Entropion in Giant Breeds
Entropion is a genetic condition where a portion of the eyelid is folded inward. This fold can cause an eyelash or hair to scratch the surface of the eye and often leads to corneal ulceration or perforation. It is also possible for your dog to develop scar tissue over the wound on the eye and may decrease or eliminate vision.
While any dog can experience entropion, giant breeds are one of the groups of dogs that are highly susceptible. It is fairly common and is typically diagnosed around one year of age.
Symptoms vary based on the breed, but giant breeds typically display a mucus or pus discharge from the outer corner of the eye. Other possible signs (typically seen in other breeds) include:
- Eye tics
- Eye inflammation
- Excess tears
- Ruptured cornea
For most dogs, facial shape is the main genetic cause of entropion. Giant breeds tend to have excess slack in the ligaments around the outer corner of the eye. This extra slack allows the eyelid to fold inward.
Repeat eye infections or other irritants can also lead to entropion which is usually the reason breeds not susceptible to entropion develop it. Weight loss can also be a reason for developing entropion. If a dog loses a massive amount of weight, he likely loses fat and muscle around the eye socket, which weakens the face would allow the eyelid to fold.
If there is a secondary problem which leads to the eyelid folding, that will be addressed first. The ulcerated cornea can be treated with antibiotics or triple antibiotic ointments. If the cornea is not ulcerated, artificial tears can be used to lubricate the eyes.
Typically, surgery will be needed to correct entropion. By temporarily turning the eyelid with stitches, the pain and irritation can be fixed. If the case if very severe, facial reconstruction is a possibility once the dog reaches maturity.
Entropion will require regular follow-up care and may require continued medication, but the problem should be resolved!
Did you ever have a dog with entropion? Did it have to be surgically corrected?