Understanding Common Eye Surgeries For Dogs

Dogs may require surgery for a variety of reasons, from neutering and spaying to injuries and other ailments. But when it comes to eye surgery, it’s important for dog owners to understand the delicacy of the surgeries that are needed and the valuable role that experience plays in the process. 

Two of the more common eye surgeries we see at Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit are entropion surgery and surgery to repair cherry eye. Both conditions affect a dog in different ways, and both surgeries offer much-needed relief. 

At Dr. Kelly’s, we specialize in providing affordable surgical services for dogs and cats across Phoenix and Tucson. On an average day, we can perform up to 20 surgeries, and in specializing in surgery we are able to provide the procedures at a tremendous value to pet owners hoping to care for their animals without feeling a substantial financial burden. 

We’re proud to say that since 2016, we’ve helped more than 150,000 pets and pet owners in their time of need. 

When it comes to eye surgery, there are certain breeds that are more often predisposed to developing conditions that require surgical intervention. Entropion is considered a hereditary condition, which can explain the breed-specific predisposition. Breeds that most commonly experience entropion include: 

  • Akita
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Basset Hound
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Bloodhound
  • Bulldog
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Clumber Spaniel
  • Dalmatian
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Toy Spaniel
  • Flat-coated Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Gordon Setter
  • Great Dane
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Irish Setter
  • Japanese Chin
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranian
  • Pug
  • Rottweiler
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Saint Bernard
  • Siberian Husky
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Toy and miniature poodle
  • Vizsla
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Weimaraner

Entropion occurs when a dog’s eyelid rolls inward. When it does, the hair on the eyelid can irritate the dog’s cornea, which may cause pain, ulcers, blurry vision or perforations. Many times, dogs experience entropion in both eyes, and most times the condition is diagnosed before a puppy turns 1. 

The only way to fix entropion is for a veterinarian to perform a surgical procedure. Oftentimes, the condition is treated with two surgeries — the first being a major correction and the second a minor one, to avoid the potential of overcorrecting and leading to a condition known as ectropion, where the eyelid rolls out. Following surgery, the prognosis is generally very good. 

As for cherry eye, the team at Dr. Kelly’s is able to perform a single or bilateral repair for the condition, which occurs when a dog’s third eyelid prolapses or pops out. Most dogs with cherry eye experience an enlarged and red mass of tissue on their lower eyelid. 

Cherry eye is also more common in certain breeds, including: Cocker spaniel, English bulldog, French bulldog, Boston terrier, Beagle, Bloodhound, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, Pug and brachycephalic breeds. The surgery that is required to correct cherry eye involves replacing the third eyelid gland. That gland produces up to 50% of the eye’s watery tear film, which is essential to avoiding damaging dry eye.

Most times surgery corrects the issue entirely, however there is a chance that a dog may require an additional procedure if the condition persists. A full recovery generally takes a few weeks. 

To learn more, or to talk about your pet’s specific needs, reach out to our team!

Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit is a trusted veterinary team serving the Phoenix, Peoria and Tucson metro areas, with accessible locations in each market, offering highly specialized surgery, quality spay and neuter procedures, and accessible dental care for pets. Contact us to learn more about our specialized services or to schedule an appointment.   


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