Distichiasis is a very common eye disease in dogs. It is characterized by the appearance of abnormal eyelashes in the meibomus glands and may be asymptomatic or symptomatic.
The distichiasis is observed especially in certain breeds like the Boxer, the English Bulldog, the Poodle, the Cocker Spaniel, the Golden Retriever, the Pekingese, and Shih Tzu. We will explain, in what follows, the symptoms of this disease and the various therapies that can be applied.
Symptoms of distichiasis
This ciliary affection affecting the canine species is characterized by an anomaly of the position (eyelashes abnormally implanted on the inner edge of the eyelid) or the orientation of the eyelashes. It is usually inherited or related to strabismus or a heart defect. It can be present from birth or appear later. The cilia emerging from the orifices of the tarsal glands may be thin, stiff, or thick. The disease can be asymptomatic or be accompanied by symptoms that vary according to the number and size of the eyelashes. Let us quote a few signs as an indication:
- Photophobia: it is characterized by a light sensitivity that can be increased. It is the cause of visual discomfort and eye problems.
- The epiphora: it is characterized by a moisture content at the edge of the eyelids, the inner corner of the eye, and a flow of excessive tears.
- The blepharospasm: they are involuntary contractions of muscles such as repeated and uncontrolled blinking of the eyelids. These are signs of eye pain.
- Corneal lesions: we cite, for example, keracy, pigmentations, and corneal ulcers. The corneal ulcers are characterized by a loss of substance in the thickness of the cornea which can go as far as perforation of the eyeball.
- Redness and thickening of the conjunctiva …
Treatment of distichiasis
There is a variety of therapies that can be used depending on the evolution of the condition of the eyelashes. However, the development of new abnormal eyelashes is possible, hence the need for an additional method of care. Among these interventions, we cite:
- The Cryotherapy: it is a cold therapy. It consists of applying cold to the affected area in order to calm the pain, reduce the swelling, and reduce the bruises.
- The electrolysis: this is to destroy the hair follicle by the application, under anesthesia, of a direct current of low intensity.
- Epilation of the eyelashes involved.
- Surgical intervention.