Eyelid Entropion in Dogs: Symptoms and Surgery Cost

Four Minutes
Sep 29, 2023

Your pet’s eye health is important, and some health conditions can threaten your dog’s vision. Entropion is an eye condition that can be very painful for your furry friend. If you find your pup with a case of eyelid entropion, surgical correction is typically the only treatment option, and costs can range from $500 – $2,000 or more.1

Learn more about what causes eyelid entropion in dogs, what breeds may be prone to this condition, treatment, and costs.

What Is Entropion in Dogs?

Eyelid entropion in dogs is a condition where the eyelid rolls inward.2 When the eyelid rolls inward and rubs against the eye, it can cause pain, scratches, perforation, corneal ulcers, and corneal pigmentation — all of which can affect vision.

There are two types of entropion: primary and secondary.3 Primary entropion is a genetic condition and is typically present when a puppy is born. Secondary entropion can develop as a result of some other condition.

What causes entropion in dogs?

Primary entropion is genetic, and it can be caused by an eyelid that’s shaped in a way that’s not complementary to the shape of the eyeball. It can be due to facial skin folds, the shape of the skull or eye cavity, the length of the eyelid, or sex.3

Secondary entropion can be caused by eye trauma, infections, inflammation, scarring, or systemic skin conditions — like pyoderma or mange.3

Eyelid Entropion May Hurt Your Pet and Your Wallet

Pet Insurance Can Help

Breeds that may be predisposed to entropion

There are many breeds that may have a higher genetic predisposition for entropion — some of them include:2

Signs of Eyelid Entropion in Dogs

Depending on the severity, signs of entropion in dogs can be easy to spot. If your dog displays any of the following, they may be suffering from eyelid entropion:2,3

  • Excessive squinting or blinking
  • Pawing at or rubbing their eye
  • Keeping their eye closed
  • Tearing up excessively (may come with staining)
  • Discharge (mucus or pus)
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Redness or swelling

If you notice any of the above signs, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your vet to get your dog’s eye looked at as soon as possible.

Diagnosing Entropion in Dogs

When you bring your dog to the vet, tell them which symptoms your dog is experiencing. Your vet may examine their eyelid to diagnose it as entropion. They’ll also check your dog’s eye for other damage.

A fluorescein stain test can help the vet spot corneal damage.4 This is a virtually painless test where dye is dropped into your dog’s eye, and a cobalt blue light is used to look at the eye. The dye will stick to damaged areas, allowing the vet to see if there’s a problem.

Treatment for Eyelid Entropion in Dogs

Treating entropion typically requires surgically correcting the eyelid. Entropion surgery for dogs involves removing a small section of the eyelid, so the inward roll reverses and the eyelid returns to a normal position.2 Vets may perform two surgeries instead of one to reduce the risk of over-correcting and potentially causing an outward rolling eyelid, also known as ectropion.2

If surgery is required for a puppy, vets will likely wait until they’ve reached their adult size, since the pup is still growing.2 However, if the eyelid can’t wait to be corrected, a vet may opt for an eyelid tacking procedure.3 This involves using sutures to temporarily secure the eyelid outward while the puppy grows until permanent surgery can be done.

After-surgery care

Ophthalmic antibiotics and artificial tear lubricants may be prescribed to help treat any other conditions that may have resulted from entropion.2 Your dog’s eye will likely be swollen after the procedure, and they typically need to wear an Elizabethan collar (cone) to prevent any damage while the eye heals. A follow-up visit with the vet is usually required to remove sutures and ensure the eye is healing well.

A successful correction of entropion can allow your dog to lead a normal life without eye pain. However, some types of eye damage due to entropion may result in vision impairment.2 Your vet can give you the correct prognosis for your pup’s situation.

Entropion Surgery for Dogs Cost

The cost of entropion surgery can depend on a few factors, including who performs it, where you live, the severity of entropion, and if it’s in one or both eyes. If your dog undergoes surgery at your routine vet’s office, it may cost around $500 – $1,500.1 If they get the procedure done by an animal ophthalmologist or other specialist, it can cost $1,800 – $2,000 or more.1

There may be other costs associated with surgery — like anesthesia, medications, follow-up care, or preoperative blood work — along with the costs of any other treatments needed as a result of entropion. Be sure to discuss these with your vet, so you can get a more accurate estimate for your vet bill.

Pet Insurance May Help Cover Entropion Treatment Costs

With entropion treatment potentially costing over $1,000, a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet can help make sure your dog gets the best care for their entropion.

Take two-year-old shar-pei, Lux, for example. This New Jersey pup needed surgery to correct her double eyelid entropion. Lux’s parents took her to an animal ophthalmologist for surgery that cost over $3,300. Thanks to her owner’s MetLife Pet policy, they were reimbursed for just over $3,000.5

Don’t wait until health issues arise to get protection for your pet and your wallet. Pet insurance can help cover diagnostics, treatments, and other vet visit costs for your dog. Get a free personalized quote today, and see what MetLife Pet can do for you.

We Can Help Cover Vet Bills While You Focus on Your Dog’s Care


**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “How Much Does Entropion Surgery for Dogs Cost? (2023 Price Guide),” Pet Keen, 2023

2 “Eyelid Entropion in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals

3 “Entropion in Dogs (Eyelid Growing Inward),” PetMD, 2021

4 “Common Ocular Tests,” American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists

5 All claims paid amounts are based on MetLife internal claims data from October 2022. Story altered for illustrative purposes.

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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