Potentially Harmful Eyelid Disorders In Dogs:
Healthy eyelids are essential for your dog's vision. There are several important conditions of the eyelids that can lead to eye damage and these can include:
Rolled In Eyelids (Entropion):
Either the upper or lower lid may be affected. In this condition the eyelid rolls in so that the lashes and hair on the eyelid rub on the front of the eyeball (the cornea). Persistent entropion causes severe corneal damage. Most entropion is inherited, and although any breed can be affected, it is a well documented problem in Chow Chows, St. Bernards, English Bulldogs, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters, and Cocker Spaniels.
Droopy Or Rolled Out Eyelids (Ectropion):
The eyelids may turn out to excessively expose the conjunctiva. This condition is common and hereditary in some breeds such as the Basset Hound, Bloodhound, American Cocker Spaniel, St Bernard, and Great Dane. In very mild cases, treatment may not be necessary but usually ectropion leads to chronic severe conjunctivitis. Ectropion indicates the eyelid opening is too large. In some large breeds of dog the eye socket is too large for the eyeball. To reduce the incidence of eye disease when the eyelid opening is too large, the eyelid opening is surgically remodelled to the correct size.
Long Eyelid Hair:
Some dogs have long hair on their upper eyelid which tends to fall on the eye and cause irritation. Breeds affected include Miniature and Toy Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Maltese, Welsh and Wire Haired Fox Terriers. Vaseline applied around the eye may help to keep the long hair from falling onto the eyeball. The long-term solution is to discourage breeding from dogs with long hair on the eyelids.
Some entropion is due to oversized eyelid openings. Breeding societies should be aware of entropion and as with all inherited diseases, attempt to breed it out.
Treatment Of Entropion:
The treatment of entropion is surgical. Correction is a fairly simple "plastic surgery" operation and is usually very effective. In severe cases, surgery is much more involved. Entropion surgery may have to be repeated to reset the lid edges to their correct alignment.
Above: Example Of Entropion In Dogs.
Above: Example Of Ectropion In Dogs.
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