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The Truth About English Bulldog Entropion: What You Need to Know

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Affectionate, easy-going, and lovable are great words to describe your English Bulldog. These bulldogs are great with kids and are also excellent guard dogs. Even so, you should know this breed can also be gassy, overweight, and at risk of entropion.

What can you do to help your English Bulldog with an eye condition like entropion? Keep reading to discover all you need to know about Entropion in English Bulldogs.

English Bulldog Entropion Explained

Entropion in English Bulldogs occurs when the eyelids of your dog roll inward. The health condition is common among dogs with wrinkled facial folds. Hence, puppies with heavy facial folds are at a high risk of developing Entropion. Dogs with this condition feel their inward eyelid folds and eyelashes rub on their cornea. With time, consistent contact with the cornea causes ulcers.

As a dog owner, you can detect the presence of Entropion in your English Bulldog by placing a fluorescent dye on the cornea. There’s a high tendency you’ll notice entropion in your dog before its first birthday. Some of the major symptoms of the condition also include tearing of the dog’s eyes, squinting, and constant rubbing of the area.

It’s imperative to note that English Bulldog entropion can occur at any age, simultaneously affecting both eyes. When you observe inflammation and constant irritation of your pup’s eye, entropion may be present. After proper observation, try visiting the vet for a professional diagnosis.

During diagnosis, the vet may administer local anesthetic eye drops before a full eye examination. The purpose of administering the medication is to help your bulldog feel less pain and reduce stress during the examination. Some vets may additionally perform a fluorescein test if they develop concerns regarding possible corneal abrasions.

Unfortunately, inappropriate attention to Entropion in your English Bulldog may result in partial or complete loss of sight. Vets may advise you to place a buster collar on your dog’s head once you discover a condition like Entropion. If you don’t use a buster collar, your dog may inflict additional trauma by regular pawing and rubbing.

Most experts advise surgery when the condition becomes severe to remove tissue under the eyes and suture the area. Proper treatment of entropion can make your dog experience its best life without eye conditions.

Causes of English Bulldog Entropion

English Bulldogs have lots of skin and wrinkles covering their face, making them experience an inward rolling of the eyelid. When there’s an inward rolling of eyelids, hair on the surface of their eyelids rubs against the cornea. As a result, your dog begins to experience severe pain and corneal ulcers. Other signs like perforations and pigments on the cornea may also occur.

There are various potential causes of entropion in your English Bulldog. Here’s a number of them to note:

Blepharospasm

In a simple term, Blepharospasm describes the twitching of the eyelids. Many dog owners see the condition as a regular eye twitch, but it can cause permanent damage. You know your English Bulldog has this condition when it regularly twitches its eye, closes an eye repeatedly, and squints.

When you observe regular eye twitching from your Bulldog, it’s always a sign of eye discomfort or pain. There are various possible reasons for that discomfort, including corneal ulcer, a foreign body, or anterior uveitis. Apart from those health conditions, blepharospasm is a significant cause of entropion.

Obesity

A significant increase in weight can result in more skin on your Bulldog’s face, resulting in entropion. Excess fat in your dog can also negatively impact its overall wellbeing, including eye health. If your dog experiences entropion due to obesity, it’s important to consult your vet.

You can also take steps, aside from speaking to a vet to help your English Bulldog with losing weight. Even though it may take a while for your dog to lose some weight, consider starting by cutting back on calories. You can also give your Bulldog a low-carb, high protein food with plenty of fresh water.

Eye Infections

Entropion in English Bulldogs is highly possible when there’s a predisposing eye condition. Examples of some of these health issues include dry eye, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, and corneal ulcers. In English Bulldogs, a dry eye signifies an aggravation of the cornea and surrounding tissues. Dry eyes can make your dog squint and keep his eyes shut.

Conjunctivitis is another common eye infection that may cause entropion. It signifies the redness of the eye that results in watery, squinting eyelids. Many English Bulldogs also experience corneal ulcers, which may result in scouring the region with their paws. If you observe any of those conditions in your Bulldog, consult your vet for prompt treatment.

english bulldog sitting in front of white background

Rapid Weight loss

Rapid weight loss can make your dog’s face become depleted. As your English Bulldog grows older, there is also a loss of skin elasticity. Hence, it may result in sagging or folding of the facial skin. In most cases, it also ultimately results in more wrinkles on your dog’s face.

When there’s an increase in facial folds, it puts your dog at risk of developing Entropion. If you observe your English Bulldog is losing a lot of weight, review their diet and consult a vet for diagnosis and help. Most dogs only lose weight due to food problems, but other possible causes of weight loss include diabetes mellitus, pain issues, and cancer.

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation in your English Bulldog’s eye can be due to several factors, including epiphora. Conditions like epiphora can make your dog experience abnormal tearing, change in color of the iris, and swelling of the eyeball. When Bulldogs experience inflammation, they tend to squint often and may also paw at the eye.

Apart from Entropion, chronic inflammation may also change the aqueous humor, iris, and cornea. When you observe inflammation in your dog’s eye, consult a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Eyelid Trauma

Eyelid Trauma or injury in English Bulldogs may come in the form of significant cuts or swelling around the region. If there’s swelling or a cut around the dog’s eye, it prevents proper shutting of the eye. Hence, you may observe your dog scratches its eye excessively due to the pain.

Vets may prescribe ointments or drugs to help relieve pain and reduce excessive scratching. When eyelid trauma is not treated, it becomes a potential cause of entropion.

Loss of Muscle around the Eye

Loss of muscles around the eye may lead to significant wrinkles on your English Bulldog’s face. The wrinkles may tend to cause an inward rolling of the eyelid, resulting in entropion. When the condition occurs, it may cause debilitating symptoms like sunken eyes and blindness in severe cases.

There are various possible causes of loss of muscle around your dog’s eye. Some of these conditions include cancer, genetic disposition, viral infection, or even parasitic infections. Before treatment, the vet will perform a full physical, oral, and neurological examination. Your vet may also check for any history of trauma that may result in loss of muscles.

How Entropion Can Affect Your English Bulldog

Your English Bulldog is prone to developing other health conditions without immediate treatment of entropion. Most of the resulting medical conditions only affect your dog’s eye instead of other regions of his body. For this reason, a quick visit to the vet is highly advisable.

Here are some common ways Entropion can affect your English Bulldog:

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal Ulcers are common in English Bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds. The condition causes a significant level of pain. When your dog has a corneal ulcer, it typically signifies the presence of a bacterial infection. With time, the bacteria will release substances that cause degradation of the corneal stroma, making the ulcer worse.

It becomes a serious emergency when the ulcer extends to the deepest parts of the Descemet’s membrane. Rupturing the Descemet’s membrane in your Bulldog will cause the fluid inside its eye to leak and cause blindness.

Some of the common symptoms of corneal ulcer in your English Bulldog include squinting, rubbing, and pawing of the eye due to pain. You may also notice your dog’s eye becoming significantly red and experiencing some discharge and excessive tearing from the eye.

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Vets may recommend aggressive treatment procedures to manage corneal ulcers after diagnosis. Some of these treatment options include the use of multiple eye drops, anti-inflammatories, and corneal surgery in severe cases.

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Chronic Eye Discharge

Lack of early treatment may make your English Bulldog experience severe fluid discharge. In most dogs, this discharge may appear as a yellow or green fluid. Note that the eye discharge can signify the presence of corneal infection or viral conjunctivitis. English Bulldogs and other breeds with loose facial skin are prone to chronic eye discharge.

Common conditions related to chronic eye discharge include allergies, irritants, and glaucoma. It’s advisable to have eye drops or ointments at hand when your dog is experiencing constant eye discharge.

During chronic eye discharge, you can try to wipe the area around your English Bulldog’s eye. Ensure you wipe it a few times daily with a damp cloth in warm water or a prescribed eye-cleaning solution. Speak to the vet to know if you can give your dog antibiotic-free nutritional supplements to reduce tearing.

Conjunctivitis

In most cases, conjunctivitis isn’t always severe. However, it causes significant discomfort in your English Bulldog due to consistent blinking or squinting. Other symptoms of conjunctivitis or pink eye include red or swollen eye or green discharge from the eyes. Apart from entropion, other possible causes of conjunctivitis include allergies, viral infections, and irritation.

For proper diagnosis, vets will perform an ophthalmic examination to determine if it’s a primary or secondary problem. A detailed examination includes tear production tests and corneal stain tests. Additional checks for proper diagnosis may include bacterial culture and sensitivity tests, allergy testing, and nasolacrimal duct flushing.

Treatment options for conjunctivitis may include prescribed topical or oral medications. Some vets may also prescribe anti-inflammatory agents to help the inflammation. Note that your English Bulldog may require lifelong therapy if diagnosed with keratoconjunctivitis.

Life Expectancy of an English Bulldog With Entropion

On average, the life expectancy for your English Bulldog is between 8 to 10 years. Due to the dog’s physical characteristics, it’s highly prone to entropion, which affects its lifespan. If the condition doesn’t get adequate treatment, there’s a tendency for a reduction in your Bulldog’s lifespan.

Reducing your dog’s life expectancy due to entropion isn’t certain, but it could lead to significant complications if not treated. Major health conditions that may affect your English Bulldog’s life expectancy include cancer and severe trauma.

Signs your English Bulldog Might Have Entropion

Without initial professional help, you can know whether or not your English Bulldog has entropion by observing certain signs. Here’s what you need to review before concluding:

Excessive Tearing

Another name for excessive tearing in your English Bulldog is epiphora. It appears as a clear, yellow, green, or white discharge from the eyes. Draining and teary eyes is a major sign of entropion. Apart from entropion, it may also signify other eye problems. Examples of other causes of excessive tearing include allergies or chronic obstruction of tear ducts.

In most cases, excessive tearing accompanies other signs like redness of the eye, swelling, and frequent squinting. Once you notice an odor from the discharge or tearing, it’s imperative to consult the vet for treatment. After proper examination, the vet can determine the appropriate treatment option.

Thickened Skin around Eyes

When there’s thickened skin around your English Bulldog’s eyes, it causes the eyelid to roll inwards. It also results in contact with the dog’s cornea causing ulcers. Thickened skin in your dog may be due to several factors, including skin disease and infections.

If your Bulldog has thickened skin around its eye, it may result in significant discomfort. You may frequently observe your dog itching or pawing in that region. Thickened skin around the eyes also puts your dog at risk of conjunctivitis and eye discharge.

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Blepharospasm

When your dog has entropion, you’ll often notice constant and involuntary blinking of the eyelids. Blepharospasm occurs when parts of the brain in charge of voluntary muscle function don’t function correctly. Entropion is a major cause of blepharospasm in English Bulldogs, but there are other potential causes.

Anterior uveitis, blepharitis, corneal abscess, pannus, and corneal ulcer are other potential causes of blepharospasm. Some of the common treatments for this eye twitching condition include topical eye drops and ointments, cauterization, and surgery.

Keratitis

Keratitis describes the inflammation of the cornea in dogs. Your English Bulldog’s cornea is a transparent dome covering the eye’s pupil, anterior chamber, and iris. It’s a very painful condition that may be due to entropion and affects the dog’s eyes. Note that there are three major types of keratitis: fungal and bacterial infection, ulcerative, and chronic superficial keratitis.

When your dog has keratitis, you can discover signs like eye redness, eye discharge, and tearing. Consult a vet for proper diagnosis, which may involve examining the interior eye, pupillary light reflex test, and dazzle test.

Eye Irritation

Eye irritation is a significant cause of entropion. It occurs in English Bulldogs due to various contributing factors, including dust, allergies, dry eye, and trauma. Symptoms of eye irritation in your dog include redness, fluid discharge, frequent pawing at the eyes, and eyelid swelling.

Once you notice irritation in your dog’s eye, the best steps to take are keeping the eye clean and using a cone. Regularly and gently wipe your English Bulldog’s eye with a soft moisturized cloth using warm water.

Lethargy

A lethargic English Bulldog will not be interested in playing, taking a walk, or participating in certain activities they typically enjoy. Entropion and some eye infections are common causes of the condition in dogs. Before concluding that your dog is lethargic, study your Bulldog’s actions for two days. Most dogs experiencing lethargy may also develop signs of fever. If there’s no improvement, it’s important to speak to a vet for treatment.

How to Care for and treat your English Bulldog for Entropion

Entropion is a common condition among English Bulldogs and other breeds with lots of facial skin. For this reason, preventing entropion is difficult. The best and most advisable option is making regular visits to the vet for examinations and treatment options. It’s also imperative to look out for signs early to avoid further complications.

Regarding treatment, entropion typically requires surgery. The purpose of the surgery is to remove extra skin and tighten facial skin to a normal anatomical state. Puppies below 12 weeks of age usually undergo eyelid-tacking instead of the traditional surgical approach.

Similar to typical entropion in individuals, possible complications from surgeries include under-correction and overcorrection. In a case of under correction, your dog doesn’t have enough eyelid removed to prevent rubbing against the cornea. On the other hand, overcorrection signifies when too much eyelid skin gets removed, and the eyelid becomes unable to close properly.

How to Help your English Bulldog Live a Fulfilling Life with Entropion

Entropion shouldn’t be a condition that lasts long in your English Bulldog. However, while your Bulldog has the infection, you can help by managing the symptoms. Consistent visits to the vet will help improve your dog’s overall health.

If you go for a surgical correction, you should know recovery doesn’t take too long. Most English Bulldogs experience swelling around their eyes within 24 hours after the procedure. After two to four weeks, you can be certain your Bulldog will be back to its perfect health.