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Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
Archived Message

by Shelley
Distichia? Hi! Just got back from the Vet, Shayna's Annual visit. I asked 2 important questions. 1) Reverse Sneezing - his reply was if it isn't waking her in the middle of the night not to worry. If so he'll remove part of her palid to make her more comfortable. It isn't waking her. 2) Tear Stains - after a close examination he found she has Distichiasis know as Distichia. It is a condition where eye lashes are growing inward and rubbing against her eye ball causing irritation. Also has Ectopic Cicia of The Medial Canthus. Same thing, hair growing where it shouldn't be. He can do both things at once. Needs surgery because if you pull hairs they grow back, must use lazier to remove. Also suggested I cut eye browes around her eyes to avoid any irritation. Said this is common espeically in Cockers. Shayna has a mild case, but how would you like just one eye lash pocking you in the eye ball 24 hours a day. It is a same day procedure and she will come home in the afternoon. Have any of you had this problem? He used a big magnifying lense to examine, you would not see anything without it. Said if we didn't do it after a number of years it would cause dry eye and really become a problem. Sounds like we are preparing Shayna for lazier eye surgery before we leave for our summer trip. Other than that good report, especially teeth and heart are excellent. And what a good girl she was during her examination.


Shelley, thank you for sharing this. Noah's anuual exam is coming up too. I will ask my vet to check his eyes as well. One of them has always teared worse than the other. Let us know how your babies get along.
April B.

I never had a dog with distichiasis, but I've seen the surgery a couple of times. It's not so bad really. They use an electric needle (lazer), and basically burn the extra lashes off. It sounds horrible, but these little lashes can cause a lot of pain, or even cause corneal scarring leading to blindness over time, so it has to be done. They may cut some of the hair around the face to keep it out of the surgical field, but its not always necessary. They usually give you drops or ointment afterwards to prevent infection and make her comfortable. In any case, the tear staining will likely be a lot less afterwards, so Shayna will be even cuter than ever (if that is possible!). As for the reverse sneezing, Jay had a great article on it. I think it's in the directory somewhere. It's very common and doesn't usually require surgery. I hope the surgery goes well and Shayna feels better afterwards.

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