Entropion refers to a condition in which a dogs eyelid rotates inward. Their eyelashes rub against their eye(s) and cause redness, irritation, and abrasions on the cornea of the eye(s).
Entropion, or eyelid retraction, develops slowly and may not be noticeable in its early stages. Over time, however, the condition worsens until every movement of the eye irritates the surface of the cornea. Without treatment, and sometimes surgery, this continuous abrasion can cause eye infections, scarring of the eyeball and in severe cases, blindness.
Entropion is a common condition among the Bull dogs, Chinese Sharpei's and the Neapolitan Mastiff. The lower eyelid is most often affected, and it can occur in one or both eyes. Treatment involves a relatively simple surgery that can be performed in the veterinarian’s office.
Entropion symptoms often develop slowly, starting out as just a mild eye irritation. As the eyelid rolls inward, the eyelashes start to scratch your your dogs cornea(s). Over time, repeated abrasion to their cornea can lead to:
eye redness, watery, teary eyes, infections of the cornea, scarring, loss of vision
As dogs grow older, their skin loses collagen, and the skin above the eyes grows quite heavy. Loose muscles and heavy skin around the eyes can allow the edge of the eyelid to flip inward.
Puppies may be born with entropion. The condition is quite rare.
How is Entropion diagnosed?
There are several diagnostic procedures that are used by veterinarians to differentiate entropion from other eye or eyelid disorders, such as distichiasis (the presence of a double row of eyelashes, one or both of which are turned inward against the eyeball, causing friction, irritation and severe, chronic damage to the eye) and trichiasis (where normally placed lashes or facial hair are ingrown, irritating the cornea and conjunctiva).
How is Entropion treated?
The treatment for entropion is surgical correction. A section of skin is removed from the affected eyelid to reverse its inward rolling. Most dogs will not undergo surgery until they have reached their adult size at twelve months-28 months of age depending on the breed.
Can Entropion be prevented?
Entropion cannot be prevented. It is a condition that can take form at birth or over time. In breeds with heavy wrinkles, they are predisposed to having this at some time later in life.
I hope this article was helpful to you. Best of luck with your furry children. Hope to see you in the ring one day! :-)