Eyelid Entropion in Dogs
What is entropion?
Entropion is an abnormality of the eyelids in which the eyelid "rolls" inward. This inward rolling often causes the hair on the surface of the eyelid to rub against the cornea (outer part of the eyeball) resulting in pain, corneal ulcers or corneal erosions. This corneal damage can also result in corneal scarring, that can interfere with vision.
"Most dogs will squint, hold the eye shut and tear excessively (epiphora)."
Most dogs will squint, hold the eye shut and tear excessively (epiphora). Interestingly, many flat-faced dogs with medial entropion (involving the corner of the eyes near the nose) exhibit no obvious signs of discomfort. In most cases, both eyes are affected.
Are certain breeds more likely to have entropion?
Entropion is considered a hereditary disorder. While the exact genetics are unknown, many breeds are identified as having this problem. These breeds include:
- American Staffordshire terrier
- Japanese chin
- Shih tzu
- Yorkshire terrier
- Staffordshire bull terrier
- Old English sheepdog
- Siberian husky
- Toy and miniature poodle
- Basset hound
- Clumber spaniel
- English and American cocker spaniel
- English springer spaniel, English toy spaniel
- Tibetan spaniel
- Chesapeake Bay retriever
- Flat-coated retriever
- Golden retriever
- Gordon setter
- Irish setter
- Labrador retriever
- Great Dane
- Bernese Mountain dog
- Saint Bernard
- Great Pyrenees
- Shar pei
How is entropion treated?
"The treatment for entropion is surgical correction."
The treatment for entropion is surgical correction. A section of skin is removed from the affected eyelid to reverse its inward rolling. In many cases, a primary, major surgical correction will be performed, and will be followed by a second, minor corrective surgery later. Two surgeries are often performed to reduce the risk of over-correcting the entropion, resulting in an outward-rolling eyelid known as ectropion. Most dogs will not undergo surgery until they have reached their adult size at six to twelve months of age.
What is the prognosis for entropion?
"The prognosis for the surgical correction of entropion is generally good."
The prognosis for the surgical correction of entropion is generally good. While several surgeries may be required, most dogs enjoy a pain-free normal life. If the condition is treated later and corneal scarring has occurred, there may be permanent irreversible visual deficits. Your veterinarian will discuss a diagnostic and treatment plan for your dog to help you successfully treat this condition.
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