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Thread: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

  1. #1
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    Default distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    Hello everyone! I'm new here but have visited the site many times over the years when we've had bulldog questions, and I'm always appreciative of all the great feedback this community provides. So I'm hoping some of you may have some thoughts about our 5 month old Fanny's eye.

    It began to get red last Sunday, and Monday we took her to our vet in Baltimore, Doc Side. The vets there love to diagnose bulldogs with all sorts of dramatic issues (in part because they see so many unhealthy bulldogs - of which we had one several years ago). However, our current bullies are in good health and we've learned to take a wait and see approach to many issues, issues that the vets want to rush to surgery as a remedy. The vet took one look at her eye and said she had the beginnings of a disease process called distichiasis and would need surgery. When pressed he said the lashes could grow in enough to not cause irritation. He sent us home with artificial tears and told us to see a specialist. However, her eye really seemed more infected than irritated, so we called back when it seemed worse on Tuesday and asked for an antibiotic / anti-inflammatory - which we got.

    We've been applying it religiously for the past 4 days, and it does seem her eye is slowing improving, and she's not trying to scratch at it or rub it. Assuming she continues to improve, I'm going to assume she had an eye infection but still left wondering what caused it. Can the eyelash issue end up presenting like an infection? Does it cause irritation, swelling and redness and then go away for a while and then come back? Any other ideas on what it could be? If it doesn't clear up in another week, we will take her to the optometrist who I'm sure will want to do some kind of procedure. Figured I'd post here, and include a few pics. First pic is her as of last night, the last pic is from Tuesday night when it was really bad (sorry for the blur).

    -2015-02-06-11-17-28-jpg-2015-02-03-20-49-35-jpg

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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    If this is distichiasis, the vet is right, it would need surgery. It is extra lashes that grow along the "rim" of the eye(extra lashes) that irritate the eye and could cause ulcers.
    Plucking does not work, because they grow back. Maybe you could look closely at her eye with a magnifying glass and you could see those lashes. Did the Dr. show them to you? I have heard that it is heriditary condition-if it is the diagnoses. Sometimes they are little soft lashes, and sometimes thicker ones. The skin is not turned in, like entropian-just lashes. If that is the problem-you know how much it bothers, when something is in your eye! If it doesn't clear up, definitely get a second opinion. You don't want her to get an eye ulcer.



    to EBN. Someone else may come by with better info. Hope your baby will be okay.
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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    Poor baby girl

    Distachia can cause scratching of the lens as well as ulcers, so yes it can cause an infection. I think seeing an optometrist would be a good idea because usually they show you what they are seeing and that is important for you to understand as well. Bad cases of distachia will require surgery, it depends on how many lashes she has growing in. Some of my friends have Bulldogs with one irritating lash that can be plucked every month or two. She currently may have an ulcer and / or an infection in her eye which is why she is improving on the anabiotic. Hopefully she continues to improve. But it may be worth a trip to see the ophthalmologist just to get a full idea of what's going on here.


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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    It does look like an infection, but I would not do a wait and see with an eye issue as they can go bad real fast. A check by the specialist would be a good place to start
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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    Just an update -we are waiting to see eye expert - couldn't get an appointment till this Friday. In the mean time, Fanny has gotten a few bald spots on her legs and now we are wondering if this all might be related to allergies or mange? Anyone have any experience with allergy or mange causing eye irritation like this? We are keeping the antibiotic cream in her bad eye, but her other one is now starting to get red as well. This seems to provide a little relief but it's obviously not dealing with the root issue. We may go to another local vet tomorrow for a second opinion before the eye doc, just to get more input. It's awful seeing her like this - luckily it hasn't dampened her spirit or stopped her from playing, eating and cuddling.

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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    This could absolutely be allergy related! Especially if they get bags under their eyes from the eyes swelling due to the allergens, it can cause the eyelids to roll in so that the hairs touch the eyeball. I would get her started on Benadryl to see if that helps.... Keep us posted.


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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    So Fanny saw the opthamologist last week and had surgery - cryosurgery to remove the offending lashes, and small incisions to remove two mutant hairs who were growing backwards - through her lid and into her eye. This had caused a corneal ulcer, and was very painful for her. The surgery went well, and she was immediately feeling better once the meds wore off. So glad to see her not in pain any more - and now hoping no more grow back in down the line. The vet also told us the bald spots were probably some localized demodex mange brought on by the stress from her eyes and infection she was dealing with. They should clear up on their own. However, we have switched her to a non-grain single protein food just in case - can't hurt. Eventually I'll get them all on a raw diet, but need some time and availability to get us all through that transition - don't want to upset anyone's systems!
    So - just wanted to update everyone and thank those who chimed in with thoughts and feedback - it's much appreciated!

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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracey Halvorsen View Post
    So Fanny saw the opthamologist last week and had surgery - cryosurgery to remove the offending lashes, and small incisions to remove two mutant hairs who were growing backwards - through her lid and into her eye. This had caused a corneal ulcer, and was very painful for her. The surgery went well, and she was immediately feeling better once the meds wore off. So glad to see her not in pain any more - and now hoping no more grow back in down the line. The vet also told us the bald spots were probably some localized demodex mange brought on by the stress from her eyes and infection she was dealing with. They should clear up on their own. However, we have switched her to a non-grain single protein food just in case - can't hurt. Eventually I'll get them all on a raw diet, but need some time and availability to get us all through that transition - don't want to upset anyone's systems!
    So - just wanted to update everyone and thank those who chimed in with thoughts and feedback - it's much appreciated!
    Tracey, I'm just reading about your Fanny right now and all that she has been going thru. I'm so sorry she's had it rough with her eye and then with the skin condition. I'm glad the surgery went well for her and she's now on the mend. We have another Tracey @ddnene whose bulldog Walter was recently dx'd with distichiasis too and I know she's awaiting to hear from the vet what the best options are for him.

    Hoping the grain free food will work out for Fanny. Keep us posted!




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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    We have been through the wayward eyelashes with our boy.He had them cut out but we were told they can grow back somewhere else.He is always squinting his right eye. He has had two entropian surgeries as well...I hope your baby does great

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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracey Halvorsen View Post
    So Fanny saw the opthamologist last week and had surgery - cryosurgery to remove the offending lashes, and small incisions to remove two mutant hairs who were growing backwards - through her lid and into her eye. This had caused a corneal ulcer, and was very painful for her. The surgery went well, and she was immediately feeling better once the meds wore off. So glad to see her not in pain any more - and now hoping no more grow back in down the line. The vet also told us the bald spots were probably some localized demodex mange brought on by the stress from her eyes and infection she was dealing with. They should clear up on their own. However, we have switched her to a non-grain single protein food just in case - can't hurt. Eventually I'll get them all on a raw diet, but need some time and availability to get us all through that transition - don't want to upset anyone's systems!
    So - just wanted to update everyone and thank those who chimed in with thoughts and feedback - it's much appreciated!
    Just now seeing this! So glad Fanny did so well with surgery and is on the mend! How is she feeling today? I hope she's feeling better by the day! Post some updated pics of her sweet little face!!! Good move on the grain free food, that is a wonderful decision in general for any bully health wise

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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    So glad the operation was a succes! Healing thoughts coming your way.

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    Default Re: distichiasis or eye infection or something else?

    Hi all - wanted to post an update as we've had a long road with Fanny and her eyes. She actually had to go back to vet a few times following the surgery to have dead lashes pulled out that were bothering her eyes, but then they got really bad again and she needed another round of surgery. It was actually ectopic hairs that were really causing the issues vs. the eyelashes - and those have to be cut out vs. frozen and deadened.

    So her second surgery was 2 weeks ago and just tonight we see her squinting her right eye again. Our ophthalmologist is fantastic and already has us slotted to bring her in again tomorrow morning - to hopefully pull out a few dead hairs.

    But I'm starting to worry this will never clear up - what will happen to our poor baby if these hairs keep growing in the wrong way and causing ulcers on her eyes? Our vet said she's never seen a case this bad, and she's a specialist! Any words of encouragement or advice from others out there? Fanny is only 7 months old, so I'm praying she will outgrow this at some point.

    We also hope to get this all under control so we can schedule her spay surgery (we've had to keep postponing to deal with her eyes). Anyhow - wanted to update, vent, panic and inquire - all in one post! I have other questions related to her having some thin coat / red spot issues but I can't really worry about her skin until the eyes are better - as I'm sure the stress from the constant eye irritation could be the root cause of some puppy mange sticking around.

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