Distichiasis is the abnormal growth of an eyelash from the meibomian
glands along the eyelid margin. This positions them directly out
of the lid margin and they contact the eye surface due to this.
The harm this causes depends on the stiffness of the eyelash that
grows, the number of them and their exact position. This condition
is most common in cocker spaniels, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers,
Lhasa Apsos, miniature Poodles, Golden Retrievers, Shelties, and
distichiasis can lead to corneal ulcers, chronic eye pain, excessive
tearing, and eyelid spasms. It is almost certainly uncomfortable
for the dog and permanent removal of the offending eyelashes is
best when any clinical signs are present.
is done in a number of ways, depending on the number of lashes
present and the preferences of the surgeon. Cryosurgery (freezing
of the lid margin at the affected sites) can sometimes be done
with a local anesthetic in a cooperative dog. There are other
surgical options. Almost any surgery for this condition should
be done with an operating microscope or good magnification so
many general practitioners refer these cases to veterinary ophthamologists.
care of inflammation from the surgery is usually necessary and
should be planned for. There are usually two or three follow-up
visits to check for regrowth of the eyelashes and removal of any
that return or persist. In most cases, this can be treated with
success. This makes life much more comfortable for your dog.