Entropion in dogs
Entropion is the most common congenital defect of the eyelids in which the top or the bottom of the eyelids is turned inwards, so that the eyelashes constantly rub and irritate the eyeball itself. Untreated, it can damage vision severely. It is also caused by injury or a long-standing eye infection.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines, I see this condition more often in Rottweilers.
The affected animals have a history of mucopurulent discharge from the affected eyes, rubbing of the eyes, and photo phobia or squinting.
Signs may be intermittent early in the course of the condition, but could get worst with time. I have seen many cases where the dog owner comes to me with his/her dog and explains that the dog has an eye infection that has been going on for months and doesnât seem to respond to antibiotic eye drops or ointment. They may see a temporary improvement while using the medication, but it never cures it.
A major concern with entropion is damage to the cornea of the eye from the eyelids and eyelashes, wearing away at its surface. The eye may begin to develop scar tissue to protect itself from constant abrasions and scratches, and ulcers to the cornea can occur, in some cases, going deep enough to rupture the surface.. This can lead to serious infection and blindness.
The only truly effective treatment for entropion is surgery. Puppies with congenital entropion should not undergo surgical correction until they are adults, because as they mature, their facial features and structures will change.
The prognosis for dogs that have had entropion surgically corrected is very good, as long as the treatment takes place before the eyes are permanently damaged.