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What is entropion in dogs?

Entropion is the most common eyelid abnormality in dogs, and a relatively common eye problem that affects pets. Entropion refers to a rolling inward of the eyelids. This causes hairs on the eyelid to rub on the surface of the dog’s eye. This can cause issues with the cornea, as well as significant pain, ulceration and even blindness if not corrected. 

Canine entropion may affect multiple or single eyelids. It’s sometimes easy to spot a dog with entropion, but the condition’s signs and symptoms can sometimes be hard to notice.

Signs of entropion in dogs

Entropion is a very painful condition for dogs. Often, eye redness is one of the initial symptoms of entropion in dogs, caused by the hairs on the outside of the eyelid causing scratches or abrasions on the surface of the eye.  You may notice that your dog is squinting due to the pain and produces more tears, leading to wetting of the fur in the affected area of the eyelid.  Another possible symptom is a mucus discharge from the eyes. 

Sometimes, the scratches will turn into ulcers on the cornea (surface of the eye). This causes severe pain, and the eye may appear cloudy. Left untreated, corneal ulcers can become infected and lead to scarring, reduced vision or even loss of an eye. 

What causes entropion in dogs?

Primary causes of entropion in dogs include a genetically inherited condition (due to excessive skin folds for example in breeds like Bulldogs or Shar Peis), the shape of the skull or orbit (e.g. in breeds such as Great Dane or Labrador Retriever). Secondary causes of entropion in dogs – which can affect dogs at any stage of their lives – include an eye infection or injury, skin conditions or infectious diseases. 

Surgical correction is usually not carried out until the animal is fully grown, so temporary tacking may be done in puppies until this point. 

Treatment of entropion in dogs

Medical management of entropion in dogs may help to manage some of the symptoms, but will not cure the problem entirely. Eye drops may be used to treat infections or ulcers on the cornea, and eye lubrications will provide some comfort for your dog.

Correction may include temporary eyelid tacking in puppies, to alleviate discomfort and prevent damage to the eyes while the puppy is still growing. In adult dogs, surgical removal of excess tissue in the eyelids will be required to prevent them from rolling inwards and rubbing on the eyeball. 

At Animal Trust, our veterinariam team includes a number of experienced surgeons who can carry out this procedure for your dog. Our upfront and fixed affordable pricing structure ensures you won’t have any unexpected costs associated with the procedure. 

For entropion surgery on up to 2 eyelids, our price is £469, with an additional £189 if more than 2 eyelids require correction. This includes eye drops, a buster collar and pain relief to go home with, plus post-operation checkups. If infection or corneal ulceration is present at the time of surgery, additional medication may be required at a further £20-40.

Entropion surgery recovery for dogs

Following surgery for entropion, your dog may be a bit drowsy for 24 hours after the anaesthetic. They will need to wear a buster collar to prevent rubbing at their eyes. This usually needs to stay on for 10-14 days after surgery. 

As with any surgery, infections and suture reactions are possible, so we like to see your dog back after a few days and then around 10 days post-surgery to check that all is well. 

The stitches used will absorb and come out naturally after a few weeks. 

Preventing entropion in dogs

Prevention of entropion is not always possible, however, there are some things that you can do to minimise your dog’s chances of acquiring the condition:

  • Take your dog for a check up with the vet if you notice any pain, swelling or discharge from their eyes. Prompt treatment of any infection may avoid eyelid spasm and secondary entropion.
  • Avoid breeding from dogs who have suffered from entropion as puppies as they may pass the condition on to their offspring.

If you think your dog may have a problem with his or her eyes, please contact your local Animal Trust clinic for a free consultation with one of our Veterinary Surgeons. 

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