Trichiasis is a condition in which hair arising from a normal site contacts the cornea or conjunctiva (lining of the eyelid). It is more common in dogs than cats, and is most often seen in young dogs. Trichiasis is common in the breeds of dogs with flat noses and prominent eyes, such as the Pekingese, pug, shih tzu
, Lhasa apso and bulldog
, as well as in the breeds of dogs that grow long hair around their eyes, such as the American cocker spaniel. General Causes Inward growth of hairs where the two eyelids meet near the nose, also called medial canthal trichiasis or entropion
Absence of a portion of the upper eyelid
Prominent nasal folds in brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds
Long upper eyelashes and facial hair
Secondary to eyelid trauma or scarring of the eyelid after surgery
What to Watch For
Squinting or blinking
Tearing eyes – watery or mucousy
Blood vessel invasion of the cornea
Pigmentation (dark coloring)
Generally, the diagnosis is made by visual inspection of the eye and observing hair touching the cornea and/or conjunctiva.
The condition may be managed conservatively in some patients with medication alone. Other dogs may require surgery. Treatments might include:
Ophthalmic ointments (antibiotics/lubricants) to coat the hairs with oil and to protect the cornea
Surgical correction to remove the offending hairs
Closure of medial canthal (inner eyelid margin)
Home Care and Prevention
Administer all medications as directed by your veterinarian. Return for follow-up as directed by your veterinarian.
There is no preventative care for trichiasis.