Entropion is a condition of dogs where the eyelid rolls into the eye. It is seen in all species, however commonly affects dogs, and in particularly breeds with excessive facial folds, such as pugs and saint bernards.
Entropion is seen in all species, and more commonly occurs in the lower eyelid, causing the eyelashes to rub and abrade the cornea of the affected eye.
The constant abrasion of the cornea of the eye is painful and irritating. It often results in the ulceration of the cornea and if left untreated can lead to non healing ulcers, uveitis (infection of the first chamber of the eye), and potentially perforation of the eyeball and loss of the eye.
Entropion surgery in dogs
The treatment for entropion is relatively simple and involves the surgical removal of a small elliptical section of the outer layer of skin just below the eyelid (in the case of the lower eyelid). The wound created is then sutured closed. By pulling the two edges of the elliptical incision closed the eyelid will tend to roll back out to sit in its natural position.
In most animals the surgery will need to be performed under general anaesthetic as the risks involved with performing surgery around the eye of a conscious animal are too great.
If significant damage has occurred to the cornea, further actions are sometimes required,including third eyelid flap and scarification of the cornea. These are usually done in conjunction with antibiotics treatment.
Side effects and possible complications of entropion surgery
Risks involved with a general anaesthetic are small as the drugs used today in practise are increasingly safe. An anaesthetic risk assessment will be carried out by your vet prior to the procedure.
Damage to the eye and the structures associated with the eye is a possibility during the surgery. However the risk of leaving condition untreated possibly resulting in ulceration is greater.
There are a number of other risks (including drug reactions) that maybe specific to your animal’s case. We recommend discussing this topic with your vet.
Entropion is a condition whereby the eyelids roll inward, irritating the surfaces of the eye. The condition commonly affects breeds of dogs with excessive skin and facial folds, such as cocker spaniels, and shar peis, and is treated with a minor surgical procedure.