Eye problems

My Shar Pei Won't Open their Eyes - Most Common Causes

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. October 9, 2017
My Shar Pei Won't Open their Eyes - Most Common Causes
Shar pei

Animal file: Shar pei

Eye diseases are very impactful on our pet because they may even affect their character, generating irritability and aggressiveness. In certain breeds of dogs, we must be aware that they are more likely to suffer certain diseases. Therefore, we must monitor them and pay special attention to the care of their eyes.

In this AnimalWised article we will focus on the shar pei, a breed predisposed to suffer from dermatological and ocular diseases. If you have noticed that your shar pei won't open their eyes, read on to discover why they are having such difficulty.

  1. Wrinkly dogs and associated diseases
  2. The final form of their eyes
  3. Should I go to the vet?

Wrinkly dogs and associated diseases

The shar pei is a breed of dog characterized by their adorable wrinkles. However, this characteristic of theirs makes them more likely to suffer certain diseases associated with the skin.

The molecule responsible for these wrinkles is hyaluronic acid and in the case of the eyelids, their high presence causes them to be more lax, weak, weigh more and go inwards. This condition makes our shar pei practically incapable of opening their eyes because of the pain and is more prone to suffer from conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers. The ideal is to keep our puppy's cornea hydrated and lubricated with eye drops that our veterinarian will prescribe us.

It could also be ectropion that is preventing our shar pei from opening their eyes. In this case, this malformation must also be corrected, since the continuous rubbing of the eyelashes with the cornea will cause secondary pathologies. An indication of this condition is epiphora (excessive tearing).

My Shar Pei Won't Open their Eyes - Most Common Causes - Wrinkly dogs and associated diseases

The final form of their eyes

To know what the shape and definitive state your dog's eyes will be, you must wait until they have developed and grown completely (at about six months of age). When they are a puppy it is normal that you do not see their eyes, because the amount of folds of skin is not proportional to their size. However, during puppyhood, if they already present a lot of palpebral alteration and this causes great problems, there are less invasive techniques, such as tissue adhesives and traction sutures that can be carried out at this time.

The successive revisions and vaccines carried out by our veterinarian, will indicate to us if the dog will have to undergo a surgical correction of the eyelids. Keep in mind that all dogs of this breed will have some degree of entropion, but surgery is not always necessary.

There are several surgical techniques to correct the entropion and, sometimes, more than one intervention is necessary to solve it definitively. You should not worry, since the anesthetic protocols performed are very safe and the postoperative is not complicated.

Other causes that may prevent our shar pei from opening their eyes are foreign bodies like spikes. In this case it is usually a unilateral and acute process.

To avoid this pathology, it is ideal that shar peis have few wrinkles, since it is a condition that is transmitted genetically.

Should I go to the vet?

If you suspect that your shar pei does not open their eyes for one of the reasons above, it will of course be necessary to go to the vet to check their eyelids, determine the cause, and act on it quickly. As you have seen, some of the pathologies can become very serious if they do not receive the appropriate treatment promptly, so it is necessary to check the eyes of the animal frequently.

Especially in cases of entropion, not performing surgery (if it is what the specialist considers), can lead to total loss of vision. Therefore, to ensure the best quality of life for the animal, it is important to carry out frequent physical examinations, as well as guarantee all the care that the shar pei needs.

My Shar Pei Won't Open their Eyes - Most Common Causes - Should I go to the vet?

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to My Shar Pei Won't Open their Eyes - Most Common Causes, we recommend you visit our Eye problems category.

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My Shar Pei Won't Open their Eyes - Most Common Causes