Entropion in Dogs - Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment
As dog owners, we must keep our dogs safe from different health conditions. Dogs are prone to eye problems, and in many cases, there is nothing we can do to prevent them from happening. One of those conditions is entropion. It can be a painful condition that can get dog owners quite worried about their dog’s vision and health. However, before you start panicking, there are a few things you should know about entropion in dogs, its treatment, and its prognosis.
What is entropion in dogs?
Entropion in dogs is an eye condition that can be described as an eyelid abnormality that causes the eyelid to roll inward. The rolled eyelid will irritate the dog’s cornea and cause a reaction. The hair from the rolled eyelid will rub the dog’s eye and cause all sorts of problems. Entropion can result in ulceration, pain, perforations, and pigment development. All of these things will mess with your dog’s vision.
VET TIP: As soon as you notice something weird going on with your dog’s eyes, you should bring them for examination. The longer you wait, the more damage the eye can suffer. Waiting can result in permanent vision issues.
What dogs can develop it?
The worst thing about entropion is that it can affect all dogs. It doesn’t matter if you have a pureblooded dog or a mixed breed; entropion can find them. However, vets noticed a particular pattern when it came to specific dog breeds and entropion. Some pureblooded dogs are prone to this health condition. Some of those breeds are;
- Golden Retriever
- Saint Bernard
- Great Dane
- Great Pyrenees
- English Springer Spaniel
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- Clumber Spaniel
- English and American Cocker Spaniel
- Gordon Setter
- Flat-coated Retriever
- English Toy Spaniel
- Irish Setter
- Japanese Chin
These aren’t all dog breeds that can be affected by this issue. If you notice something, make sure you call your vet and get your dog checked up as soon as possible.
What causes entropion in dogs?
Entropion can affect dogs for various reasons. In some cases, there is no apparent cause; it simply happens. Some dogs might have scratched themselves a bit too aggressively, and that can result in entropion. Here are some of the other possible reasons;
- Different eye diseases
- Neurological disorders
- Development deficit
How do vets diagnose it?
As we already said, it is crucial you take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice something weird going on with their eyes. This might not be necessary for entropion, but issues like glaucoma are time-sensitive. The more you wait, the more damage they can cause. Some might even result in permanent vision loss.
The good news is that entropion can be easily diagnosed, even before it starts causing issues to your dog’s eyes. Vets will perform eye examinations and check the dog’s eyelids. They can notice the eyelid started rolling during regular examinations, so make sure you take your dog to the vet at least once a year, even if they are entirely healthy.
The most important thing your vet has to determine is whether entropion caused subsequent damage to the dog’s eye. The vet will perform a fluorescein stain test to check if there is any uptake in the dog’s cornea. If that happens, that means there is some damage or ulceration. In that case, the dog might need additional treatment.
How is entropion treated?
The most important questions dog owners want to know the answer to is, “How is entropion treated?” Naturally, we want to know how fast our dogs can get better and whether the vet will help them. The only solution to entropion is surgical correction. However, vets will most likely perform two surgeries.
The first surgery will be a major correction. However, vets try to correct the issue without the risk of overcorrecting it. If they overcorrect it, the dog can end up with ectropion or an outward rolling eyelid. After the first surgical correction, the vet will decide if the second surgery is necessary. If it is, the dog will have to undergo a minor correction.
Before and after the surgery, the vet might prescribe antibiotics if the entropion causes infections of the affected eye. The owner should treat their dog with eyedrops to make sure the cornea is protected.
What is the prognosis?
Another thing dog owners want to know is the prognosis or how effective the surgery will be. The good news is that prognosis is very good. However, it is crucial dogs receive treatment as soon as possible. Delayed treatment can cause irreversible vision impairment. Dogs might have to endure several surgical corrections, but most patients make a full recovery and live normal lives.
Being a dog owner means looking after your dog. That will include looking at their health and noticing potential issues. If you see something weird going on with your dog, you should take them to the vet. While entropion might not be the most dangerous thing that can happen to your dog’s eyes, it certainly is a condition that will need treatment. It is treated with one or more corrective surgeries. The good news is that the vast majority of dogs with entropion make a full recovery and live normal, pain-free lives.
World Dog Finder team