Entropion in dogs is a congenital condition that occurs when the eyelid inverts or rolls inward. The dog’s eyelashes will regularly scrape the eyelid when the disease is developed.
The lower dog’s eyelid is most commonly affected when a dog has entropion.
It can affect the upper eyelid but is more common in the lower. Entropion is typically an inherited abnormality.
This disease can even occur in both eyes. The consistent rubbing of the eyelashes against the eyeball can be very painful for a pup. Entropion can also lead to scarring, vision loss, or corneal ulcers.
Which Dog Breeds Are Prone To Entropion?
Dogs with heavy face creases and droopy eyes are more prone to entropion. Cats are rarely affected.
The breeds that are most commonly affected are the following:
Even the giant breeds are commonly diagnosed with Entropion:
Symptoms of Entropion
Entropion is easily observed as the eye takes on a different look, and your dog will react to try to ease the pain.
Some of the many symptoms could include the following:
What Causes Entropion in Dogs?
Entropion is a congenital disease, and most puppies are born with it.
Other causes can include:
Your veterinarian will first want to know if there have been any changes to the eye or trauma that might have caused the entropion.
Eye drops will typically be placed in your dog’s eyes not only to ease the pain but make it easier for the vet to diagnose when giving an optical exam.
Ophthalmologists are often required, particularly in severe cases.
A fluorescein test is performed if the vet or ophthalmologist thinks your dog has a corneal ulcer or abrasion.
The fluorescein is a dye that is placed on the cornea and will stick to any damage of the cornea. Sometimes your vet will take a test that measures the dog’s ability to produce tears.
Surgery & Other Treatment Options
Eyelid surgery is the best and most successful way to treat entropion.
The ophthalmologist performs a surgery called a blepharoplasty that removes a small piece of tissue from the affected eyelid and pulls together and sutures the remaining tissue.
The dog will have to be put under general anesthesia.
Some dogs will need more than one surgery, especially if the entropion occurred at a younger age and the eyelids changed through aging.
Lid tacking is another procedure used for puppies from 6 to 12 months old that are affected by entropion. A stitch is placed on the affected eyelid or eyelids with the goal that as the puppy’s lid develops, it will roll out normally.
Unfortunately, this is not always a long term solution.
Dogs with corneal abrasions will be prescribed to take some antibiotic eye drops and atropine drops or even ointment. This helps to ease the pain and spasms that sometimes accompany the scrapes.
If atropine drops are taken, try to keep your dog out of the sun.
If your dog has a corneal ulcer, a soft lens is sometimes put in the affected eye. Or antibiotics, non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications, as well as atropine, might be recommended.
If the ulcer doesn’t heal, surgery could be required to remove the damaged tissue.
Brow lifting is a rare but sometimes used procedure that places permanent implants in the affected eye. Although non-invasive, this procedure is not always available or effective.
The veterinarian or ophthalmologist will give you the post-surgery directions.
Usually, dogs are required to stay indoors with outdoor bathroom breaks being supervised. Often, an Elizabethan collar is necessary until the sutures have been removed. Any sun or bright lights need to be avoided.
Your vet will also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication and pain relief meds. Antibiotics are sometimes given to prevent infection.
Follow up visits with the vet will be necessary to see the progress of the healing and then to remove sutures.
Dogs with corneal ulcers or abrasions will be required to come in once a week for an eye exam and to make sure the cornea is healing correctly.
Dogs that have to undergo entropion surgery have an excellent prognosis with a 90% success rate. Their ability to lead a happy life and see properly is usually the result.
In some cases, a second surgery could be necessary to correct the disease, particularly in younger dogs.
How Much Does Entropion Surgery Cost?
The average cost for entropion surgery is anywhere from $350 to $600 if the surgery is performed by your dog’s regular vet (and in less severe cases).
However, if a veterinary surgeon or ophthalmologist perform the surgery, the cost can go up to as high as $1,500. Of course, the cost depends on where you live and the surgeon’s experience.
The post-surgery costs with the prescribed medication, vet follow-ups, and other supplies could be another $300 to $400.
There is no prevention for entropion. If you do have a dog that is affected, that dog should not be bred as it will be passed onto the offspring.
Watch for the signs, and you can get on top of the disease if it occurs in your dog. And your dog will continue to live a long, happy life!
Can Pet Insurance Help with Entropion?
If your dog is a breed that has a pre-disposition for entropion disease, you should seriously consider pet insurance.
Pet insurance will help offset the cost of the surgery up to 90%, and the prescribed medication is usually reduced by at least half.
And if you are lucky enough to have a dog that doesn’t have entropion, the pet insurance will undoubtedly offset any other illness or even accident that occurs. It can truly be a big savings.
If pet insurance is of interest to you and you don’t know where to start, our guide can help answer your questions and give you a list of the best pet insurance companies.