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Thread: distachiasis??

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    Newbie khoadley74's Avatar
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    Default distachiasis??

    Good Morning! I took Bella to a new vet who has more experience with Bulldogs to discuss having surgery for her cherry eyes and spaying. Found out the cherry eye is caused by hairs that are growing into her eye and causing her serious irritation. (her eyes are always goopy and sometimes matted closed with crud). He said it is called distachiasis. Anyone have a bully with this condition? I scheduled surgery for Oct 1st. He has to cut part of her lid where the hairs are growing. He also said it is possible that the hair grows back in and another surgery needed. He thinks there is a possibility that the cherry eyes might go away on there own after removing the hair. Any info would be appreciated!!!
    Thanks
    Karen & Bella

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    Default Re: distachiasis??

    Hi, sorry you and Bella are going through this, and sorry I don't have any experience with this, my female Blossom had cherry eye, but no problems with her eyelashes, but I was curious as to what this was, and looked it up, and this is what I found. I hope it helps.



    Distichiasis in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment


    Nothing about Genevieve could be called pretty except her extremely thick eyelashes. Ultimately, they proved troublesome for the five-year-old English bulldog. Her vet diagnosed her with distichiasis, a condition directly related to her opulent eye fringe.


    What is Distichiasis?


    According to PetEducation.com, it's a disorder that develops when extra eyelashes - medical name cilia - grow from the glands in a dog's upper or lower eyelid. Instead of emerging from the skin surface of the eyelid, the hair follicle begins to develop deep within the glands.


    The hair grows, exiting from the gland opening along the smooth surface at the edge of the dog's eyelid. These abnormal eyelashes are known as distichia. They cause a problem when they rub against the dog's cornea, resulting in irritation and tears and sometimes even abrasions.


    Veterinarians consider distichiasis in dogs an inherited disorder, PetPlace.com reports. Many breeds are unfortunately predisposed to the condition. Among them are American cocker spaniels, toy and miniature poodles, golden retrievers and miniature long-haired dachshunds. The list also includes Shetland sheepdogs, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, English bulldogs, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus.


    Symptoms


    The number, size, relative stiffness and position of the dog's eyelashes can cause symptoms to vary among affected pets. The eye eventually becomes red and inflamed. Owners might note a discharge or tearing from it.


    The dog usually squints or blinks a lot, as if it has a hair or a foreign object in its eye. Rubbing the eye against furniture or carpeting is common. In the severest cases, a dog with distichiasis develops an ulcerated cornea with a bluish tinge caused by either the rogue eyelash or the dog's rubbing.


    Without treatment, these dogs can develop severe ulcerations of the cornea that become infected. Unless the pet gets prompt treatment, the condition of the eye typically gets worse. A dog can eventually become blind.


    Treatment


    Some dogs with fine-textured distichia might require no treatment if they show no symptoms. Mild clinical symptoms usually dictate conservative management. American cockers in particular appear to easily tolerate their extra eyelashes and usually require only observation initially.


    One way to medically manage distichiasis is to use an ophthalmic lubricant. It protects the cornea by coating the eyelashes with an oily film. Veterinarians usually start with this treatment for dogs whose only symptom is mild tearing. It's also the treatment of choice if the dog isn't a good candidate for general anesthesia and surgery, if there are just a few lashes causing the problem or if the lashes are short and fine.


    When these lashes start to cause changes in the dog's cornea, vets typically recommend surgery. The operation removes the lashes and attempts to kill the associated hair follicles.


    However, since hair follicles can be difficult to obliterate, if the dog has just one or two troublesome lashes, a vet will consider removing the associated small portion of the eyelid. When at least several eyelashes cause a problem, the most common treatment is to cauterize the associated glands or freeze them using cryotherapy. One potential risk of either gland treatment is excessive scarring of the eyelid.


    Unfortunately, many dogs with distichiasis experience regrowth of hairs. They face multiple surgeries, especially when eyelashes erupt at new sites.


    Home treatment requires owners to give the dog all medications as directed and to bring the pet to all follow-up appointments the vet advises. Dogs treated medically instead of surgically should be evaluated at periodic intervals, particularly if they develop additional symptoms. Vets normally require rechecks for 8 to 12 weeks after surgery.


    Other than breeding two dogs with this condition to each other, there are no recognized preventive steps to avoid distichiasis in dogs.


    Sources:


    PetEducation.com site


    PetPlace.com site
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Default Re: distachiasis??

    Hi and welcome , Lily didn't have cherry eyes from irritation , they popped out while she was playing with my "clawing" dog at age of 9 weeks ;-( so im no help here we are currently recovering from Lilys op ,but i hope someone will be able to give you some advice
    All i can say is our vet suggested we wait till lily was at least 4,5 months old as putting her under ,while performing the op as the risk of (her not waling up) is lessened -not sure how true is that but that was our advice ,but in extreme circumstances dogs need surgery sooner ,ours wasn't the case as eyes weren't bothering her -we where prescribed antibiotic drops to reduce inflammation etc until she have her op
    I hope your baby will feel better soon x
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    Shy & Lilly


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    Potty Trainer Sandy's Avatar
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    Default Re: distachiasis??

    Harper is nine months old and started having excessive tearing a few months ago. The regular vet pulled a few eyelashes and they came back - he tried again another time and they came back so he referred us to an eye specialist. He was diagnosed with the same thing but no cherry eye - just eyelashes scratching his eyeball. He is having a "procedure" done tomorrow morning at the eye clinic - they put him under and then go in and freeze the area where the eyelashes are turned inward. No cutting he said - fairly simple procedure but that should fix the problem. I talked to the regular vet and he said he had heard of this and thinks it is a good option to help Harper's eyes.

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    Newbie khoadley74's Avatar
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    Default Re: distachiasis??

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    Harper is nine months old and started having excessive tearing a few months ago. The regular vet pulled a few eyelashes and they came back - he tried again another time and they came back so he referred us to an eye specialist. He was diagnosed with the same thing but no cherry eye - just eyelashes scratching his eyeball. He is having a "procedure" done tomorrow morning at the eye clinic - they put him under and then go in and freeze the area where the eyelashes are turned inward. No cutting he said - fairly simple procedure but that should fix the problem. I talked to the regular vet and he said he had heard of this and thinks it is a good option to help Harper's eyes.
    Where do you find an eye specialist for a dog? I am not comfortable with this vets suggestion of surgery. I am looking for alternatives. Thanks!

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    Default Re: distachiasis??

    I agree I would seek out an opthomologist, they are usually at a specialty center.

    Freezing the hairs is the best way, although removing some of the skin to pull the eyes out from the cornea can work in some minor cases, but that surgery is usually only done for entropion cases. I agree the irritation could be causing the cherry eye, but if its not then that's another surgery to deal with.


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    Kennel Cleaner traceylynn172's Avatar
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    Default Re: distachiasis??

    If you have a vet school near you call them they should be able to give you the name of a doggie eye doctor
    If not call the vets office and ask them.

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    Default Re: distachiasis??

    The vet should be able to refer you to an eye specialist. Duchess had this procedure done in both eyes about three weeks ago. The proper way to handle it is cryosurgery performed by an eye specialist. It's the least invasive and has the best results. There is a possibility that the procedure would have to be repeated if new hair emerged that weren't present prior. Cutting of the eyelid that your vet is suggesting is a very old and unsuccessful way of the treating the condition. The cryosurgery ran about $1500 including all meds and follow up visit. Those hairs can really cause damage such as ulcers so the sooner the better.

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    Default Re: distachiasis??

    Brie has the Amdahl recently had cryosurgery for both eyes. She had the hairs, not cherry eye but they wreaked havoc in her eyes causing many ulcers and a lot of pain. The vet referred us to an ophthalmologist.

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