Entropion in Dogs

Entropion in Dogs
By Dr. Ed Mapes
Stonebridge Animal Hospital

We’re all familiar with the irritation, redness, and even itchiness felt when a loose eyelash contacts our eye.  Now imagine the sensation dogs have when the entire upper or lower (or both) eyelids are turned inward so that all of the eyelashes rub against the eyeball.  This condition is called entropion, and must be corrected to prevent corneal ulcer development.

Animal Hospital McKinney TX

Fig 1: A bulldog with the lower eyelid turned inward with lashes touching the eyeball.  This causes intense inflammation and discomfort.  This is primary entropion.

Entropion is usually a hereditary condition seen in quite a few breeds, but the Shar Pei and Bulldogs seem most prone.  The condition often begins at an early age as the face matures and lids gradually roll inward toward the eyeball.  Once eyelashes contact the eye and surrounding membranes (conjunctiva), inflammation begins.

The eyes and conjunctiva will become reddened, eye discharge begins, and the dogs usually squint most of the time.  They will paw at the area due to the irritation.  Inflammation can even spread down the face after tears and exudate from the eyes drain downward.

This is called primary entropion, which must be distinguished from secondary, or spastic entropion, which arises after some other disorder causes irritation around the eyes.   Here, the lids roll inward due to the inflammation already present, and spastic entropion is not the primary problem.  Distinguishing between primary and secondary entropion is important, because treatments can be very different.

Primary entropion can only be alleviated with surgical procedures at an animal hospital in McKinney to permanently roll out the offending eyelids to a normal position.  This is a cure; once done the problem should be resolved forever.

Secondary cases must be handled differently, though.  Treatment aims at alleviating the origins of eye inflammation.  Once irritation is controlled, the lids often roll back into a normal configuration without surgical intervention. If an animal hospital in McKinney does surgery prematurely in these cases, it can lead to excessive tissue being removed.  The lids can then actually roll outward excessively after inflammation is controlled, leading to a separate problem at that point.

Some cases of secondary entropion are best controlled by temporarily placing sutures to roll out the lids.  This takes that source of irritation away, allowing the primary inflammation to abate.  Once the redness is alleviated, the professionals at our animal hospital in McKinney will remove the sutures and observe to ensure that the lids don’t roll back inward. Primary entropion is always managed surgically, providing the cure for the disorder.

Animal Hospital McKinney TX
Stonebridge Animal Hospital
5913 Virginia Parkway
McKinney, Texas 75071
214-856-7005

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