Most dogs with entropion require surgical correction through either a temporary or permanent procedure. Temporary eyelid tacking may be used in young dogs. Definitive surgical correction is often delayed until the dog has a more mature head conformation at approximately six months of age. The permanent surgery is typically performed after six months of age and involves removing a small bit of skin to tighten the eyelid. If uncorrected, subsequent corneal ulceration, perforation, pigmentation, and scarring may cause vision loss.
In certain breeds, entropion may become clinically relevant as early as a few weeks of age. For these puppies, a temporary tacking of the eyelids to keep the skin away from the eyes (also called temporary eyelid eversion) is often appropriate. The puppies should be monitored while the temporary eyelid sutures are in place. The sutures may be removed in approximately three to four weeks. Some puppies will have outgrown the eyelid defect at that time; however, others may still require permanent correctional surgery.
The Holtz-Celsus procedure is the one of the most common surgical techniques for the correction of entropion, in which a small strip of skin and muscle parallel to the eyelid margin are surgically excised. The newly created edges are then stitched closed, pulling the eyelid margin outward. Depending on the severity and type of entropion, there are other eyelid surgical techniques (such as blepharoplasty) that can be performed. Many primary care veterinarians treat entropion cases. In more severe or complicated cases a board-certified ophthalmologist is specifically trained to choose between all medical and surgical options to find the most appropriate treatment for your pet.
Daily wound cleaning with moist cotton balls may be required. Topical antibiotic ointments (+/- oral medications) may be needed. An e-collar may also be required to prevent your pet from rubbing or pawing at the surgical site(s). If non-dissolvable sutures are used, they are typically removed 10 - 14 days after surgery. If dissolvable sutures are placed, they will usually fall out or dissolve in several weeks time.
In most cases, entropion will not reoccur. However, some breeds of dogs such as Shar Peis may have severe and complex entropion that may requires several corrective surgeries.
The American Kennel Club considers entropion surgery a cosmetic surgery and prohibits these animals from participating in AKC-sanctioned shows and events. If a dog has had acquired entropion due to an eyelid spasm, there is no restriction placed on breeding. The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO), in conjunction with the OFA Eye Registry have made breed-specific breeding recommendations with inherited entropion. Ideally, no dog with inherited entropion should be bred, since this may result in offspring with entropion.