at greater risk for pannus. The breed incidence suggests hereditary factors.

Diagnostic tests are critical to recognize the disease and to make sure your dog is not affected with another disease like pigmentary keratitis, corneal ulcers, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or squamous cell carcinoma of the cornea or third eyelid.

Pannus cannot be controlled, although not always cured. The majority of cases need life-long care. Therapies include corticosteroids and radiation. For cases that do not respond to therapies, surgical intervention by freezing, heating or cutting out the lesion is performed. Following initiation of treatment, your dog will be commonly rechecked every 2-4 weeks, and ultimately every 4 months for the remainder of the dog's life.


  1. Uc Davis Book of Dogs: The Complete Medical Reference Guide for Dogs and Puppies. Mordecai Siegal
  2. The effect of topical pimecrolimus on keratoconjunctivitis sicca and chronic superficial keratitis in dogs: results from an exploratory study. Nell B, Walde I, Billich A, Vit P, Meingassner JG.
  3. An Owner's Guide to Pannus. Adam Wainwright MA, Conception Garcia CVT

Related Conditions


Anterior Uveitis



Canine Uveodermatologic Syndrome



Corneal Dermoid

Corneal Dystrophy

Dry Eye Syndrome



Eye Problems






Lens Displacement


Optic Nerve Hypoplasia


Persistent Pupillary Membrane

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Retinal Dysplasia


Third Eyelid Abbnormality ("Cherry Eye")

Tapetal Degeneration

Ulcerative keratitis

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