Entropion is a common eye condition with certain breeds of dogs and other animals. The first indication for concern is when you notice extensive tearing that doesn’t clear up. The condition manifests itself when either the upper or lower eyelid rolls slightly inward causing the lashes to rub against the eyeball. This causes irritation to the eyeball and produces excessive tearing to the outside corner of the eye. Entropion can be hereditary, but it can also be caused by an injury or infection. Even when hereditary, it can skip generations.
Tearing may also be the result of allergies. This condition may be treated with Benadryl. Another condition which can cause tearing can be due to their body growing faster than their tear ducts develop. You may notice tearing coming from the inside corner of the eye. However, this condition is temporary, and should clear up by the time the puppy reaches 16 weeks old.
In contrast, puppies diagnosed with Entropion, will display excessive tearing from the outer corner of the eye and it does not go away. A closeup observation should reveal a slightly rolled eyelid turning inward and the lashes may not even be noticeable. When Entropion is diagnosed early, the veterinarian can normally do a simple tack, which is a stitch to hold the lid in place and the puppy’s growth will correct the condition. This procedure is inexpensive and not intrusive.
When entropion is not diagnosed until adulthood, the dog will require surgery. The veterinarian will actually remove a small sliver of skin below the edge of the lid, then stitch the skin back together, thereby shortening the lid. This prevents the lid from rolling inward. It is a delicate and more intrusive surgery. If the surgeon removes too much skin, your dog may have a droopy eye which is very unattractive and can cause irritation. Therefore, it is very important to select a competent veterinarian who has extensive experience with this surgical procedure!
The cost of this surgery can vary greatly, depending on where you live. Currently, our local veterinarian charges $120 per eye. We have had clients who were quoted $1400 per eye or more. This has nothing to do with expertise. So, when searching for someone to do the surgery, do your own research to determine which surgical veterinarian is best for you. Remember, the only stupid question is the one you forgot to ask! Asking for reviews can also be very helpful in making your selection.
Please remember that the Chow breed is predisposed to this condition, but the successful key with Entropion is early diagnosis! When in doubt, get an expert opinion from a qualified veterinarian.