Entropion Repair

It can occasionally occur that dogs and cats have problems with their eyelids, just as humans occasionally have problems with their eyelids. You may have noticed that your dog or cat’s eyelids look abnormal in some way, or their eyes seem to be a source of discomfort or irritation. One of the possible explanations for this abnormality, discomfort or irritation is a condition known as entropion.

What Is Entropion

Entropion is a medical condition wherein the cat or dog’s eyelid rolls inward and rubs against the cornea of the eye. In contrast, ectropion is a medical condition wherein the cat or dog’s eyelid droops outward and exposes the cornea. These conditions are far more common in dogs than in cats, with entropion occurring especially in the breeds of Chow Chow, Chinese Shar-Pei, Irish Setter, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Collie, Great Dane and Rottweiler, and ectropion occurring especially in the breeds of Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Cocker Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel, Bulldog and Saint Bernard. Ectropion is actually considered normal in many of these breeds, though it can result from improper entropion repair (over-correction). It has also developed in senile dogs where there is a loss of muscle tone. Entropion, on the other hand, is often a congenital defect, though it can also occur as a result of trauma, corneal lesions and conjunctival inflammation.

Some of the basic signs that a pet is suffering from entropion include:

  • Eyelids that appear to roll inward.
  • Excessive tearing or watering of the eyes.
  • Apparent involuntary winking.
  • Conjunctivitis, which is marked by red and inflamed eyes.
  • Painful eyes, as indicated by pawing at or rubbing the eyes.
  • Sensitivity to light.

Some of the basic signs that a pet is suffering from ectropion include:

  • Eyelids that appear to roll outward and expose the eye.
  • Excessive tearing or watering of the eyes.
  • Conjunctivitis.
  • Discharge from the eyes.
  • Corneal inflammation.

If you suspect your pet is suffering from entropion or ectropion, it is best to have them seen by their veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian will perform an examination of the pet’s eyes, while the pet is awake, because this can help the veterinarian to see the exact extent to which the eyelids roll inward or outward. This can help to prevent against over-correction or under-correction. The veterinarian will check to see whether the pet’s eyelashes are rubbing against the eyes, and where, as well as whether there is any further eye damage caused by the condition. Oftentimes this requires that a fluorescein dye is used to stain the eye and expose any ulcers in the cornea.

Repairing Entropion or Ectropion

Repair of medical conditions involving the eyelid always requires surgery. In the case of entropion, the veterinarian will often remove a small piece of tissue directly under the eye and then suture the two sides together in order to pull the eyelid down. This helps to prevent the eyelid from continuing to roll onto the eye. The veterinarian will likely also recommend the use of antibiotic eye drops or ointments to help speed recovery. In the case of ectropion, the veterinarian will often use a “V” or “Y” incision to shorten the eyelid so it will properly sit over the cornea.

It is highly recommended that a pet who has received entropion or ectropion repair wear an Elizabethan collar until they are fully recovered. This will help to ensure that they cannot scratch at any stitches or irritate the surgery site.

Entropion and ectropion repair is highly successful most of the time, though the pet’s breed, age and specific situation certainly play a part in the outcome. For more information or to schedule an appointment for your pet to be evaluated for either of these conditions, contact La Crosse today.