Dromnagus Russian Black Terriers

eye problems

Ectropion: Outward Folding of the Eyelids in Dogs

Ectropion is used to describe a condition where the lower lids are loose, causing a drooping of the eyelid's margins. The lower lids actually turn outward. One or both eyes may be involved. It can occur in any breed, but it is inherited in Rottweilers.
What are the symptoms?

As the lower lid sags downward, the underlying conjunctiva is exposed. This forms a pouch or pocket, allowing pollens, grasses, dust, etc., to accumulate and rub against the sensitive conjunctiva. This is a consistent source of irritation in these dogs, leading to increased redness of the conjunctiva and occasional watering of the eye, which then spills out over the lower lid and face.

What are the risks?

Many dogs live normal lives with ectropion. However, some develop repeated eye infections due to the collection of dirt, dust, etc., within the eye. Therefore, the risks are minor except in severe cases, where secondary eye infections may develop.

What is the management?

Some dogs require no treatment; however, if eye irritations develop, medical attention is advisable. Mild cases can be treated with eye drops or salves to alleviate irritations and/or infections when they occur. In severe cases, a surgical procedure is preferred, which removes excess tissue, thereby tightening the lids and removing the abnormal pocket.

Entropion - Inward Folding Eyelids in Dogs

This is a condition in which the lower lid margins roll inward to the extent that hair rubs on the surface of the eyeball. In rare cases, the upper lid can also be affected to some degree. One or both eyes may be involved. This condition can occur in all breeds, Rottweilers are one of the affected breeds, suggesting an inherited trait. 

What are the symptoms?

Most dogs with entropion will squint and have a reddened, inflamed eye. Because of the pain involved, dogs will scratch at the eye with a paw, possibly doing further damage. Examination of the lower eyelid will confirm the diagnosis.

What are the risks?

Left untreated, severe eye infections may develop. The cornea can become severely irritated or damaged as the chronic abrasion by the inverted lower lid wears away at its surface. In some cases, deep ulcers form in the cornea, even to the point of rupturing through its surface. This quickly leads to intraocular infections and potential blindness.

What is the management?

Once diagnosed, surgery is the only treatment. There are several different techniques, but typically, a small incision is made below the lid, a small portion of skin is removed, and when the two sides of the incision are then sutured, it pulls the border of the lid downward into a normal position. Antibiotic ointments may be applied, if infections are present.

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