Canine Eye Injuries & Diseases



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Husky Blue Eyes

This portion of the website is devoted to canine eye injuries and disease. These are graphic images of the canid. Please be aware of this as you visit this portion of the site.

distichiasis in the canine eyedistichiasis drawing




Distichiasis is a condition where eyelashes emerge from the ducts of the Meibomian gland within the eyelid. This is abnormal. These eyelashes often rub on the surface of the eye causing irritation. Distichiasis is breed-related often found in retrievers, spaniels, poodles, Shih Tzus, and Weimeranas.




trichiasis in the dog




Trichiasis is the term used to describe hairs located in normal sites around the eye but are misdirected toward the eyeball or the cornea. This occurs in breeds with long facial hair. Trichiasis is a common cause of excess tearing and staining. The hair draws the tears down the face. Remove offending hairs by freezing the hair follicles.

Ectopic cilia



Ectopic cilia is an eyelash that emerges from the underside of the upper or lower eyelid. The eyelash due to its position rubs against the eye when the dog blinks. This can result in ulcerations on the surface of the eye. Ectopic cilia generally requires surgical excision.


ankyloblepharon in the puppy




Ankyloblepharon is adhesion of the eyelid margins to each other. This is normal in puppy eyes until 10-14 days of age. If it continues past 15 days of age, infection of the conjunctival sac. The eye will show excessive swelling with a discharge at the medial canthus. Gently separate the eyelids by massaging the fused lids toward the medical cantus with a warm, wet cotton ball until the lids separate. Flush the eye with sterile saline. Apply a broad-spectrum antibiotic ointment to the eye globe.

micropalpebral fissure in the dogmacropalpebral fissures in the dog

Micropalpebral & Macropalpebral fissures

Micropalpebral fissure is a narrowing of the opening of the eyelids. It is treated by treated by suturing the conjunctiva to the incised eyelid surfaces to enlarge the eyelid opening. Macropalpebral fissure is excessively large eyelid openings. It is most often seen in brachycephalic dog breeds which have sallow eye sockets. The eyelids do not close properly. This may lead to keratitis. Surgery must be preformed where the defect exists.

Dermoid in a dog

Corneal-conjunctival dermoid


A dermoid is the presence of histologically normal skin in an abnormal location. A corneal-conjunctival dermoid is a abnormal growth on the cornea or conjunctiva such as a tissue mass of fat, glandular tissue, hair follicles, or hair. Hairs can ulceration of the cornea or hinder normal vision. If the growths do not rupture and are not causing the dog any apparent discomfort then nothing need be done. If they hinder vision or cause irritation surgery is the treatment of choice.

Entropion in the dogentropion of the dog


Entropion is an inversion of the eyelid margin. There are three types of entropion.

Primary entropion results from a structural abnormality of the eyelid or tarsal plate. Primary entropion responses to topical anesthetic: If entropion persists after anesthetic there is no spastic component. When entropion occurs in a puppy temporary “tacking sutures” can be placed to keep eversion from occurring. Placement of tacking sutures often eliminates the need for surgical correction of entropion later in life. Tissue adhesives and staples may also be used tack eyelids. Once mature facial conformation is attained, eyelid corrective surgery is required. Use of a Buster or Elizabethan collar is recommended postoperatively to prevent self-excoriation of the surgical area.

Spastic entropion results from spasm of the orbicularis oculi muscle in response to ocular pain or irritation. Ocular pain may cause the dog to tightly close the eye which can result in entropion. Where trichiasis is present and elicit pain spastic entropion may result. Treatment is directed at removing the cause of ocular pain and placement of temporary tacking sutures.

Cicatricial entropion results from trauma, eyelid surgery or from chronic spastic entropion. Cicatricial entropion is less common and surgical correction more difficult to achieve long-term correction.


ectropion in the dog




Ectropion is eversion of the eyelid margin. This may result in exposure of the lower conjunctiva. Ectropion is conformational requirement in some breeds of spaniel and hound dogs. Neuroparalytic ectropion occurs when the facial nerve is damaged. Visualization of the lower conjunctiva is often seen in ectropion. The eye may also exhibit conjunctival hyperemia, keratitis, and mucus accumulation in the lower conjunctival cul-de-sac. Correction of ectropion is indicated only when eyelid function is intact and abnormalities of the cornea are evident. Surgical correction by full-thickness wedge resection is simple and effective treatment.