Entropion in Dogs
Entropion is an abnormality wherein the eyelids roll inward toward your dog’s eye. This inward rolling causes the hair or eyelashes to rub against the outer part of the eye, causing pain and damage to the eye itself.
If the disorder is left untreated, it can progress into corneal scarring, scratching, erosion, and eventually blindness.
Cause of Entropion
There are two main causes of Entropion in dogs – conformational and spastic.
Entropion can be a hereditary condition (conformational) and is more common in specific canine breeds. Some may be due to their breeds’ facial construction, while some may be due to the overall body size of the breed.
Some breeds are more susceptible to Entropion than others: Basset Hounds, Bulldog, Pomeranian, Bloodhounds, Chow Chows, Mastiffs, Shih Tzus, Saint Bernards, Rottweilers, Pugs, Boxers, Poodles, Shar-Peis, Spaniels, Terriers, and Pitbulls.
There are cases wherein a different form of an abnormality called spastic entropion develops. This type of disorder occurs when a different eye issue causes the dog to squeeze their eyes tightly due to pain, causing an inward rolling of the dog’s eyelids.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The most common symptom is a sore or runny eye. Mucoid discharge may also be possible, especially if there is an infection occurring.
Fortunately, the abnormality can be detected easily through examination of your dog’s eyes. Other symptoms include pawing at the eyes, chronic squinting, and eyelid twitching.
Entropion is extremely painful for dogs so if you notice any of the following signs over a period of days, bring your dog to the vet clinic immediately.
To ensure that the condition is Entropion, your vet will perform an ophthalmic examination. If your vet cannot determine the exact condition affecting your dog, you may be advised to check with a veterinary eye specialist.
During diagnosis, eye drops and ointments may be prescribed to relieve your dog from pain and discomfort.
If the condition is very mild and is not causing damage to your dog’s eye, there is a chance that your dog will grow out of it with the help of prescribed lubricants.
In a more serious case, it is possible to insert a temporary tack that will hold the eyelid away from the eye.
However, dogs over six months of age that have not outgrown the abnormality will require surgery. A section of the eyelid will be removed to reverse its inward rolling and restore normal eyelid conformation.
In some cases, additional surgery may be needed since most veterinary ophthalmologists would prefer under correction of entropion to avoid loosening of the eyelids.
As long as the surgery took place before major damage is caused to your dog’s eyes, your dog will most likely recover fast. Follow-up visits will be needed to monitor your pet’s progress and your dog may be required to wear a cone after the operation to prevent him from scratching his eyes.
Make sure to discuss with your veterinarian any additional eye drops or ointments that you can give to your dog for faster recovery.