Eyes are one the most vulnerable parts of your pooch’s body. Dogs can develop a range of different eye problems which can be age related or brought on by trauma, illness, and many other factors. A very common disease of the eyelids occurring in dogs, especially in Rottweilers is Entropion. This condition occurs when the upper or lower eyelids roll inwards. If your dog or any other dog you know is suffering from this condition, then here’s what you should know about this condition.
What is Entropion?
Entropion is a condition affecting the eyelids in which the upper or lower eyelids roll inwards, rubbing the lashes against the eye, causing the eye to become irritated and inflamed. The condition can be very painful to dogs. It is therefore important to treat the underlying causes of the condition to prevent further damage to affected eyes.
How is Entropion caused?
Entropion can be genetic or acquired.
Acquired Entropion on the other hand can be caused by trauma or muscle weakness caused due to old age.
A very different form of Entropion is Spastic Entropion. When irritation in dogs’ eyes occurs, it causes the dogs to squeeze their eyes so tightly shut, that the eyelids turn inwards. Entropion that occurs this way is known as Spastic Entropion.
If left untreated, this condition can cause excessive inflammation leading to permanent damage to the dog’s eyes.
How to know if a dog has Entropion?
Entropion is a conformational change which is quite easy to detect in dogs as the inward turning of the eyelid is usually apparent (Image Below).
Here are some common symptoms that can indicate your dog has Entropion:
- Your dog’s eyelids will appear to roll inward
- You might notice winking too
- Excessive tearing will occur due to bacteria and infection
- Your dog’s eyes will appear red or inflamed
- This condition causes lots of irritation and pain. The dogs suffering from this condition paw and rub their eyes resulting in more damage
- Your dog’s eyes will become sensitive to light
Once you notice the above symptoms in your dog, full evaluation of your dog’s eyes is necessary.
Treatment of puppies with this condition – Entropion can be successfully treated with the help of surgery but in younger animals, sometimes the symptoms improve spontaneously as they grow. In young pups with mild symptoms, the condition can be temporarily treated with the help of temporary eyelid “tacking” sutures. Puppies under 6 months of age with this condition should not undergo permanent surgical correction as their facial features change with growth.
Can ointments and eye drops treat it? In mild cases, some of the symptoms of Entropion can be alleviated by ointments, eye drops or other types of topical lubrication. Sadly, eye drops and ointments only alleviate the symptoms; they can’t resolve the Entropion itself. The best and the most effective treatment for this painful condition is surgery.
Surgery is the best option – Several different surgical techniques are used to correct this condition in dogs. The type of the surgery depends on the age of the dog. However, all of them involve everting the eyelid margin away from the eyeball. A portion of the eyelid is removed, pulled together and the remaining parts are sutured.
Caring for your dog after Entropion surgery
After the surgery, your dog will be allowed to go home with an Elizabethan collar around his neck. The function of the Elizabethan Collar is to prevent your dog from rubbing or scratching the site of the surgery and damage his/her eye or the surrounding tissues. This collar should not be removed until the stitches dissolve. Your veterinarian may also prescribe topical antibiotics to prevent infection around the surgery site. If you notice squinting, whining or any discharge from the surgical sight, contact your vet immediately.
Generally, the prognosis of this eye condition is very good. The success rate of the surgery varies depending on age, breed, post-op care and the condition of the dog. In general, Entropion surgery is successful 90- 95% of the time. The recurrence also is very rare and uncommon.
How you can keep your dog safe from Entropion
Acquired or secondary Entropion which is caused by trauma can be prevented by having any eye injury examined and treated by a good veterinarian.
To prevent Hereditary or congenital Entropion, affected dogs should never be used in breeding programs.
Also, as with any other illness or medical condition always consult your veterinarian if you notice your dog having eye problems.
Rottweilers can prove to be excellent companions for life if raised properly. Regular eye care and check-ups will not just keep your pooch’s precious eyes safe but will also ensure timely action if your dog develops this condition.
Harsh Arora is a proud father of four rescued dogs and a leopard gecko. Besides being a full-time dog father, he is a freelance content writer/blogger and an educationist, with more than 6 years’ experience in the field of content writing.