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What Is Entropion in Dogs? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. November 10, 2020
What Is Entropion in Dogs? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Entropion in dogs is an abnormality of their eyelids where their eyelids roll inward. It causes pain and other health issues to occur.

In this Animalwised article we're going to elaborate on what entropion is, the causes, symptoms, treatment and more.

What is entropion in dogs?

Entropion in dogs is an abnormality where the eyelids of a dog roll inward. This causes the hair on the surface of the eyelid to rub against the cornea of their eye and produce pain, corneal ulcers, perforations, or even pigment developing on the cornea which can interfere with their vision.

This can happen with the upper eyelid, lower eyelid, or in both eyelids, although it is most common in the lower eyelid. It is also more common for it to occur in both eyes, although it can also occur in just one. As a result of the rubbing of the eyelashes against the eyeball, friction, irritation, discomfort and pain are produced. If not treated in time, this condition can lead to severe damage in the eyes affected.

You mustn't get this confused with ectropion in dogs, as it is actually the opposite. In ectropion, the dog's eyelids roll outwards.

What Is Entropion in Dogs? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - What is entropion in dogs?

Causes of entropion in dogs

There are two different types of entropion in dogs, depending on what it is caused by it can be primary entropion or secondary entropion:

  • Primary entropion: can occur as a result of a defect during the dog's development, or as a result of congenital defects.
  • Secondary entropion: is due to environmental causes or other health issues.

Primary entropion

Primary entropion is more commonly detected in puppies and young dogs. It has a very significant genetic component, so it is more commonly found in certain breeds. It's found especially in breeds that have flat faces and flattened noses, or those with wrinkled faces. Thus, the breeds most likely to suffer from this disease are:

Secondary entropion

Secondary entropion occurs more often in older dogs and can affect all dog breeds. This type of entropion usually occurs as a consequence of another disease or environmental factors.

The most common causes of secondary entropion in dogs are:

  • Blepharospasms (eyelid spasms)
  • Eye or eyelid trauma
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Eye infections
  • Rapid and marked weight loss
  • Muscle loss around eye area

Symptoms of entropion in dogs

The most common symptoms of entropion in dogs are the following:

  • Watery eyes and excessive tearing
  • Ocular discharge, which might contain blood or pus
  • Eyelid visibly rolled inwards
  • Eye irritation
  • Thickened skin around the eyes
  • Keeps their eyes narrowed
  • Blepharospasms (spasms of the eyelids that are always closed)
  • Difficulty in opening the eyes
  • Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Loss of vision (in advanced cases)
  • Constantly rubs their eyes, causing more damage
  • Lethargy
  • Aggression due to pain
  • Depression

If you see your dog exhibiting any of these symptoms, or any other abnormal behaviour, it's important you take them to the veterinarian to be properly diagnosed and treated before the illness becomes too serious to treat.

What Is Entropion in Dogs? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - Symptoms of entropion in dogs

Diagnosis

Entropion in dogs is easy to diagnose, although it can only be done by clinical auscultation conducted by a qualified veterinarian. In any case, the vet will conduct a complete eye exam to rule out other associated complications and problems similar to entropion, such as distichiasis or blepharospasms. If deemed necessary, they might request other exams for the other complications they find.

Treatment for entropion in dogs

The only treatment to solve this eye problem is surgery. Surgery on puppies with entropion poses an additional problem, as it keeps developing until adulthood. In such cases, the veterinarian can temporarily opt for other regular procedures until the dog reaches an age where they are ready for the proper surgery. The prognosis for operated dogs is excellent.

What does the entropion in dogs surgery consist of?

The surgery consists in removing a secretion of skin from the effected eye to reverse its inward rolling. In many cases, this surgery will be done in two parts: a primary major surgery correction and then, a minor corrective surgery.

Your dog will completely heal two weeks after the surgery. Talk to your veterinarian about this procedure and ask them any questions you may have.

What Is Entropion in Dogs? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - Treatment for entropion in dogs

Prevention

Unfortunately, entropion in dogs can not be prevented. What you can do it try to detect it in time, so that the symptoms do not become aggravated and the symptoms are as favourable as possible.

If your dog belongs to one of the breeds which have a high propensity to suffering from this eye disease, you should pay special attention to their eye care. Making sure to keep them clean and regularly taking them to the veterinarian for check-ups.

You may also find our video below helpful where we explain how to clean your dog's eyes at home.

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 What Is Entropion in Dogs? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Eye problems category.

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