Puppy Gets Eye Surgery for Distichia & Ectopic Cilia
An adolescent pit bull was noted by the shelter staff to be producing a lot of tears or discharge from one of its eyes. The veterinarians examined the dog closely and found tiny hairs growing out of abnormal areas of the dog’s eyelid and conjunctiva.
Ectopic cilia and distichia are terms used to describe abnormal eyelash or hair growth on the eyelid or conjunctiva of the eye.
This dog had three areas where there was abnormal hair growth around the eye, specifically around the lower eyelid. As you can see in the photo below, there is a hair that is sticking out from pink tissue (conjunctiva) to the right of the eye (around 3 o’clock), there are a few small hairs abnormally placed on the eyelid (around 6 o’clock), and there is an island of hairs arising from the junction of the eyelid and conjunctiva (around 8 o’clock).
These hairs cause irritation to the eye. Hence the excessive discharge and tearing. Dogs may also squint and have inflammation around the eye as a result of these hairs. If nothing is done about the hairs, they can cause an ulcer on the cornea of the eye, which may lead to many other problems.
The best way to treat this condition is to remove the hairs. Plucking them is not likely to be a permanent solution. Some practices may choose to freeze them off. The shelter doesn’t have the necessary equipment available for such treatment, so we elected to remove the hairs surgically.
Performing surgery on an eye with hairs that are as tiny as these, loupes are often used to provide magnification of the surgical site so that the surgeon can visualize the hairs better and ensure that they are removed in their entirety.
The dog was placed under general anesthesia, and I surgically removed the hairs along with their surrounding tissue to ensure that the hairs would not grow back. In the photo below, you can see the areas that were removed. The largest area came from the section of the eyelid where a wedge resection was performed so that the eyelid could be stitched back together after the hairs were removed.
The dog recovered marvelously from surgery, showing no more signs of tearing before being placed up for adoption. Sure enough, this pup found its forever home in no time!
Posted on July 6, 2014, in Shelter Vet Tails and tagged Abnormal Eyelash, Abnormal Eyelashes, Abnormal Eyelid, Adopt, Animal Shelter, Animal Shelter Veterinarian, Cilia, Discharge, Distichia, Distichiasis, Doctor, DVM, Ectopic Cilia, Eye, Eye Surgery, Eyelid, Eyelid Disorders, Eyelid Hairs, Forever Home, Growth, Hair, Happy, Happy Ending, Irritation, Loupes, Pluck, San Jose, San Jose Animal Care & Services, San Jose Animal Care Center, Shelter, Shelter Medicine, Shelter Vet Tails, Shelter Veterinarian, Surgeon, Surgery, Tails of a Shelter Vet, Tearing, Vet, Veterinarian. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.