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Entropion : Abnormal Eyelid in Dogs Symptoms , Diagnosis and Treatment

Entropion : Abnormal Eyelid in Dogs Symptoms , Diagnosis and Treatment - Dogs Eye Health Care Articles

Entropion : Abnormal Eyelid in Dogs Symptoms , Diagnosis and Treatment : Dogs Eye Health Care Articles; Entropion describes a condition where the eyelid "rolls in" on itself. It can affect one or both eyes, and the lower and/or upper eyelids. " src="" /> It is a genetic condition which can cause an eyelash or hair to irritate and scratch the surface of the eye, leading to ... Entropion : Abnormal Eyelid in Dogs Symptoms , Diagnosis and Treatment

Entropion : Abnormal Eyelid in Dogs Symptoms , Diagnosis and Treatment

Entropion : Abnormal Eyelid in Dogs Symptoms , Diagnosis and Treatment

Entropion describes a condition where the eyelid "rolls in" on itself. It can affect one or both eyes, and the lower and/or upper eyelids.Entropion : Abnormal Eyelid in Dogs Symptoms , Diagnosis and Treatment
It is a genetic condition which can cause an eyelash or hair to irritate and scratch the surface of the eye, leading to corneal ulceration or perforation. It can also cause dark-colored scar tissue to build up over the wound (pigmentary keratitis).
These factors may cause a decrease or loss of vision.
Entropion is fairly common in dogs and is seen in a wide variety of breeds, including short-nosed breeds, giant breeds, and sporting breeds.
Entropion is almost always diagnosed around the time a puppy reaches its first birthday.

While the exact genetics are unknown, some breeds are identified as having this problem. These breeds include:
  • Akita
  • American Staffordshire terrier
  • Pekingese
  • Bulldog
  • Pomeranian
  • Pug
  • Japanese chin
  • Shih tzu
  • Yorkshire terrier
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Dalmatian
  • Old English sheepdog
  • Rottweiler
  • Siberian husky
  • Vizsla
  • Weimaraner
  • Toy and miniature poodle
  • Basset hound
  • Bloodhound
  • 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
  • Mastiff
  • Saint Bernard
  • Newfoundland
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Shar pei

Signs and Symptoms of Entropion

In toy and brachycephalic breeds of dogs, excess tears (epiphora) and/or inner eye inflammation (keratitis) are common signs of entropion. However, in giant breeds, it is more common to see mucus and/or pus discharge from the outer corner of the eyes. In other breeds of dogs, eye tics, discharge of pus, eye inflammation, or even rupture of the cornea are the usual signs of entropion.

All in all the most common signs associated with entropion are excessive tearing, squinting and pain and :
  • Watery eyes; tearing (excessive lacrimation)
  • Ocular discharge; can be thick, gummy and contain blood or pus
  • Squinting
  • Eye redness
  • Eyelid twitching (blepharospasm)
  • Visible inrolling of the upper and/or lower eyelids
  • Thick, “heavy” skin around the eyes
  • Eyelid swelling
  • Difficulty opening the eyes, especially in sunlight
  • Pain
  • Depression (due to pain)
  • Lethargy (due to pain)
  • Aggression (due to pain)
  • Corneal ulceration or erosion
  • Corneal rupture
  • Rubbing at the eyes; self-trauma (due to pain)
Signs of entropion usually (but not always) occur in both eyes. If the cause is genetic, clinical signs will be apparent early in life and can be seen even in puppies that are only a few weeks old. In fact, novice breeders of affected breeds (especially Chows and Shar-peis) may think that their puppies’ eyes have not opened by 4 or even 5 weeks of age, when in reality the puppies’ eyes opened normally, but severe congenital entropion is present.

Diagnosis of Entropion

Diagnosis is fairly straightforward through examination. However, there are several diagnostic procedures that are used by veterinarians to differentiate entropion from other eye or eyelid disorders, such as distichiasis (the presence of a double row of eyelashes, one or both of which are turned inward against the eyeball, causing friction, irritation and severe, chronic damage to the eye) and trichiasis (where normally placed lashes or facial hair are ingrown, irritating the cornea and conjunctiva).
By definition, entropion is a rolling inward of all or part of an eyelid edge. Diagnosis is not difficult and normally is based simply upon the dog’s breed, history and clinical presentation, without further testing. Of course, the veterinarian still will perform a thorough physical examination of the dog to be sure that the diagnosis of entropion is correct.
In order to distinguish entropion from other conditions, and to help determine the cause of the condition in non-predisposed breeds, the attending veterinarian will perform a complete ophthalmic examination. This involves a Schirmer tear test, application of fluorescein dye, assessment of intraocular pressures and a thorough examination of the physical structure of the eyelids, eyelashes, cornea and conjunctiva. The best way to distinguish entropion from blepharospasm, which is severe squinting and spasms of the muscles around the eye, is to apply anesthetic eye drops. The eyelids of dogs with blepharospasm caused by pain will return to normal, because the anesthetic drops will temporarily relieve eye pain. The eyelids of dogs with entropion will not be corrected by topical anesthetics.
These various eye examinations will be done while the dog is in a relaxed state. Excessive restraint or manipulation of the dog’s head can exaggerate the degree of entropion when it is present. Ophthalmic tests are not particularly invasive and do not require general anesthesia; application of topical anesthetic drops are usually all that is necessary to ensure the dog’s comfort. Depending upon the examination results, the veterinarian may recommend advanced testing and may refer the patient to a veterinary eye specialist.

Treatment of Entropion

In younger dogs secondary problems comes first. Ulcerated corneas can be treated with antibiotic or triple antibiotic ointments. If the condition is mild and the corneas are not ulcerated, artificial tears can be used to lubricate the eyes; however, surgery is often required. This is done by temporarily turning the eyelid inward or outward (everting) through suturing. This surgery is done in moderate cases, and when an adult dog with no history of the condition exhibits entropion.

In severe cases facial reconstruction will be necessary, but this is generally avoided until the dog has reached adult size.

In a nutshell dog owners can alleviate some of the symptoms of entropion by applying eye drops, ointments or other types of topical lubrication. However, the only truly effective treatment for entropion is surgery. Puppies with congenital entropion should not undergo permanent surgical correction until they are adults, because as they mature their facial features and structure will change. In mild cases, topical antibiotic ointments and artificial tears or lubricating eye drops may be appropriate. In more severe cases in young dogs, the veterinarian may recommend temporary surgical correction with a “tacking” procedure that involves rolling the affected eyelids away from the eye and holding them in place with sutures (“stitches”). This procedure may need to be repeated periodically as the animal grows and its facial conformation changes. In some cases, temporary surgical correction will actually resolve the condition, making surgery as an adult unnecessary. Temporary tacking is especially common and effective in very young Shar-Pei puppies, which can manifest entropion by 2 to 6 weeks of age. Once a dog has reached maturity, permanent surgical repair of entropion can be considered to restore normal eyelid conformation. There are several different surgical techniques to accomplish this correction, but they all involve everting the eyelid margin away from the globe of the eye (the eyeball) by removing a portion of the eyelid and pulling together and suturing (stitching) the remaining parts.

Main Causes of Entropion

Facial shape is the primary genetic cause of entropion. In short-nosed, brachycephalic breeds of dogs there is more tension on the ligaments of the inner eye than would normally be seen. This, along with the conformation (shape) of their nose and face can lead to both the top and bottom eyelids rolling inward toward the eyeball. Giant breeds have the opposite problem. They tend to have excess slack in the ligaments around the outer corners of their eyes. This permits the outer edges of the eyelids to fold inward.

Prognosis of Entropion

The prognosis for dogs that have had entropion surgically corrected is very good to excellent, as long as the treatment takes place before their eyes are permanently damaged. Periodic treatment with antibiotic or lubricating drops, creams or ointments may be appropriate if infection or inflammation recur. The veterinarian probably will recommend that the dog wear an Elizabethan (“cone” or “lampshade”) collar post-operatively, to reduce the risk of disruption of the surgical site from pawing or rubbing. Follow-up visits to the veterinarian will be important, both to remove sutures and assess progress.

Prevention of Entropion

As entropion is usually caused by a genetic predisposition, it cannot really be prevented. If your dog is of a breed that is known to be affected with entropion, prompt treatment is your best option once it is diagnosed.

Entropion : Abnormal Eyelid in Dogs Symptoms , Diagnosis and Treatment

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