An immune-related condition, pannus is an inflammatory progressive disease of the eyes in which blood vessels invade a dog's corneas, conjunctive tissues and, in atypical cases, the third eyelids. Pannus occurs most often in German shepherds, but Labradors, poodles and border collies are susceptible. Pannus affects both eyes but not always to the same degree. Many dogs with pannus experience dry eye, and the disease can cause blindness. Dogs regularly exposed to the sun's UV rays are at greater risk of developing pannus. Corticsteroids are the conventional pannus treatment, but there are some natural treatments for the disease.
Natural Remedies for Pannus in Dogs
Certified herbalist Sharon Hubbs, AHG, advises treating pannus with an eyewash of eyebright to clean the affected eye and combat infection. Buy dried eyebright at a local health food store or online. Add 1 tbsp. of eyebright to 3 cups of water, and boil until the water becomes yellow. Strain the eyebright from the water, and pour the eye wash into a dark glass bottle. First dip a clean cotton ball into the eyewash, and cleanse the eye. Then use an eye dropper and apply a few drops directly into the eye to soothe and hydrate it. Store the eyewash in a cool dry place.
Vitamin A Treatment
Add vitamin A to your dog's food both to boost his immune system and to protect the protective surface linings of his eyes. This will help prevent infectious bacteria from invading. Vitamin A will keep also your pet's corneas lubricated. Holistic veterinarian Dr. Dave McCluggage recommends giving 1,800 IU of vitamin A twice daily for every 25 lbs. of your dog's weight. Break the vitamin A capsules and mix the contents into his or her food.
Use the Chinese plum flower homeopathic formula Ming Mu Di Huang Wan to treat your dog's eyes. Give your dog two pills of the formula twice daily for every 25 lbs. of his or her body weight. Always discuss using homeopathic treatments with your vet before starting them.
Protect your dog's eyes both from bright sun and from exposure to snow glare or water glare on sunny days. On bright days, limit your dog's outdoor time to the early morning or after sundown. If your dog must be outdoors at other times, confine him to a shady area or purchase special dog-fitting UV-proof sunglasses. Most dogs quickly adjust to wearing them.