Eyelash and Corneal Ulcers in Bulldogs

Eyelash Problems in Bulldogs

8-0021Distichiasis, Distichiae, Trichiasis and Ectopic Cilia some of the common medical for eyelash problems in dogs. The problematic eyelash can arises from an abnormal location on the eyelid, or grow in a abnormal manner. It usually emerges along the margin of the eyelid from a gland named meibomian with openings located along the inner margin of the eyelids.

Distichiae may be found on either the upper or lower eyelid. The reason why the eyelash follicles develop in this abnormal location is not known.

Ectopic Cilia occurs when one or several hairs  grow abnormally usually in the upper eyelid and come into contact with the cornea. They are not the same as Distchiasis but the injury to the cornea and pain are similar.

7-001The symptoms or clinical signs will vary with the severity of the condition but in general are consistent with the kind of eye problem seen with corneal ulcers (like KCS and Enteropion). Depending on the number of eyelashes and their proximity to each other I will either remove the offending eyelash with its gland surgically, or even remove part of the eye lash containing the disichiae with its respective glands.

V4B Bulldog Maintenance

As with the other bulldog eye problems, become acquainted with your bully face and what is normal so when a problem arises even a minor one, you will be able you utilized the perceptive skills you acquired, recognize it in timely manner and act decisively.

611-002V4B Bully Rule of Thumb:

Sudden squinting, red, teary eye is often due to an emerging corneal ulcer,  you should consider this problem to be an an emergency and seek help as soon as possible.

V4B Bully Tips & Warnings

Tip: Keep a buster collar at home and place it on your bulldog any time they are rubbing and/or scratching their face.

  • Tip: Distichiasis is similar to, but not the same as, ectopic cilia
  • Tip: In mild cases, with only one to a few hairs the distichiae may be manually removed.
  • Tip:Use our V4B Skin Fold w/PS to maintain the face folds and control dermatitis which might lead to pawing and rubbing of the eyes, causing unintended cornea injury.
  • Tip: Any time I treat a bulldog with a corneal problem I examine the lids for those abnormally ingrown eyelashes. Many of them are light colored and thin thus easily missed. In my exam room I always inspect bulldog’s eyelids with a magnifying head light from different angles.

  • images-002Warning: There is no preventative care for distichiasis, due to the suspected hereditary nature of this condition. I don’t recommend breeding bulldogs with a severe case of this condition.
  • Warning: Left untreated, distichiae that are causing clinical signs will continue to cause irritation and bad pain, which may lead to severe corneal ulcers, and secondary bacterial infections, cornea perforation and sight lost.
  • Warning: The same can happen in nearby glands thus post-surgery rechecks are necessary for several months to monitor for re-growth of the eyelashes.
  • Warning: I recommend referral of  some severe cases with eyelashes growing side to side along the entire lid(s) to an ophthalmologist.
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