These are abnormal hairs that grow on the inside lining of the eyelid. In most patients, these are stiff, bristly hairs that rub on the corneal surface and cause painful ulcers. These can be very difficult to find without slit-lamp magnification.
Clinical signs of ectopic cilia
Dogs with ectopic cilia may have some or all of the following clinical signs:
- Red eye
- Cloudy eye
- Watery to mucky discharge
- Rubbing the eye/s
Breeds predisposed to ectopic cilia
Any breed of dog can develop extra eyelashes but it is certainly more common in certain breeds such as:
Shetland Sheepdogs Bull Dogs
Daschunds Golden Retrievers
Shih Tzus Pugs
Treatment for ectopic cilia:
Surgical removal of the abnormal hair is performed under general anaesthesia with the aid of an operating microscope.
An operating microscope is used to isolate the root of abnormal hair on the inside eyelid margin. This section of tissue is then removed. No sutures are used. It is normal for patients to have some bloody discharge after surgery. If corneal ulcers are present at the time of the consult or surgery, these will be treated to promote healing. The type of treatment will depend upon the nature and depth of the ulcer.
Most patients only require further surgery if new ectopic cilia develop. This is not a common occurrence.
The surgery site must be kept free of discharge. This can be achieved by bathing the eyelids with clean plain luke-warm water twice daily. Some patients will require antibiotics and or anti-inflammatory medications after surgery. Head collars are not usually required unless corneal damage is present. Please check the area around the neck twice daily to ensure the collar is not damaging the skin around the neck.
Should you have any questions or concerns please contact us on 03 9545 0103.