Entropion: A Common Condition for Rottweilers

by VetDepot on June 22, 2011

EntropionOne of a Rottweiler’s most striking features is their shining, chocolate-brown eyes.  Unfortunately, this is also the location of a common health problem that can affect the breed – entropion.

Entropion is an abnormal inward rolling of the eyelids.  The top and/or bottom lids of one or both eyes can be affected.  If entropion is mild, a dog may have no symptoms associated with the condition, but trouble arises when the eyelids roll inward to the degree that eyelashes or fur rub on the cornea.  This is painful and can produce wounds on the surface of the eye that may threaten vision if left untreated.

Typical symptoms associated with entropion include:

  • excessive tearing or mucoid discharge from the eyes
  • rubbing at the eyes
  • red eyes
  • squinting

If your dog has any of these symptoms, take him to the veterinarian.  Entropion is easily diagnosed with an eye exam.  Your veterinarian may also want to use a fluorescein stain on the surface of the eye to highlight any ulcers that may be present.  Entropion usually develops because of a genetically determined anatomic abnormality, but in some cases it can occur secondary to nerve dysfunction, eye pain, scarring, and other disorders.  In these cases, additional diagnostic testing may be necessary

Entropion is relatively simple to cure.  Treatment involves surgically removing wedges of eyelid tissue.  When the incision is sutured closed, the eyelid rolls outward and should stay in this position once healing has occurred. This procedure goes by the name “blepharoplasty.” In rare cases, a second surgery may be necessary to remove a little more tissue if the eyelids roll back in a bit with healing.  When entropion is diagnosed in a young puppy, veterinarians perform a temporary eyelid tack using sutures only (no incisions) rather than blepharoplasty because eye anatomy can change as a dog matures.

Post-operative care after entropion surgery usually includes an Elizabethan collar to protect the incision from rubbing and scratching, canine pain relievers, and antibiotic eye ointments to prevent infection and treat any corneal ulcers that may be present.

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