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What is Entropion?

Entropion usually happens to the dog’s lower eyelid; all or part of the eyelid folds inward toward the eyeball. However, it can also affect the upper lid and in some cases, both upper and lower eyelids are affected. The disorder can be present in one or both eyes. 

The constant rubbing of the dog’s eyelashes against his eye results in irritation and great discomfort. Eventually, entropion in dogs can cause painful corneal ulcers (open sores), which can lead to scarring, loss of vision, or even blindness.

Entropion usually occurs to breeds which have flat faces, short muzzles and loose facial skin folds. Dog breeds such as the Bulldog, Pug, Pekinese, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, Boxer, Basset Hound, Blood Hound, Mastiff, Labrador Retriever, Shar-pei and the Saint Bernard are commonly diagnosed with entropion.

Entropion in dogs is an abnormality in which the eyelid inverts (rolls) inward. This causes the dog’s eyelashes to repeatedly scrape across the eyeball.

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Symptoms of Entropion in Dogs

Symptoms may include:

  • Eye redness
  • Inner eye inflammation
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Squinting
  • Excessive tearing
  • Dog paws at his eyes
  • Eye discharge or mucus
  • Keeping eyes closed
  • Corneal abrasion 
  • Corneal ulcers (appear as dull spots  or disc-like depressions on the surface of the eye)
  • Cries out, yelps from the pain 
  • Depression
  • Lethargy

Causes of Entropion in Dogs

  • Entropion is usually inherited, puppies are born with the abnormality
  • Trauma to the eye
  • Inflamed eye infection 
  • Senior dogs with skin laxity due to aging

Diagnosis of Entropion in Dogs

The veterinarian will want to know if your dog has had any recent trauma to the eye and may administer local anesthetic eye drops before performing an eye exam.  This will help with the pain and your dog will be less stressed. Entropion in dogs is easily diagnosed during the optical exam.

If the veterinarian is concerned that your dog has corneal abrasions or corneal ulcers he will perform a fluorescein test.  A drop of fluorescein is placed on the cornea; the dye turns green and will adhere to any damage on the cornea. The veterinarian may also recommend a Schirmer tear test, which measures aqueous tear production.

Treatment of Entropion in Dogs

Eyelid surgery is the only permanent treatment for entropion.  An ophthalmologist veterinary surgeon will remove a small piece of tissue directly from below the eyelid (if entropion is on lower eyelid) and the two sides of the remaining tissue will be pulled together and sutured. The patient will have to have general anesthesia for this surgical procedure.

Puppies born with severe entropion may be treated first using a procedure to roll the eyelids outwards (keeping the eyelid from curling in with the use of sutures).  The surgery to correct the problem is then performed when he is more mature (6-12 months of age). In some cases when this is done, puppies eyes have corrected themselves before the surgery is needed.

Patients diagnosed with corneal abrasions will be prescribed antibiotic drops and ophthalmic atropine drops or ointment, which will help with the pain and spasms.  Atropine dilates the eyes, so sunlight should be avoided.  

Atropine drops may drain into the dog’s nose and down his throat.  If this occurs the dog may start drooling because atropine is bitter tasting. The drooling is not a side effect; the medication does not taste good and causes this natural reaction.

Dogs with corneal ulcers may have a therapeutic soft lens placed in the eye. The patient may be prescribed antibiotics, atropine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.  If the corneal ulcer does not heal properly, surgery may be required to remove unhealthy corneal tissue or to have a corneal graft.

Recovery of Entropion in Dogs

Patients that undergo surgery for entropion will receive post-operative instructions from the ophthalmologist veterinary surgeon.  The patient will need to be confined indoor with occasional supervised potty breaks.  He will need to wear an Elizabethan collar until the sutures are removed. The eye will be very sensitive to light; so bright lights should be avoided.  Your dog will be prescribed pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications.  To help prevent infections he may also be prescribed antibiotics.  

Your companion will require follow up visits to monitor his progress and to have the sutures removed.  Patients being treated for corneal abrasions or corneal ulcers will need to be seen weekly for eye exams, to ensure that the cornea is healing properly.

Dogs that undergo corrective surgery for entropion have an excellent prognosis. They are able to enjoy an improved quality of life without the constant pain and irritation to their eye. The success rate for entropion surgery is 90-95%.  A few dogs may need a second surgery to correct the abnormality.  Reoccurrence of the disorder is uncommon.

Entropion Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Lenny
Shar Pei
18 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss

Hi my 18 month old sharpei has just had eye entropian surgery on both eyes all 4 lids, hes not himself, seems to be loosing weight,looks lost, wanting to be with someone 24/7,he hates the neck cone, he still has appetite but not drinking much, could this be stress? Im really worried.

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
246 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I don't know how long ago he had his surgery. It can take a day or two to have the effects of the anesthesia fully leave his system, but if it has been longer than that, it would be worth a recheck with your veteirnarian to make sure that he is okay, that he isn't painful, and that everything is okay with him. I ope everything goes well with his recovery.

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Brutus
Saint Bernard
10 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

entropion

Medication Used

ofloxacin

My 10 year old St Bernard needs entropion surgery. He has a complex and severe case but more importantly is extremely suffering. Not sure the right thing to do based on his age. Surgery on an old sole concerns me for his rcovery. Recommendations in your experience of surgical procedures on older dog?

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
246 Recommendations
Angela, thanks for contacting us about Brutus. I think if you feel that he is suffering, the surgery is the right thing to do. I'm not sure how complex and severe his eyelid problems are, but he probably has had this problem throughout his lifetime, and i would imagine that you've been battling with it as well for that long. Anesthetics that we use now are quite safe, and your veterinarian will be able to perform a thorough physical and pre-anesthetic blood work, and make sure that he is a good candidate for surgery based on his age. There are good pain medications available for him after his surgery, and he should be able to be comfortable. There will probably be a fair time for recovery based on your description of his condition while his skin heals, and he will need to wear an E-Collar until those eyelids are healed, but if the surgery goes well he should be so much more comfortable afterwards that it should be worth it. The good part about that surgery is that it involves skin, which tends to heal quickly. You'll just need to make sure that you have follow ups and communication with your veterinarian if he does have any problems recovering.

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Canoe
Shar Pei
14.8 yrs
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Hi, Curious on your thoughts on upper entropion surgery (1 eye) on a 14.8 yr old Pei. He has little (non cancerous growths on the upper lid and lower) that I think are causing the lid to roll over and under. Off to my own Vet tomorrow (Australia) . Thanks for any advice.

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1808 Recommendations
Growths on the eyelids can cause the eyelids to roll in causing irritation to the eye; if there is no sign of irritation to the eye it may be better to leave things be given Canoe’s age. If there is excessive tearing and signs of damage to the eye, especially the cornea then surgery may be considered if Canoe is a suitable candidate for surgery. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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sky
Bulldog
1.5 year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

entropion

how much is eye lid surgery entropion surgery cost for one eye.??
i am at atlanta are, any recommendation for eye vet who can do surgery

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1808 Recommendations
Pricing for surgery would be dependent on severity and type of Veterinarian; surgery may cost as little as $400 per eye or $1,500 per eye. As for a Veterinary Ophthalmologist in Atlanta, GA; there are a few options between General Veterinarians, a Veterinarian that has completed a Ophthalmic Residency or a board certified Veterinary Surgeon (details below). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.embracepetinsurance.com/health/entropion http://atlantaveteyeclinic.com/ http://find.vetspecialists.com/ (you can search fifteen board certified Veterinary Surgeons around Atlanta Georgia)

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Moose
Ori pei
10 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Green discharge
Closed eye and pawing, won't let anyone touch eye

I have a 10 month old Shar Pei/ Pug mix (Ori Pei). He had sutures in place when I got him to remove excess skin around his eyes so he could see. Apparently it was not done fully or correctly as he has had his lid roll in since. The doctors gave me drops for his eye and it hasn't been that huge of a problem since, however, he gets large amounts of green globs around his eyes throughout the day. His vet told me that he will need to get corrective surgery for it. Im just wondering exactly what a surgery like this entails an how much it will cost.

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1808 Recommendations

Entropion is easy to see and diagnose, but the surgery may be tricky with both under and overcorrection possible outcomes of the surgery; with entropion the eyelids roll in causing the eyelashes and other hair to scratch against the cornea irritating it and leaving the cornea exposed for ulceration, infection and other complications. The surgery involves removing a section of the eyelid (parallel to the eyelid margin) so that when the surgical wound is closed it pulls the eyelid margin into the correct position. If entropion correction surgery has been attempted once, it may be best to visit an Ophthalmologist to try to get the best result. The cost varies widely from a few hundred dollars ($250 per eye) to over a thousand ($1,500 or more per eye) depending on your location, Veterinarian and severity; the best way to get an accurate quotation is to call a few Veterinary Practices and ask. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.acvs.org/files/proceedings/2011/data/papers/087.pdf
http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/clinical-exposures-palpebral-reconstruction-after-entropion-surgery-dog?id=&pageID=1&sk=&date=
http://eyespecialistsforanimals.com/forms-and-resources/cost-surgery-treatment/

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harley
labrador
5 Weeks
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Watery eyes

hi two of our 5 week old Labrador puppies have entropion , in one eye, one has been seen by the vets he wants to operate but i have reed that a temporary stitch can be used until the puppy is fully grown, is this the best option and what should the cost be

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1808 Recommendations

Temporary sutures may be put in place as it is quick and easy to do in a pup and some cases of entropion may spontaneously resolve as they mature which is why this temporary approach is becoming more common. Tacking the eyelids shouldn’t cost more than $100-$200 per lid; but your location and Veterinarian will be a big variable in the price. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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