Rusty, a ten year old Golden Retriever, presented to the ophthalmology service for evaluation of entropion of both eyes that had been present since he was a puppy. He had recently been placed into foster care through Golden Retriever Rescue of Wisconsin (GRRoW), and further evaluation and treatment of the entropion was pursued by request of his foster owner and the rescue organization. GRRoW is the oldest non-profit organization dedicated to helping Golden Retrievers in need of homes in the state of Wisconsin.
Entropion is a painful condition in which the eyelids roll in, causing the hairs of the face to rub on the cornea (the clear surface of the eye). With time, this constant irritation to the cornea can cause formation of a corneal ulcer (an abrasion on the surface of the eye) and scarring (permanent cloudiness of the cornea that, if severe, can affect vision). Entropion can occur for two main reasons. In many dogs, entropion is due to an anatomic abnormality of the eyelids and requires surgery to correct the problem. Alternatively, entropion can occur as a temporary problem secondary to ocular pain, such as with a corneal ulcer. This type of entropion resolves after treatment of the underlying cause.
Initial examination of Rusty’s eyes revealed severe squinting of both eyes, which is a sign of significant discomfort. Both of his lower eyelids rolled in and there was mild to moderate scarring of both corneas. It was determined that Rusty’s entropion was anatomic, and surgery was recommended to correct the entropion to finally provide some relief from the constant irritation Rusty had been experiencing.
A combination of surgical techniques was performed to correct Rusty’s entropion. Within a few days of the surgery, Rusty was already starting to come out of his shell at his new home, becoming more active than he had previously been, and his eyes finally appeared to be comfortable after a lifetime of pain. Two weeks after surgery, Rusty was re-evaluated and his eyelid conformation was excellent, he was no longer squinting, and the tear staining around his eyes had resolved. The skin incisions had healed, allowing removal of the sutures. No further treatment for Rusty’s eyes should be necessary, and although the corneal scarring that resulted due to the chronic entropion is permanent, Rusty shows no signs of visual impairment.