Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Distichiasis

Contributor(s): Dennis E Brooks, David L Williams

Introduction

  • Cause: eyelash hairs (adventitious cilia) emerge from the Meibomian ducts (or adjacent margo intermarginalis) to impinge on the cornea.
  • Signs: asymptomatic if only fine cilia-like hairs; thicker hairs cause corneal irritation → superficial keratitis Keratitis or corneal ulceration Ulcerative keratitis.
  • Diagnosis: history, breed, observation of hairs.
  • Treatment: permanent cure requires destruction or removal of the hair root material.
  • Prognosis: may need repeated procedures.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Inherited in pure breed dogs.
  • Can be idiopathic.
  • Can occur secondary to inflammatory eyelid margin disease.

Predisposing factors

General
  • The meibomian glands are modified hair follicles and the distichia develops from undifferentiated meibomian tissue.

Pathophysiology

  • Hairs/adventitious cilia emerge from in or around the openings of the Meibomian glands Meibomitis Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 4 years along the eyelid margin. They may be single or multiple.
  • Do not always contact the cornea or may just 'float' on the cornea if fine hairs or → corneal irritation if thicker hairs → superficial keratitis Keratitis → corneal ulceration Ulcerative keratitis Eyelid distichiasis 01 - Dachshund.
  • Distichia can irritate the cornea to result in increased lacrimation, blepharospasm, conjunctivitis and superficial to deep corneal ulceration. A secondary entropion may also occur.

Timecourse

  • Juvenile.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Peña T M & Garcia F A (1999) Reconstruction of the eyelids of a dog using grafts of oral mucosa. Vet Rec 144 (15), 413-415 PubMed.
  • Grahn B H & Wolfer J (1997) Diagnostic ophthalmology - distichiasis and uveal cysts. Can Vet J 38 (6), 391-392 PubMed.
  • Bedford P G C (1988) Conditions of the eyelids in dog. JSAP 29 (7), 416-428 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Gelatt K N (1999)Veterinary Opthamology.3rd edn: Williams & Wilkins.


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