Entropion, sometimes referred to as the rolling of the eyelids, is typically seen in many different dog breeds and is considered to be a hereditary disorder that is passed down from the dog’s parents. If your dog develops entropion, you may notice that it is squinting, holding one of its eyes shut, tearing excessively (epiphora), or developing a mucoid discharge that leaks from its eye(s).
Entropion can cause additional eye problems to develop if it is not treated. The additional problems include corneal ulcers, perforations, or the development of pigment on the cornea. Typically when pigment develops on the dog’s cornea, it can lead to vision problems that can be very irritating to the dog. Entropion is correctable with surgery, so it is important to consult with your vet.
What Is Entropion?
The formation of entropion usually occurs within the dog’s lower eyelid. This is when all or part of the eyelid begins to fold inward toward the eyeball, causing irritation. However, it has also been known to affect the upper eyelid of canines as well. There are even some documented cases in which both of the eyelids are affected simultaneously. This disorder can also be present in either one or both eyes.
Due to the folding of the dog lid, the dog’s eyelashes constantly rub against the dog’s eye and cause irritation and discomfort to the dog. If left untreated, this condition can cause very painful corneal ulcers to develop, which can lead to long-term scarring, vision loss, and even blindness.
While this condition can be found in any dog breed, it is typically found in dogs that have a more flat face, short muzzle, and very loose facial skin folds. This includes dog breeds like the Bulldog, Pug, Pekinese, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, Boxer, Basset Hound, Blood Hound, Mastiff, Labrador Retriever, Shar-pei, and the Saint Bernard. If you have one of these dog breeds, it is best to monitor for this condition and prevent long-term health effects from developing.
Regular veterinary checkups can also aid in the prevention of this unwanted condition; keeping your dog both happy and healthy for years to come.
Types Of Entropion
There are three main types of entropion that can develop within your furry friend. These three types include inherited/genetic entropion, spastic entropion, and acquired entropion. When it comes to the acquired form of entropion, the dog’s eyelids roll inward as a result of changes that occur within the eye or the muscles surrounding the eye. Typically, this is more common as dogs age and develop other eye-related health issues. One condition that is known to cause this form of entropion is end-stage glaucoma, as it leads to the globe of the eye to shrink, this then draws in the dog’s lids and irritates the eye.
Spastic entropion occurs if there is sudden trauma to the eyeball or eye region. This is usually a painful condition and is a result of a corneal ulcer or uveitis in the eye. Both spastic entropion and acquired entropion can occur at any stage of the dog’s life and in any breed of dog.
The most common form of entropion is the inherited form. As we previously mentioned, there are several dog breeds that are more susceptible to developing inherited entropion due to their facial structure. Within these breeds, the vet is usually to diagnose entropion at birth and then engage in preventative measures throughout the dog’s life.
Signs of Entropion in Dogs
There are some commons signs that may indicate that your dog is suffering from entropion. You may notice that your dog squints or holds its eye shut. In addition, you may notice that your dog has excessive tears and a mucoid discharge. In most cases of entropion, both of the dog’s eyes are affected. Some other common signs of entropion are:
- Excessive tearing
- Eye discharge
- Swelling around the eyes
- Rubbing of the eye
- Eye redness
- Corneal ulcers
Your vet will be able to diagnose your dog and recommend a proper course of treatment through a visual eye exam. If your dog is one of the breeds that commonly suffer from entropion, the vet will likely recommend corrective surgery to fix the issue.
Diagnosing Entropion In Dogs
If your dog is showing abnormalities within its eyes, you should always contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent long-term issues from developing. Eye disease tends to progress rapidly without treatment, so you must get your dog to the vet as soon as possible to prevent issue. The sooner you take your dog to the vet, the less damage that the entropion will cause to the dog’s cornea.
Entropion can usually be diagnosed by a vet by conducting a simple eye examination on the dog. Typically, your vet will check for signs of entropion during your dog’s regular checkups. This is why it is important to take your dog in for regular checkups so you can prevent and monitor diseases before they become more serious.
After your vet has diagnosed entropion within your dog, he will likely perform a fluorescein stain test on the dog’s eye to determine if there is any corneal damage within your dog’s eye. If the vet determines that your dog is, in fact, suffering from corneal damage, additional treatment will likely be necessary to fix any damage that has occurred.
What Breeds Are More Likely To Develop Entropion?
As we previously mentioned, there are some dog breeds that are more likely to develop entropion compared to other breeds. This is because entropion is considered a hereditary disorder. Some of the breeds that are more likely to suffer from entropion at some point in their lives are the:
Akita, American Staffordshire Terrier, Basset Hound, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Dalmatian, English and American Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, English Toy Spaniel, Flat-coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Irish Setter, Japanese Chin, Labrador Retriever, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Old English Sheepdog, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Pug, Rottweiler, Shar Pei, Shih Tzu, Saint Bernard, Siberian Husky, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel, Toy and Miniature Poodle, Vizsla, Yorkshire Terrier, and Weimaraner.
Treating Entropion in Dogs
If caught early on, the prognosis for the surgical correction of entropion is generally very good. The vet may recommend that your dog undergo several surgeries to correct the procedure and prevent further issues from developing. However, if the condition is not caught until it has developed more significantly, more permanent damage may have occurred. This damage typically includes corneal scarring leading to visual deficits. Your vet will likely discuss a treatment plan with you to ensure your dog is as happy and healthy as possible.
If your dog’s case of entropion is not as severe, it may not even need any treatment unless the condition worsens over time. Your vet may prescribe some antibiotic eye drops for your to administer into your dog’s eyes to prevent infection from developing. This condition may or may not progress as your dog ages, so proper monitoring is needed as well as regular veterinary checkups.
However, if the case of entropion is severe within the dog, the only corrective measure is eye surgery to fix the issue. If your puppy is suffering from entropion, the vet can tack the eyelids back temporarily until the puppy matures.