Entropion is a condition that arises where the eyelid margins curl in on themselves, and the eyelashes and super short eyelid fur touches and rubs on the eye surface itself.
Imagine how it feels when you accidentally touch your eyeball and how unpleasant it is… this is what your dog goes through every day if they have entropion, but they suffer in silence.
Entropion can be unilateral (only one eye involved) or bilateral (both eyes involved).
In rare cases, the chronic rubbing of the eyelid skin and eyelashes on the eyes surface can cause the eyeball to perforate…. Imagine rubbing a blown up balloon with a cheese grater
If it starts during puppyhood, entropion usually has a genetic, or breed related cause. Several breeds of dogs have entropion more commonly including bulldogs, Australian bulldogs, french bulldogs, pugs and labradors.
We Don’t know why some dogs inherit the problem and others do not.
There are some rarer conditions that lead to entropion such as inflammation and conjunctivitis and if this is the case often treating the underlying cause is sufficient and surgery for the entropion isn’t necessary as the thing causing the problem initially can be fixed.
The diagnosis of entropion is usually straightforward and based on clinical symptoms of discomfort and discharge.
Often sending photos to us of your pet with their eyes in a normal position (you can hold a treat about a foot away from them to make them focus on it and then snap the picture) and also the eyelids spread apart can assist the diagnosis
Identifying the underlying causes and development of a treatment plan can be more complicated and require thorough eye examination and evaluation of the lid anatomy and blink function.
In young animals, temporary tacking of the eyelids may allow your pet to “outgrow” the entropion as the anatomy and skull features develop.
In older animals, a more permanent dog entropion surgery correction of the lid section of the eye is usually required. A variety of plastic surgery techniques are used and customised to your pet and its particular circumstances.
All the surgeries aim to ‘uncurl’ the eyelid and make the wet part of the eyelid only touch the eyeball and the skin section of the eyelid not touch it at all.
The hotz-celsus procedure is what we use to surgically correct the entropion. We take a half moon shaped section of the skin of the eyelid out and suture the skin closed, creating a tightening effect. If the surgeon doesn’t take enough skin then repeated procedures may have to occur to get the result we need. If the surgeon takes too much skin it’s even worse as the reverse of entropion happens where the eyelids curl the opposite way and this can be a tricky problem to deal with. If the surgery is done properly, by a senior surgeon with experience in entropion surgery it should be curative… done once and not have to be repeated multiple times.
If left untreated, entropion can lead to vision deficits caused by corneal ulceration, corneal perforation or severe scarring.
With proper diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis is excellent for maintaining comfort and a healthy eye that does not have vision affected
Book a consult if you are concerned about Entropion in your dog.