Learn more about this pet eye condition and what corrective steps can be taken.
What is entropion and what can be done to correct it?
Entropion is a condition of the eyelid or eyelids which results in the inward rolling or folding of the eyelid margin. There are two eyelids for each eye, the dorsal lid (top eyelid) and the ventral lid (bottom eyelid). Entropion may affect one or both lids of each eye. The entire length of the eyelid may be affected or more commonly a smaller restricted area may be affected. This condition commonly causes the hairs on the eyelid margin (eyelashes) to rub against the surface of the eye (Cornea). This usually results in watery eye discharge caused from irritation, inflammation and pain. You may notice the pet squint their eyes and they may be sensitive to light. The pet may also show signs of discomfort such as rubbing their face and eye with their paws or against the floor and other objects. Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the tissues surrounding the eye) may also occur, leading to redness and swelling around the eye. The most important consequence of Entropion is secondary corneal ulceration. This occurs when the eyelashes rub the surface of the eye and cause small (sometimes large) erosions in the cornea. If left unmanaged, this may ultimately lead to rupture of the eye itself and possible permanent damage and loss of vision.
This condition usually occurs in young animals and both dogs and cats may be affected, although it is more common in dogs. Some breeds may be predisposed to developing this condition such as English bulldogs, Chow chows, Rottweilers and Cocker spaniels. This occurs due to various conformational abnormalities that occur during development. This condition may also occur in older animals. Other factors such as obesity, previous injury and other ocular diseases may also influence its development.
Treatment for Entropion is usually surgical in nature but the type of procedure performed may depend on the age of the animal. When Entropion is diagnosed in very young animals that have a large amount of growing potential remaining, Eyelid tacking is performed as a temporary corrective procedure until the animal reaches maturity. This may be repeated several times and may eliminate the need for further surgery as the animal matures. Most patients undergo definitive excisional surgery for which there are several types which vary depending upon the surgeon’s preference. These procedures are aimed at removing a small amount of tissue adjacent to the affected eyelid and suturing the tissues in place to evert or unroll the eyelid to its normal position.
When a diagnosis of Entropion is made it is common to use medications to provide relief of pain, inflammation and help control infection. These medications may come in the form of topical and oral tablets/pills.
If you believe your pet may be suffering from this condition, please consult your Veterinarian to formulate a plan to help correct the underlying problem.