Entropion is an eye condition that can affect both dogs and cats. It occurs when a portion of your pet’s eyelid becomes inverted or folded inward. Eyelashes or fur can rub against and scratch the surface of the eye, causing pain and irritation. More seriously, entropion can lead to cornea tears and pigmentary keratitis, which is a buildup of scar tissue over the injury to the eye.
Entropion is a relatively common and inherited condition in these dog breeds: Boxer, Bull Mastiff, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chow, Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Pug, Shar-Pei, Sprinter Spaniel, and Saint Bernard.
Dogs and cats with pushed-in faces, known as brachycephalic breeds, are also at risk because there is more tension on the ligaments of the inner eye. The opposite is true for giant dog breeds. Too much slack in the ligaments around the corners of the eyes allows the outer edges to fold inward. Entropion can also occur as a result of eyelid scarring and changes in your pet’s facial structure due to weight loss.
Common symptoms of entropion include squinting, sensitivity to light, pawing at the eyes, and a mucus-like discharge from the affected eye. Some cases are just annoyances, but more severe cases can cause major eye pain, cornea rupture, eye ulceration and scarring, and loss of vision for your pet.
If you suspect entropion in your dog or cat, make an appointment with your veterinarian for an ocular exam as soon as possible.