Common in dogs and uncommon in cats, entropion is a conformational abnormality of the pet eyelid in which some part of the lid turns or rolls inward and contacts the surface of the eye. The abnormality can be inherited, or it can be the result of some other eye problem. Some conditions that can cause this abnormality include eye infections, ulcers and muscle wasting around the eye orbit.
How Entropion Affects Your Pet
When the eyelid contacts the cornea, it causes irritation and damage to this delicate tissue. Often, the irritation also causes the dog or cat to paw or scratch at the eye, worsening the damage. Chronic injury and infection lead to the formation of ulcers and the development of secondary bacterial infections. Over time, scar tissue develops. As the cornea becomes scarred, the animal’s vision is compromised. The condition is also painful and irritating, so it decreases the pet’s quality of life.
Common Symptoms of Entropion
Symptoms of entropion in pets can vary, but they often include one or more of the following: Watery eyes, especially in cats and small dogs, Red and irritated corneas, Pus or mucous discharge from the affected eye or eyes, Scratching or pawing at the face, Light sensitivity and Visible turning in of some part of the eyelid and Eye tics.
Treatments for Entropion
If the eyelid abnormality is caused by an underlying health problem, such as an infection, it often resolves after prompt treatment of the condition that caused it. If the underlying condition is not treated in a timely manner, the problem can become chronic. When the abnormality occurs in young pets, a veterinarian can place temporary sutures to alleviate the symptoms. Often, entropion symptoms will resolve as the dog’s head achieves a mature conformation. While waiting for the underlying condition to resolve or the animal to grow, you can help relieve entropion symptoms by carefully monitoring the animal for signs of eye irritation or infection, keeping the pet away from eye irritants and keeping the eyes lubricated with artificial tears. If the condition occurs in a dog older than 6 months of age and has become chronic, surgical correction is often required. Called blelepheroplasty, the surgery entails removing excess skin and tightening the eyelid.
The condition can occur in any breed, but it is most common in flat-faced pets. This means that Persian, Himalayan and Burmese cats are at an increased risk of developing the problem.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.