Issue Description Trichiasis in dogs is hair from the eyelid
growing in the wrong direction and rubbing on the eye, causing
irritation. It usually occurs at the lateral upper eyelid, especially
in the English Cocker Spaniel. Trichiasis also refers to hair from a
nasal fold rubbing on the eye. This type of trichiasis can be
flattened by rubbing petroleum jelly onto it, but surgery is sometimes
necessary for permanent correction.
Dog Breeds Prone to Trichiasis
English & American Cocker Spaniel
Symptoms Eyelash disorders are common in dogs and rare
in cats. Problems tend to occur most commonly in young dogs. Any breed
can be affected; however, some breeds are predisposed--breeds with
prominent facial folds such as the Pekingese, Pug, and Bulldog
frequently have facial fold trichiasis; most Cocker Spaniels have
distichiasis to some degree; ectopic cilia are more common than
average in the Dachshund, Lhasa apso, and Shetland Sheepdog, among
Trichiasis From Facial Folds
Nasal corneal vascularization and
Asymptomatic in most animals.
If stiff, stout distichia are contacting the cornea,
blepharospasm, epiphora, corneal vascularization, pigmentation, and
ulceration may develop.
Often cause superficial corneal ulcers with a linear appearance
(corresponding to lid movement) on the superior cornea. These ulcers
are resistant to healing until the underlying problem is diagnosed and
Diagnosis Due to its anatomical structure, the eye
permits direct observation of many pathologic processes as they
develop. The vast majority of ophthalmic conditions can be diagnosed
with a few relatively simple tools and techniques that almost every
veterinarian use in clinical practice.
Treatment Canine trichiasis conditions may be treated
easily in some dogs with the implementation of medication alone, but
some other more serious condition may require more effort. Some of the
standard treatment may involves using ophthalmic ointments,
antibiotics or lubricants to coat the hairs with oil to protect the
cornea, closure of the medial canthal (inner eyelid margin), surgical
correction to remove the disturbing hairs, and removal of the affected
eyelashes with electrology or specialized laser.