Distichiasis &  Entropian

By: Anna Wallace

The two most common eye issues Swissys are faced with are Distichiasis and Entopian.

Distichia are extra eyelashes along the inside of the eyelid, sometimes they can be seen along 
the eyelid, but occasionally a magnifying lens is needed to see them.  
Sometimes extra eyelashes grow in such a manner that they irritate the  eye.

Non-symptomatic Distichiasis is a common issue Swissys face. 
Distichiasis (reported at 19% in the  breed) can be nothing to 
worry about, or it can be a bit trickier.  In the vast  majority of cases, 
Distichiasis is non-symptomatic and never causes an issue for  the dog.  
Distichiasis is the presence of extra eyelashes along the eyelid and  should not 
be confused with entropian.  
Unfortunately, symptomatic cases do require attention from a vet.   Treatment 
will vary from vet to vet, some choosing to freeze the affected hair  follicles, 
and others choosing to use electrocautery.  Regardless of the  treatment, 
symptomatic distichiasis can cause major eye irritation if not  attended to.  
Dogs that appear to be “squinting” should be examined by a  veterinarian.  

(found in about 3% of the breed)  is the rolling in of the eyelids, which causes 
the eyelashes to irritate the  eye.  Entropian is a condition that most often 
requires surgery to fix, but once  fixed causes no future issues for the dog.  
Entropian is not a common issue in  the Swissy, but is occasionally seen.  
Thankfully it is simple to fix and is not  an ongoing issue.  

While there are many vets well qualified to Handle both of these problems, other vets 
choose to refer these cases to a Veterinary Ophthalmologist.


I recommend going to the Veterinary Opthamalogist for eye issues. ~ Carolynn