What is it called when a dogs eyelashes grow inward?

Answered by Edward Huber

When a dog’s eyelashes grow inward, it is called entropion. This condition occurs when the eyelid(s) of the dog turn inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea. Entropion is the most common eyelid abnormality seen in dogs and can affect either the lower eyelid, upper eyelid, or both.

Entropion can be present in one or both eyes and may vary in severity. The constant rubbing of the eyelashes against the cornea can lead to irritation, discomfort, and potential damage to the surface of the eye. The condition is most commonly seen in certain breeds, such as the Shar-Pei, Chow Chow, Labrador Retriever, and Saint Bernard, but can occur in any dog regardless of breed.

The exact cause of entropion can vary. In some cases, it may be a genetic condition where the eyelids develop abnormally, causing them to roll inward. Other times, it may be a result of scarring or trauma to the eyelid, causing it to contract and turn inward. Puppies with loose facial skin are more prone to developing entropion as their eyelids may not fully adhere to the eyeball.

Symptoms of entropion can include excessive tearing, redness, squinting, pawing at the eye, and in severe cases, corneal ulcers or infections. It is important to note that not all dogs with entropion will exhibit these symptoms, especially if the condition is mild. However, any signs of eye discomfort or abnormality should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Treatment for entropion typically involves surgical correction. The goal of the surgery is to correct the abnormal eyelid positioning, allowing the eyelashes to no longer rub against the cornea. The specific surgical technique used will depend on the individual case and the severity of the condition. In some cases, the surgeon may remove a small section of the eyelid to reshape it, while in others, they may place sutures to tighten the eyelid and prevent it from rolling inward.

Post-surgical care is crucial to ensure proper healing and prevent complications. This may involve the use of topical medications, such as antibiotic ointments or anti-inflammatory drops, to reduce the risk of infection and inflammation. The dog’s activity may also need to be restricted during the recovery period to prevent rubbing or scratching at the surgical site.

It is worth mentioning that while surgical correction is the most common and effective treatment for entropion, some cases may require additional procedures or ongoing management. In certain instances, dogs may need multiple surgeries or other interventions to achieve the desired outcome.

Entropion is a condition in which a dog’s eyelashes grow inward, causing them to rub against the cornea. It is the most common eyelid abnormality in dogs and can affect the lower eyelid, upper eyelid, or both. Surgical correction is usually necessary to alleviate the discomfort and potential damage caused by entropion. Regular veterinary check-ups and prompt attention to any signs of eye problems are crucial in maintaining the overall health and well-being of our canine companions.