Dog with rare eye condition given 'doggles' to protect him from sunlight

A dog who was left almost blind due to a rare eye condition can now enjoy the great outdoors thanks to some miracle goggles.

Gus the Border Collie suffers with Pannus, a condition which impacts the cornea of his eye and worsens when he’s exposed to sunlight.

Owner Chloe Godliman first spotted a pink cloudy patch in the corner of his left eye in the summer of 2021.

She and her and husband Joe took Gus to the vets to find answers.

The couple, who live in Oban, Scotland, were devastated to discover Gus’ incurable condition which if left untreated can cause blindness.

Chloe told the Daily Record how the news ‘didn’t sink in’ and ‘they couldn’t believe what was happening’.

Following the diagnosis from the vets, Chloe decided to research Pannus more.

This was when she discovered a company called Rex Specs sold secure eye protection for dogs which provide UV protection, blocking 99.9% of harmful rays.

Without the ‘doggles’, Gus would be forced to stay inside for the rest of his life.

She told the Record: ‘He is a family member so getting rid of him was never going to be an option so we had to figure something out.

‘The glasses are brilliant. Thanks to them, his condition has not worsened and he is able to enjoy being outside.

‘Naturally, Gus attracts a lot of attention while wearing his glasses and we have to explain to people that he has them for medical reasons.

‘But wearing them does not bother him in the slightest – and looking cool is an added bonus.’

What is Pannus?

Pannus or chronic superficial keratitis is an immune-mediated condition affecting the cornea or clear part of the eye.

It occurs primarily in middle-aged German Shepherd dogs and Belgian Tervurens, but other breeds may also be affected.

At first, a non-painful, elevated pink mass appears on the cornea, most commonly on the lateral or outer side (if you imagine the eye to be a clock face, the mass will often be found in the eight to eleven o’clock position on the pet’s right eye, or the one to four o’clock position on the left eye).

Both eyes are usually affected but one may appear worse than the other.

The third eyelid commonly appears thickened and inflamed.

As pannus progresses, the lesion will flatten and spread out, will become pigmented or dark in color, and scarring will spread over the cornea. A mucoid discharge may also be present.

In advanced cases, visual impairment may result due to the inability to see through the dark pigment covering the cornea. If the condition is not treated, the pet will become blind.

Treatment involves using topical corticosteroids (typically prednisolone or dexamethasone) or other immune modulating drugs such as cyclosporine.

On occasion, an injection of steroids under the conjunctiva may be done.

Antibiotics are sometimes required in cases that have developed a secondary infection.

Due to the influence of UV lighting on pannus, your veterinarian may suggest dog sunglasses (e.g., Doggles®) to help give extra protection as is with the case with Gus!

To help with his condition, Gus has been prescribed steroidal drops which help to bring down the lesions in his eye.

The treatment does not cure Pannus but does halt progression and can reverse some changes.

Thanks to the goggles, the Border Collie now joins Chloe and Joe out on hikes, wild swimming trips, and even mountain biking adventures.

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