Eyelid Entropion and Ectropion

Entropion is a condition of the eyelids in which the eyelid margin rolls inward towards the eye. It is most common in puppies and usually results from disproportionate eyelid growth. Many puppies will outgrow the condition by the time they reach one year of age. If the eyelid is causing corneal irritation or damage (signs might include tearing, squinting, redness and/or discharge) then a procedure known as “tacking” or temporary eyelid eversion may be helpful. In adult dogs, permanent eyelid surgery can be performed to correct the abnormality by removing a section of tissue near the eyelid margin and/or shortening the eyelid. Over-correction of entropion can lead to complications and is difficult to fix. For this reason, doctors will generally be conservative rather than risk removing too much tissue, thus, entropion correction may require a second surgery if adequate correction is not achieved initially. Dogs with complicated eyelid abnormalities, severe entropion, or scar tissue from previous injuries or surgeries are more likely to need multiple surgical procedures.

Ectropion is a condition of the eyelids in which the eyelid margin rolls out, away from the eye. This condition can lead to chronic irritation and discharge and can also be surgically corrected.

Entropion and ectropion can lead to corneal irritation corneal ulcers, conjunctivitis, eye infections, corneal scarring, corneal vascularization and corneal mineralization. These complications can be painful and cause vision loss.

If your doctor recommends surgical correction of entropion or ectropion for your pet, he or she will discuss the specific procedure recommended as well as benefits and risks associated with the procedure. Any surgical procedure can introduce complications, including potential anesthetic risks. Surgical procedures that involve the eyelid or skin surrounding the eye rarely give rise to complications, which occur in less than two percent of these cases and are usually minor. Potential complications include, but are not limited to, inflammation of the eyelid (blepharitis); inflammation of the pink tissue surrounding the eye (conjunctivitis); break down of the tissue or suture at the surgical site (wound dehiscence); infections at the surgical site, which may extend to other internal and/or external areas of the eye; corneal ulcerations; corneal scarring, vascularization, or mineralization; or tearing (epiphora). Close post- operative monitoring and adherence to medication and recheck schedules can minimize complications. Any concerning signs should be reported to your doctor immediately to allow any complications to be identified and treated promptly, reducing the risk of progression vision-threatening complications.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding diseases of the eyelid, please do not hesitate to call us at Eye Care for Animals.

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