Entropion is a common disorder of the eyelids which causes them to roll inward(inverted) causing pain, swelling and irritation due to the eyelash or other eyelid hair rubbing on the cornea. Entropion can occur in either the upper or lower eyelid, and in one eye or both. If left untreated, it can cause a decrease in vision or complete loss of eyesight. Entropion that is considered to be inherited becomes present soon after birth. It is common in a variety of purebred dogs bred for heavy facial folds and the droopy eye look. This includes the: Chow Chow, English Bulldog, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, St. Bernard, Shar-pei, Golden Retriever, Akita, French Bulldog, Dalmation, Rottweiler, Siberian Husky, Weimaraner, Pug, Pomeranian, Old English Sheepdog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Mastiff, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Vizsla, Yorkshire Terrier, Shih Tzu, Pekingese, American Staffordshire Terrier, Great Dane, and Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Entropion is very rare in cats. Entropion can also be a secondary condition from eyelid scarring, eye infection, trauma, and nerve damage.
Symptoms of Entropion:
- Watery eyes; excessive tearing
- Ocular Discharge; can look thick and contain blood or pus
- Eye redness
- Eyelid swelling
- Difficulty opening the eye, especially in sunlight
- Eyelid twitching
- Corneal ulceration
- Corneal rupture
- Aggression due to pain.
Entropion is diagnosed from an ocular examination performed by your veterinarian. Local anesthetic is often used to make the exam more comfortable for the patient and to help get a closer examination of the edges of the eyelid. In mild cases, lubricating eye drops may be sent home to prevent the cornea from becoming scratched or infected. In more extreme cases where damage may already have been done your veterinarian may use a fluorescein dye to detect any corneal ulcers from constant rubbing of the eyelashes against the cornea. The fluorescein adheres to the damaged sections of the cornea and turns bright green. If a corneal ulcer is left untreated the eye can develop excessive scar tissue in an attempt to protect the eye, causing vision impairment over time.
Unfortunately, eye drops only treat symptoms and can't fix entropion alone. Eyelid surgery is the only permanent solution, and should be done sooner than later in cases where damage is being caused to the cornea. Young pets can have a tacking procedure done to prevent damage to the cornea while growing. Tacking is the placement of temporary sutures that roll the eyelids out and keep the eyes healthy until the patient grows into their adult features. This is done because the growth rate is so fast in puppies that entropion may disappear. Grown pets would require a blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty is where the eyelids are actually surgically reshaped.
Home care from entropion involves administering eye medications and keeping an elizabethan collar on your pet to prevent them from pawing and rubbing at their eyes. Also examine your pets eyes frequently for redness, swelling, tearing, or squinting. The prognosis for pets with entropion is excellent if treatment is given before there is damage to the cornea. If the cornea was damaged, the prognosis would depend on the severity.
If you think your pet is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms please don't wait, give us a call today!