What is entropion?

Entropion is an abnormal inward rotation of the eyelid margin such that the haired skin contacts the conjunctival and corneal surfaces of the eye.

What causes entropion?

Entropion may be primarily due to an inherited faulty eyelid conformation that manifests in young adult dogs. It is often breed associated, commonly seen in the Chow Chow, Shar-Pei, Rottweiler, Bulldog, Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Bloodhound and many others. Males appear to be more predisposed to the disease than females. Entropion can be associated with an eyelid spasm due to some other painful eye condition, skin disease, trauma, and many other conditions that affect the animal’s general health.

How do I recognize that my pet has entropion?

Most pet owners notice that the affected eye is partially held shut and has excessive tearing.

How is entropion diagnosed?

A thorough examination of the eye is necessary to diagnose potential other painful conditions present that are causing entropion. If no other problem is diagnosed, then a diagnosis of inherited entropion is made.

How is entropion treated?

Entropion often requires surgical correction. The procedure chosen depends on the patient’s age, breed, and severity of disease. Temporary eyelid tacking may be used in very young dogs. Definitive surgical correction is often delayed until the dog has a more mature head conformation at 6 months of age. Older patients often require more extensive surgical intervention. For entropion surgery, the amount of tissue that is removed has to be estimated. If entropion stays uncorrected, subsequent corneal ulceration, pigmentation, and scarring may produce vision loss.

Should I breed my dog if it has had entropion?

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, in conjunction with the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) made breed-specific breeding recommendations with inherited entropion. Ideally, no dog with inherited entropion should be bred, since this may result in offspring with entropion.

Can entropion recur?

It may. Some breeds of dogs may have severe and complex entropion that requires several corrective surgeries.