How to Treat Entropion in Boxers
Boxers are adorable and friendly family pets. Due to their wrinkly faces and stubbed noses, they are prone to a genetic eyelid condition called entropion. If untreated, this condition can cause extensive damage to your Boxer's eye. If your Boxer has been diagnosed with entropion, there are ways you can treat it.
1. Notice the symptoms of entropion.
There are specific symptoms that will develop in your Boxer if he has entropion. Notice if your Boxer blinks one or both eyes excessively, which is due to the eyelash or fur bothering the eye. Your Boxer may also rub excessively at this eye, have excessive watering in this eye, have a buildup of pus in the eye, or become overly sensitive to light.
- In many cases, entropion may also cause a scratch on your Boxer's cornea, which may lead to the development of an ulcer.
- This eye irritation, if left untreated, may lead to a buildup of dark scar tissue on the cornea of your Boxer's eye, which is called pigmentary keratitis. This condition may lead to a partial loss of your Boxer's vision or a blurring of his vision due to the buildup of scar tissue buildup.
- In rare cases, the ulcer may lead to a perforation on your Boxer's eye, which causes pain and may lead to potential blindness or loss of the eyeball.
2. Let your vet diagnose entropion.
Entropion can only be officially diagnosed by taking your Boxer to the veterinarian. Your vet will examine your Boxer and decide if his eyelid or eyelids are inverted or folded inwards, which is the cause of the entropion. Your vet will also check your Boxer's eye for any damage made by the folding, such as scratches, scarring, or ulcers.
- Ulcers or scarring will be diagnosed by performing a stain test on your Boxer's eye.
- This condition typically arises within the first year of a Boxer's life. This is because the symptoms are so noticeable and irritating for your dog.
3. Consider what entropion does to your Boxer.
Entropion is a condition where a portion of your Boxer's eyelid folds in and under on its own accord. This physical abnormality causes the lid to come into contact with your Boxer's eyeball surface or cornea. When this happens, the eyelashes or the fur on your Boxer's eyelids irritate the eye, which causes the physical symptoms.
- This causes your Boxer's eye to tear or become reddened.
- If left untreated, your Boxer's condition will only get worse and may result in the loss of the eye.
Preparing for Surgery
1. Cure the damage to the eye.
Before you can treat your Boxer's entropion, you need to treat any eye damage. Your Boxer's eye may be swollen, infected, scratched, or damaged in some way from the hairs and fur of the eyelid. To treat these things, your vet will give you a combination of eye, pain, and inflammation medication to treat the issues on your Boxer's eye. In rare cases, preliminary surgery to correct severe damage may be needed before you can treat the entropion.
- The exact medication and doses will vary depending on the exact extent of the damage to your Boxer's eye. Talk to your vet about what is needed for your Boxer's particular case.
2. Treat underlying eye conditions.
In some cases, your Boxer's entropion may be caused by a secondary eye condition. These conditions may include certain eye diseases, a history of trauma to the eye, or chronic or acute eye inflammation. If your vet diagnoses an underlying condition that caused the entropion, you need to have these conditions treated before you can treat the entropion.
- In many cases, treating these underlying conditions will make your Boxer's entropion go away. In this is the case with your Boxer, they will not need any additional treatment. If the entropion does not clear up despite fixing these conditions, your Boxer may still need surgery for the entropion.
- The types of treatment you Boxer may need to treat the underlying conditions will vary depending on what these conditions are.
3. Tack your puppy Boxer's eyes.
If your Boxer is a puppy, your vet will not clear them for surgery until he is older. The vet can't fully assess the dog for corrective surgery until he's finished growing, so the vet performs this temporary and less invasive procedure as a temporary fix.
- During this procedure, your Boxer's eyelids are tacked with temporary sutures. This will help shift the shape of your Boxer's eyelid so it no longer scratches at his eye.
4. Get follow up tacking treatment.
After the original tacking of your Boxer puppy's eyelid, he may need to have follow up tacking treatments. These will be done if your Boxer's eyelid is not pulled back enough to eliminate the entropion. These treatments will continue until your Boxer's problem is fixed or until he is old enough to have surgery.
- Even if the entropion is not getting better with tacking, your vet will continue it until your Boxer is old enough to get surgery.
Treating Entropion with Surgery
1. Schedule surgery for your Boxer.
The only way to treat entropion is surgery to repair the lid abnormality. You will have to work with your vet to figure out when the best time is for your Boxer to have the surgery. There may also be other conditions and considerations that need to be taken into account before your Boxer can have surgery.
2. Get your Boxer surgery.
In preparation for the surgery, your Boxer will be under general anesthesia for this surgery. During the surgery, your Boxer's eyeball will first be covered in order to prevent damage during the procedure. The vet surgeon will then cut an elliptical shaped piece of tissue from under the eyelid margin and sutures it together with the upper lid.
- This will pull the eyelid margin and last area back into the place they belong.
3. Keep your Boxer in a cone.
After your Boxer goes through the surgery, the eye sutures will need to be protected from irritation, scratching, or anything else your Boxer may do to them. Because of this, your vet will likely give your Boxer a cone to wear until the sutures heal.
- In some cases, antibiotics drops and ointment may also be used to help protect and heal any eye damage.
- Your vet will also likely tell you to not bath your Boxer until the sutures come out.
4. Get follow up treatment.
Once your Boxer's entropion has been treated with surgery, he will need some follow up visits with the vet to take care of his eye or eyes. Your Boxer will likely be on antibiotics to help prevent any infections from occurring in his eye as he heals from the surgery.
- You may also need refills for any eye drops or ointments prescribed at the time of surgery to continue healing your Boxer's eye and eyelids.